By on May 10, 2021

 

ford lightning

The Ford Lightning is back. And it’s electric.

We’re sure that last bit will piss a few of you off.

Yeah, one can argue it’s weird for the name that one was bestowed upon Ford’s high-performance pickup to now be put upon a truck with an electric motor instead of a bad-ass V8, but on the other hand, well lightning and electricity just go together. Not to mention that an electric truck can be a performance rig.

That latter part is actually more important — arguments about the name are one thing, but the question is, will the truck be any good? Will it be performance-oriented or simply an F-150 with an electric powertrain?

We won’t know until next Wednesday, May 19, at 9:30 EST.

That is when Ford will stream the unveiling live from Dearborn out across the world using social channels like Facebook and YouTube. Ford also says the unveiling will be beamed to New York’s Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip, presumably via electronic billboards. The company claims there will be more than 30 ways to watch the cover come off.

“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game
… Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” said Ford President and
CEO Jim Farley in a statement. “America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric. F-150 Lightning can power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the
original F-150 Lightning performance truck; and it will constantly improve through over-the-air
updates.”

More from Farley: “The truck of the future will be built with quality and a commitment to
sustainability by Ford-UAW workers at the Ford Rouge Complex — the cathedral of American
manufacturing and our most advanced plant.”

That’s a lot of PR speak that tells us little that we don’t already know. The only real news nugget in the release is that production begins next spring at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.

For all the rest, we wait.

[Image: Ford]

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38 Comments on “Ford Set to Reveal Electric Lightning Next Week...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Don’t niche boutique the EV F-Series, Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think they are – I think their strategy is probably to introduce the “halo” version first. I mean, no one’s going to get pumped up about “electric delivery truck,” even if that’s where they’ll make their money.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Same reason for the Not Mustang Mach E, try the radical change in a niche model first.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I bet there are production capacity limitations. If so, they will sell the highest-margin trucks they can in the available capacity. Once capacity constraints are worked out, expect that the “Lightning” will be accompanied by some sort of white-truck fleet package with the same or a related powertrain.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ Don’t niche boutique the EV F-Series, Ford.”

      That’s exactly what EVs are by their very nature. They are fashion accessories.

      And it’s already worrisome that Ford is touting gimmicks like being able to power your home a couple times during the life of the vehicle. It shows that, much like the the Mach E, it’s a mediocre vehicle that’s going to rely on gimmicks and “shiny stuff” to gin up interest.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “They are fashion accessories.”

        What, and non-EV trucks aren’t? LOL…pretty much EVERY car that isn’t a Nissan Versa with a manual and crank windows could be classified as a “fashion accessory.”

        The car business is a fashion business.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “can power your home during an outage”

    I will add that I think the ability of BEVs to act as whole-house generators is going to be a selling point and it’s an area where the legacy automakers have a jump on Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Maybe.

      Powering a house from an EV isn’t a cheap thing to do – it requires added switchgear to the house and to the vehicle to make it possible.

      Then, discharging an EV battery into a house adds another wear cycle to the battery, and it potentially leaves your vehicle empty after doing so – just when you might need it to flee from an extended power loss.

      But, for the typical overnight power loss event in the winter, keeping a gas furnace running would be a bonus, for example.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        A Tesla power wall would be the better solution. Even better, go with my current favorite, a Sodium-Ion battery that’s better suited than lithium-ion. Should be lower cost, but not sure since they’ve just gone into mass production recently.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “As of May 2021, the total cost of installing one Tesla Powerwall battery system is $12,000.”

          solarreviews.com/blog/is-the-tesla-
          powerwall-the-best-solar-battery-
          available#tesla-powerwall-cost

          I know you are a man of blessed means but $12k is still walking around money for many people.

          There’s a lot of downside to fossil fuel generators (initial cost, storage, maintenance, noise, danger from unvented exhaust). A battery-based dedicated “generator” solves some of those problems but having the generator ability baked into something you already own is quite convenient.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The truck of course needs an outlet but that is becoming the norm so it just needs to be upsized. As far as the house goes, yes having a transfer switch is nice but you can always run extension cord(s) for temporary use.

        I agree though that it seems counter productive to use your EV to power your house as you could end up with your vehicle stuck at home until the power is restored, if you aren’t careful. Yeah it may be a localized outage and there might be a fast charger near that does have power. The of course it because a question of if there will be a charger there as others lacking power look to charge their cars away from home.

        At least with something like the PowerBoost you can have some 5 gal cans that you keep full through the time of year you experience power outages.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I agree that discharging down to 0% is a risk if you need to travel but I think programming in an automatic shutoff at 20% could help alleviate some of that concern.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Not that it’s the “correct” way, but in a pinch it’s easy enough to backfeed the electrical panel and use the house as normal, vs running extension cords all over and not having use of overhead lights, hardwired or 220/240v appliances, or HVAC.

        • 0 avatar
          MoDo

          my 06 runner has an outlet, if you want one just buy a cig lighter inverter

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “and it will constantly improve through over-the-air
    updates”

    Thar she blows. There is the primary reason for the Biden shortages, EV obsession, Coronavirus op, and “green” deal. If they can update it over the air/wifi, they can control it over the air.

    All your life are belong to us.

    youtu.be/N3NA17CCboA?t=1214

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Very cool Ford! You completely ruined yet another legendary name.

    What an absolutely pathetic company.

    At least it’s a truck though. I could easily see Ford developing an electric minivan and naming it F150 Lightning. You know, because it would be garbage and need to pull on another nameplate to gin up hype.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      They just wanted to make it easy for insurance companies for when it causes someones garage to burn down, they won’t need a new form because there will already be a box to check off. Reason for fire, Lightning. Always looking out for others.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…will the truck be any good?”

    Given the focus on a wave of electric trucks about to appear, of course it will be good. Ford isn’t stupid enough to squander the F-150 brand equity on an electric version that’s crappy.

    Sure, there will be things to critique about it – it won’t tow 10,000 lbs 1000 miles on a single charge, for example – but it will be competing against a new class of electric trucks that is just forming.

    Ford
    GM
    Tesla
    Rivian
    Workhorse
    Lordstown
    M-B
    Nissan

    All of these players are going to produce everything from short-run delivery trucks to long-haul and heavy-duty electric trucks. There will be something for almost everyone, but I can’t see Ford producing something uncompetitive among this group.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ Ford isn’t stupid enough to squander the F-150 brand equity on an electric version that’s crappy.”

      Your optimism is misguided. That’s exactly what they did with the Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Again, that depends on what you expect of a “Mustang”. Every buyer of a Mach-E is proof that the Mustang name doesn’t have to mean one thing.

        • 0 avatar

          Ferrari is a more iconic name than Mustang but I am sure Ferrari makes SUV and will make EV SUV.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            The Ferrari Purosangue.

            Trademark serial number 88312207. Google “trademark 88312207”

            What really diluted Ferrari was the fact that a tier of cars above them came into existence. You look cool in that Ferrari until a Pagani, Koenigsegg, or Chiron pulls up. Your little $215k Portofino next to a $3.4 million Pagani Huayra. That’s what really diluted the Ferrari brand.

            https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/spy-shots/ferrari/ferrari-suv-2020-pictures-interior-specs-price-and-performance-of-f16x-fuv-crossover/

            It’s also mentioned at the end if this document:

            https://corporate.ferrari.com/sites/ferrari15ipo/files/Documentazione/ferrari_2021_agm_-_address_from_chairman_and_ceo_0.pdf

            BTW, the Corvette CUV/SUV will be next.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      This actually makes sense to me on a lightning. Lightnings historically don’t have a lot of high towing demands. You could do some semi useful things like lumber store runs and hauling bikes around and such, maybe even a PWC. Then you’d do burnouts.

      For where electric is right now, that seems like a pretty good fit.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    I’d be lying if I said I had any interest in actually buying a full-size electric pickup, but I am curious to see Ford’s styling strategy with the Lightning. Will they play it safe and risk turning off the conquest customer? Or will they be a little bolder at the risk of pushing away the traditional F-150 truck buyer?

  • avatar
    wjtinfwb

    I see where some are hurt that the Lighnting name is attached to something other than a snorting, hi-po gas truck. It’s not like the Ligntning brand is some mythical nameplate with a huge history like Mustang or Thunderbird. I like that Ford is keeping the Lightning nameplate relevant with a cutting-edge vehicle that may redefine the segment that Ford already dominates. And while I was one of those who thought the Mustang brand was mis-used on a electric CUV, I’ve changed my position and find it to be an asset to help ensure the continuation of the Mustang marque. There have certainly been more egregious applications of storied nameplates in auto history; anyone remember the 3.1L V6 Chevy Malibu Maxx “SS”? How about the “Charger” brand being stuck on a FWD hatchback powered by a 1.7L VW based 4 banger? I’m glad there will be a new Lightning and eagerly await learning more about it. But… make my F-150 a Raptor please!

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “anyone remember the 3.1L V6 Chevy Malibu Maxx ‘SS’ ”

      It was a 3.9L. The 3.1L wasn’t even available on that generation of Malibu.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Lots of the general public recognizes the Mustang name and those of a certain age also recognize the Thunderbird. Lighting is something only known to car people and even within car people it probably isn’t that well known.

      So on the one hand fewer people to piss off but on the other is there any useful recognition in the general public. At least the Lightning name does fit the theme of electricity, so in that front it does have the potential to make sense to the general public.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    May 19 is Wednesday.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Electric pickups are irrelevant and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The foreseeable future, because their is no viable path to an affordable option. Super duper batteries that cost half as much as what we have today are just ideas with no timeline. All of the current players will deliver delays and eventually high priced niche products that will sell in niche volumes. They are irrelevant.

  • avatar
    Dan

    “… a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game
    … Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3”

    The direction that this list of his is going in doesn’t exactly have me checking my balance in excitement.

    Can the number one truck company really have this foggy an understanding of who it is that buys trucks?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Starting with the performance model is smart. No issues with branding it Lightning.

    But saying *this* was stupid:
    “Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game… Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3.”

    For the reasons given here – and others:
    https://u.group/thinking/never-mention-your-competitor-by-name/

    And this was also a dumb thing to say out loud:
    “the Ford Rouge Complex — the cathedral of American manufacturing and our most advanced plant.”

    Messages just explicitly spoken by the CEO of Ford Motor Company to those who are paying attention:
    – The last time we had a breakthrough idea was over five decades ago
    – The majority of our vehicles are assembled at a second-string (at best) plant
    – We used to lead but now we follow

    [The Executive Chair might want to have a little sit-down with the CEO.]

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      They should have at least mentioned the Taurus.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “But saying *this* was stupid:
      “Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game… Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3.””

      I am not sure why they are giving so much credit to the Model 3. It’s done exactly nothing to change the game in any positive sort of way. Unless you call bumpers falling off when it rains a “game-changer”

      They should have mentioned the 2019 Ram before the Model 3. A truck Ford still struggles to compete with

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Do we know? Would be nice for Ram to break out the New model vs. the old at least with respect to sales. May as well put Ram badges on a Pacifica and count that too.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I hope it turns out to be a great truck. Honestly, like many, I would be driving a new truck if my budget allowed. The seats in my 2000 F250 are in great shape but offer no shoulder and neck support like the thrones on the modern trucks. Beyond that I keep it off the road during salt season because I want to make it last my lifetime. The new diesels are hugely expensive. They are also extremely powerful. But the hoops they have to jump through to meet emissions makes them very expensive to maintain. My old 7.3 at 150000 miles runs with no visible exhaust unless I absolutely floor it. This past weekend I drove to Michigan. We fueled up upon arrival. I had 498 miles on the trip meter with a quarter tank still showing. Average was 18.6 mpg. Going home towing a 28 foot enclosed trailer that is 8.5 feet wide and 9 feet tall I averaged 12.6 mpg. The trailer was empty and weighs 4000lbs. This is full crew cab with an 8 foot bed and 4WD. So go ahead Ford, make an electric truck that can do what I just did in a 21 year old Ford. Make it as reliable as my 7.3L diesel, give me similar or better towing and hauling capacities and price it in line with your current diesel or gas trucks. Do this and it wont matter that you bailed on making cars.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I guess if you’re going to attach any name from the past to an electric vehicle, Lightning would be a top choice. But “it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck?” I should certainly hope so! The original took 7.2 seconds to hit 60 and 15.6 seconds to do the quarter mile per Motor Trend. That was good for ’93, but it would be mediocre in a performance vehicle today.

    • 0 avatar
      2ACL

      @Superdessucke

      “. . .it would be mediocre in a performance vehicle today.”

      More like a disappointment. Those times align more with the 3.3L V6 than any of the Ecoboost V6s or the 5.0 V8. I for one think bringing the Lightning back as an EV a potential masterstroke, but not if it isn’t going to leverage the performance benefits of an electric drivetrain.

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