Ford Lighting EPA-Estimated Range Confirmed

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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ford lighting epa estimated range confirmed

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.

[Images: Ford]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • Imagefont Imagefont on Mar 22, 2022

    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?

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Mar 22, 2022

      @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.

  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Mar 22, 2022

    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.

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Mar 22, 2022

      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.

  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.