By on March 21, 2022

Ford

With window stickers of Ford’s all-electric Lightning pickup having leaked late last week, there were a lot of people interested in having their “Fuel Economy and Environment” estimates verified. Ford CEO Jim Farley has obliged by confirming the figures, adding that the vehicle’s maximum range should ballpark around 300 miles (or better) unless you snub the extended-range models.

The executive confirmed the F-150 Lightning XLT, Lariat, and Pro trims at 320 miles with the bigger battery. Though those running with the standard battery pack only yield 230 miles between charging. Meanwhile, the Lightning Platinum tops out at 300 miles even due to it having gnarly tires and being less aerodynamic than its siblings. 

Obviously, those estimates will come down further once payloads come into play. But it’s more or less what people were told to expect from the manufacturer.

While I’ve never found MPGe all that useful, since there’s no direct equivalent for calculating miles per gallon, the EPA had to come up with a unit of measurement that sounded familiar and offered consistency. Some might argue that 33.7 kWh of electricity sourced from any number of sources isn’t directly comparable to a gallon of burnt gasoline. But it’s the standard we have and it remains useful in making direct comparisons between EVs.

In the case of Ford, it shows just how close the Lightning is to Rivian’s R1T pickup in terms of efficiency. The overall range is also fairly close, at least until the R1T Max (400 plus miles alleged) arrives. Though it should be said that the Rivian is a slightly smaller vehicle than Ford’s Lightning, likely resulting in a lighter product in most formats.

Pricing is also extremely close. While Blue Oval’s leaked stickers show the MSRP after EV tax credits have been accounted for, the pre-credit price for an extended range Lightning XLT is $74,169. That’s only a few grand shy of the standard R1T. However, Rivian doesn’t yet offer a low-range model and has fewer choices for people seeking a more bare-bones EV. That also means Ford’s 230-mile pickup will remain a relative bargain until a valid competitor emerges. But Rivian is working on it, saying that it’s anticipating 260 miles between charges on the smaller battery packs.

Ford

[Images: Ford]

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39 Comments on “Ford Lighting EPA-Estimated Range Confirmed...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “those estimates will come down further once payloads come into play.”

    I found that there isn’t a big difference in MPG loaded or empty in my pickup but then again, my pickup is never totally empty. Trailering would be a different story.
    I’ve gone on several long trips with the family on board and a light load in the box and averaged around 11.5 litres/100 km.(20.5 US mpg)That was using some hypermiling techniques. This weekend I took a backcountry route and using hypermiling techniques averaged 12.3 litres/100 km (19.1 Us MPG) over 300 km. (2010 F150 Supercrew 4×4 6.5 box 5.4 V8 3.55 gears)

    The 320 mile range (520 km) is okay. That would give me around 250 km radius from my home town. My current bike is good for 120 km radius which gets me into some remote spots.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “That would give me around 250 km radius from my home town.”

      Beware such calculations. Those numbers are typically based upon a new battery, one occupant, no payload, temperate weather, no speeding, no hills, and 100-0% battery depletion. That last 5% of battery is nail-biting.

      However, I remember Ford saying its nominal range numbers included a 1000-lb payload. If true, customers may be pleasantly surprised by its range in lighter-duty cases.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @SCE to AUX – I’d have to own one to experiment with the range before getting to its limits. My Dual sport bike has a 240 km range. I’ve run out of fuel 100 feet from a gas station. Last summer I limped into a gas station with 200 ml remaining in my 15 litre tank. That’s after 4 years of ownership so I have a decent handle on how terrain and weather affect it’s range.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The payload and towing sensors available on the Lightning will really improve range expectations when these trucks are pressed into service, since they will recalculate estimated range based upon the load.

    I wouldn’t get the smaller battery unless you planned to use the Lightning only for soft duty.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    320 miles sounds pretty darn good, but it won’t be long before the Anti-EV Two Minutes’ Hate begins.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      What about that 500 mile trip pulling 10,000 pounds in -40 ? LOL

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “What about that 500 mile trip pulling 10,000 pounds in -40 ? LOL”

        Lou it’s a 800 mile round trip to pull my tandem axle enclosed snowmobile trailer up to the UP of MI and back to Minneapolis. Took that trip just a few weeks ago. Loaded there probably isn’t even 3000 lbs. back there, but the weight isn’t the issue. It’s pushing all that air out of the way @ 70MPH. No problem for my 15 year old Chevy ‘Hoe w/190K miles, but try that with an any electric PU currently on the market. FYI no place to charge once I arrived at my destination. Love my Volt for commuting, didn’t burn a drop gas all day & won’t all week, but when it comes to my trucks I’ll stick w/ICE and wait for the battery technology to get better. It just isn’t there yet sorry to say.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Carlson Fan – I agree that current EV tech isn’t up to long hauls. For most people this truck would do the job.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Seriously, for commuting and picking up stuff from Home Depot or Best Buy (the typical “hauling” duty a pickup sees), this would be absolutely fine. And owners are going to love the acceleration and ability to fill up every night at home. What the “but, but, but…range” folks don’t get is that the 200-300 mile range is the daily range that the vehicle gets. Every. Single. Day. That would certainly meet the needs of people who commute or use their trucks for light duty.

            People who need more daily range than that, or those who want to do serious towing, are going to going to buy a conventionally powered truck, and those aren’t going away anytime soon.

            I predict this truck is going to be a good sized hit for Ford. Let it be written.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        Lou, not sure why your fixated on that particular example. And I already showed you that’s doable. But how about something less extreme? About 4 times a year I spend a long weekend camping with friends in the Thousand Islands region of NY. Beautiful place btw. It’s exactly 270 miles from my house to camp. Once there I have access to a 30 amp 110 V plug. With my trailer loaded with camping gear for the weekend it weighs less than 5000 lbs. But it is still 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide, almost two feet shorter than traditional rv trailers. I drive up after work Friday and break camp Sunday or Monday. With the lightning I would almost certainly not have enough range to make the trip without a recharging stop. Pulling that trailer maybe even two stops each way. That’s a lot of my fun time wasted. Make that a 350 to 500 mile trip one way and the lightning is a real handicap. Wouldn’t you hesitate to buy a vehicle designed for towing that had less around 150 miles range?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @kcflyer – I wasn’t the first one to bring up that fictitious scenario but it’s a recurring theme with EV’s.

          One could still buy an EV truck and rent something for that one weekend per year where an EV is outside its range.

          I’ve been places where fuel range has been an issue even with ICE vehicles. Plan accordingly.

          No one is forcing anyone to buy a Lightning. If it doesn’t meet one’s needs then one doesn’t buy it. I’d consider a diesel Colorado or diesel Chevy 1500 before a Lightning.

          • 0 avatar
            kcflyer

            Lou I agree with all of that except you can easily bring along more gas in an ICE truck if heading to a remote area. But you kind of made my point when you said you could rent a truck to replace your truck. That’s not a line I expect will be in Ford’s ad campaign for the Lightning. A vehicle that I think is pretty awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      SnarkIsMyDefault

      “but it won’t be long before the Anti-EV Two Minutes’ Hate begins.”

      Strange way to type “reality check” and show a closed mind. Your “electric” vehicle is actually a “battery” vehicle and every complaint is about the real limitations of batteries. Good as they have become once they have discharged it’s game over man! Even forgetting the long recharge times they just can’t do deep-cycle use without tearing up the batteries and rapidly shortening their lives. Oddly, capacitor’s should be able to handle it if any had the power density.

      “Hate” just seems to be a new magic word used to dismiss people and arguments rather than listening and learning. This will not end well.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Electric vehicle battery degradation. Food for thought.
    https://www.geotab.com/blog/ev-battery-health/

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    …unless you’re towing a Jet Ski, at which point the ranges go down to 75/90.

    If that Jet Ski has a full tank of gas, 70/85.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    You can bet that a whole lot of real-world usage data went into the decision to size the 230-mile battery pack where Ford did. It’s the amount of range that will meet the needs of day-use fleet customers in almost all cases, including those who don’t go so far but who do carry heavy equipment or tow.

    By contrast I expect the 320/300-mile pack was just “the biggest we can get into the space.”

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Um isn’t that second pic of the Rivian truck… shouldn’t it be the F-150?

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    75 large for a pickup truck seems pretty steep. Isn’t this like 2X the cost of the ICE version, assuming the ICE versions carry discounts, which I doubt would apply to the electric one?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The average pickup sells for $56k these days:

      https://www.greencarcongress.com/2021/06/20210625-kbb.html

      With the Federal subsidy, the Lightning XLT would be in the high 60s, on par with what many buyers are paying for pickups.

      I’d argue the top-trim Lightning is just that – not intended for the bottom-feeders shopping for $30k trucks with steelies and crank windows.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        This guy says he drives an X7, so his concept of “comically overpriced” seems selective.

        And who’s getting discounts on F150s these days? Ford employees, maybe…everyone else is getting gouged.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Car and Driver’s Rivian was rated for 314 miles and actually ran for 220 miles @ 75. Assuming that their truck aerodynamics are as far from the EPA assumptions as Ford’s are, the “230 mile” Ford actually good for about 160. And that 160 is side of the road dead. And that’s brand new with no battery degradation. Real world, reserve to get home, is going to be like 125 miles on a good day. 100 a couple of years after that. Minus even more for payload that sticks up out of the bed. Double digits towing anything.

    Nope. Not there yet.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s so stupid. For the price of the Panoramic Roof and Heated Shifter, you can accessorize it with a 2007 F-250 or keep whatever you currently own on the side. Literally. Or maybe you’re not a true baller?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @DenverMike – that makes sense. Buy a lower trim Lightning for the 90% of regular truck duties and buy a used F250/350 in decent shape for that occasion heavy haul. Even a max payload F150 would suffice for most people. Current fuel prices will drive down the sale price of used large gas V8 pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Some of the prices on older full size pickups have come down. I have seen some pristine extended cab and crew cab trucks for a couple of thousand dollars even with higher mileage they can still be used for the occasional towing and hauling. If you don’t drive them all the time and they are mechanically sound with a good body they can be a good value. Anything that is a couple of years old is still going for as much as a new truck.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That’s true for any new car purchase. The mfrs aren’t obliged to provide buying counsel.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I wonder what percentage of the overall empty weight of the truck is constituted by the battery? Is it 20%? There’s an upper theoretical limit since the vehicle itself needs to get larger to carry the larger battery. Could a battery effectively be 50% of the overall weight of a vehicle? If the battery could serve two functions, such as being a true structural element, it would make the whole vehicle more efficient. Such as a motorcycle (or a tractor) where the engine and transmission housings are stressed, structural elements. Batteries have very little structural integrity but they need to be housed in a casing, so that casing might as well be part of the vehicle structure – but of course then the entire chassis would be disposable. Like a laptop where the battery is glued in place and acts to support the structure, making it all thinner, lighter and more rigid. EV as giant, disposable cell phone. This might actually be practical because if the battery can be expected to last as long as the useful life of the rest of the vehicle it might as well be a non-serviceable component. Everything else is disposable, why not?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No, no, yes and maybe. Either way, the aftermarket already has this sh!t figured out, they always do, even if automakers prefer “disposable”, obsolescence, etc.

      Screw them, except the aftermarket focuses on the most popular vehicles, just something to remember.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Tesla’s battery packs are structural, but can be replaced. I think Ford took the same approach.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @SCE_AUX: The structural packs will have 4680 cells that have more silicon in the cathodes, so might have long enough life to not be an issue. We’ll see.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Replacing packs seems to be an internet concern for the mythical 20-year owner of a vehicle, but in real life very few packs are replaced because:

          – degradation isn’t terrible (usually), or
          – people live with the degraded range due to cost, or
          – damaged packs must be replaced, and that’s rare.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @SCE to AUX – people are concerned about replacing battery packs but what about the maintenance costs of a typical ICE vehicle? How many 20 year old gasoline engines out their that are at the end of their lifespans?
            Another point is that unless you properly maintain your ICE vehicle, one can suffer mpg degradation due to worn parts and poorly tuned components.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      Lou,
      I would say the vast majority of cars go to the scrap yard before they hit 20 years of age, that’s just being realistic. I have a 19 year old Honda that I never expected to keep this long, but it still runs just fine and I’ll probably keep it until it needs a major repair and that will be the end. If an EV battery costs between $10k and $20k to replace, few will replace when a car is old enough to need one. And that affects a cars residual value. If a battery is expected to last 200k miles and you see an EV for sale with 170k on the odometer, that tells me exactly how much it’s worth.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Imagefont – same can be said for ICE vehicles. An ICE vehicle with a known lifespan will have a poor residual value. It’s more of a crap shoot with ICE. EV’S are more consistent with degradation.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I think the best auto manufacturer business decision in the last few decades was Ford building the first half ton crew cab pickup. It launched a sea change that eliminated most large sedans and wagons. It also became a cash cow. Any one car family could buy a cc half ton and have one vehicle that met all their needs and wants unless they needed to tow or haul very heave loads. The only difference with the lightning is that long trips towing are out. I think it will sell well but for all those families with trailers that get pulled a few times a year more than 300 miles a day this truck won’t work. Otherwise it hits the sweet spot with utility, style, practicality.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I have to agree. A pickup EV in many respects makes more sense than an econobox sized EV. Most people are accustomed to paying more for a pickup. Most pickups as you have pointed out have replaced large cars and wagons.The Lightning will be great for that market.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I have to agree. A pickup EV in many respects makes more sense than an econobox sized EV. Most people are accustomed to paying more for a pickup. Most pickups as you have pointed out have replaced large cars and wagons.The Lightning will be great for that market.

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