By on May 11, 2022

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The words ‘all-new’ and ‘seismic shift’ are too frequently hurled around by those who peck their way around a keyboard between visits to shrimp-laden buffet tables. Still, when the country’s best-selling vehicle – the image of which is so closely tied to America that it might as well have a baseball hat and an apple pie in its glovebox – is fitted with an entirely new method of powering its way down the freeway and around job sites, even the j-j-jaded TTAC team will sit up and take interest.

Compared to other efforts in the electric pickup truck space, such as ridiculously angular examples loudly and annoyingly defended by fanbois jihads groups of rabid admirers, the Ford F-150 Lightning actually exists in vast numbers and is actively being cranked out of a factory near Detroit. There’s no shortage of vaporware in the EV truck segment, with numerous Barnum-like companies making grandiose promises amounting to naught, taking the hopes and cash of others down along with them.

With the F-150 Lightning, Ford is definitely *not* peddling vaporware. It’s here, it’s real, and we drove several examples last week in – where else? – Texas.

Toiling at this outlet for over a decade has provided several lessons, not the least of which is the knowledge you lot in the B&B prefer base trims to the options-laden examples which are usually on offer at drive events. To be blunt, your authors here generally agree. That’s why we jockeyed to snag the keys to a Pro trim truck, a model with vinyl seats and a rubber floor which represents the least expensive end of Ford’s snazzy new all-electric pickup truck.

(Full disclosure: Ford paid for flights, food, and housing in San Antonio, Texas, so that we could drive the new Lightning.)

It’s the trim bearing the much-touted sticker price of $39,974. Despite its lot in life as an entry-level rung on the totem pole, it packs permanent four-wheel drive thanks to dual inboard electric motors, a whopping 775 lb-ft of torque, and 230 miles of range from its 98 kWh battery pack. The slick and useful frunk – providing 14 cubic feet of weather-protected cargo space and a quartet of 120V outlets ready to charge yer DeWalt drill batteries or Igloo cooler – is part of the deal, as are Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of active driver aids and luxuries like dual-zone climate control. In fact, it’s even equipped with an infotainment screen robbed from the most-expensive gas-powered F-150 pickup. While the urethane wheel and undamped tailgate are ready for work, they’re accompanied by a lot of the tech many drivers like – even if they won’t admit it to their hardhat buddies. Lightning’s cabin is like any other F-150, which is a good thing.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum

For a further 10 grand, fleet customers can step up to a Pro with the 131kWh extended range battery or all hands can opt for that powertrain in an XLT, Lariat, or Platinum. This brings 580 all-electric horses to the stable, an equal amount of torque as standard range trucks, and a driving range of 320 miles (save for Platinum whose 22-inch rimz shave range to 300 miles). It’s that power team we wheeled in the Lone Star state over a mix of congested traffic, country roads, and steady-state highway driving. EVs perform most poorly in the latter since there are few energy regeneration opportunities, which is the inverse of gasoline-powered trucks who generally get their best economy on the highway. We averaged an energy consumption of 2.0mi/kWh over 105 miles, spiking to an average of 2.8 during a stretch of heavy traffic in which the truck aggressively regenerated power through one-pedal driving. To reach the advertised 320-mile range rating, one would have to hit an average of 2.44; improbable but not impossible. Assuming an electric economy of 2.0mi/kWh, the extended range battery pack would be exhausted in 262 miles.

Anyone who’s driven an empty pickup truck will know the light feeling in its aft section thanks to a cargo box generally filled with air. The Lightning solves that problem with its liquid-cooled battery pack, a candy-bar-shaped unit that Ford engineers told us weighs about 1,600 lbs and spans the truck between its front and rear tires. The truck feels planted, thanks to a center of gravity several inches lower and a few inches rearward compared to an EcoBoost F-150. Lightning’s powertrain silence is a trip, permitting one to hear rain splash against the rocker panels and every single highway expansion joint. Steering is quick, almost too quick for a truck, but is tempered in trailering mode which we’ll talk about in a moment. So-called ‘one-pedal driving’ helps regenerate precious energy but takes acclimation if one is used to letting their truck coast to a stop.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

For stats nerds, know the Lightning has about half an inch less ground clearance than most trims of a gasoline-powered SuperCrew 4×4, the closest allegory since that is the sole cab configuration in which the Lightning is (presently) offered. Cab height, width, track – all are within a hair when comparing the electric truck to its petrol brothers. Even its off-road measures of approach and departure angles are within a pencil’s width of each other, though breakover suffers by 1.2 degrees thanks to that half-inch difference in ground clearance.

Speaking of, Ford didn’t shy away from allowing us to put the Lightning in tough off-road spots. A muddy water crossing led into a field of jagged rocks, all of which quickly became slicker than snot on a doorknob after a dozen or so trucks passed through the area. Silent off-roading is alien, permitting the driver to hear every pebble and squeak of tire. Finessing the truck’s power took more throttle control than usual thanks to the power delivery nature of an electric vehicle but the Lightning handled the course well with its weak spot being the pavement-focused rubber. Slapping a set of meaty KO2s on each corner would solve this problem at the expense of range.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Which neatly brings us to the question everyone wants answered: How is range affected by truck-like tasks such as heavy payload and towing? We first sampled a Pro with 20 sheets of ¾-inch plywood in its bed, a weight Ford claimed to be roughly 1,500 pounds. This jives with your author’s estimate that each 4×8 sheet of the stuff weighs about 70 lbs; also, at today’s prices, it is not disingenuous to suggest they collectively cost more than your author’s first car. Our second weight test was a boxy horse trailer laden with 5,000 pounds. Both trucks had the extended range powertrain.

Recall our unladen energy consumption from earlier – 2.0mi/kWh spiking to 2.8 in heavy traffic. The payload test saw that number drop to a consistent 1.5 mile per kWh, though it was possible to get it under 1.0 while driving like a fool. The even weight distribution we enjoyed during our unladen drive was altered by this payload, putting a lot of mass on the truck’s rear. In fact, it was easy to light up the front tires while accelerating very hard in this scenario – not that you should with 1,500lbs of plywood in the box.

Trailering with a Platinum trim was a similar story though weight distribution was less of an issue – and if you know anything about trailering, you understand why. A 5,000 lb trailer (half this truck’s max) will have about 500 pounds of tongue weight pressing down on the truck’s hindquarters, one-third of what was loaded aboard our payload tester. This solved the lighter-than-air front-end feeling exhibited in the plywood-laden truck. Acceleration was brisk given the right now availability of diesel-like torque numbers, though the truck’s silent powertrain exacerbated every single squeak and rattle which perpetually emanates from tow behinds. If you think yer metal boat trailer is annoying now, wait until you hitch it to a Lightning. Energy consumption dropped to an indicated average of 1.3 mile per kWh thanks to the trailer’s mass and boxy shape.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Put in traditional terms, that means a battery-powered Lightning will get roughly between half and two-thirds of its unladen economy when towing or hauling. Surprisingly, this is decently on par with the losses one experiences with a comparable gasoline-powered EcoBoost; personal experience has proven I can eke out 10 mpg when towing with a 3.5L-equipped F-150 compared to its unladen performance of about 20 mpg combined. The biggest difference, of course, is one is starting from a smaller range with the Lightning than with an EcoBoost; two-thirds of 320 miles is a lot less than two-thirds of 520 miles. One thought: Adding weight in the form of a payload or a trailer permits aggressive energy regeneration during downhill stretches, something a gasoline-powered sample cannot accomplish.

As for price, an equivalently optioned PowerBoost (the closest parallel in terms of power) is about $12,000 less expensive before taxes and a maze of rebates than a comparably equipped extended-range Lightning.

There’s plenty more to cover, including Lightning’s trick ability to power one’s home to the tune of 9.4kW and a set of slick onboard weigh scales, but we’ll detail that in a separate post so as not to subject readers to a 3,000-word tome. Look for that tomorrow as we spread out coverage. Our driving impressions and real-world range estimates while using the thing like a real truck suggest the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a sledgehammer to the face of companies peddling electric vaporware.

[Images © 2022 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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84 Comments on “2022 Ford F-150 Lightning First Drive – Ready for Duty...”


  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I hope they sell alot, but I have a feeling the 40k base model will be sparsely available given the margin on a loaded XLT.Most people who actually do trucky things with full size trucks won’t bite.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      This is a modified F-150 platform where GM Silverado EV BT1 is a EV from ground up next year.

      Wait for Ford 2025 redesign.

      The Ford F-150 Lightning is already being promised a redesign for the 2025 model year. Reuters mentioned this when discussing Ford’s production plans for the Lightning.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. The “home generator” ability wasn’t brought up in this review but in others I read today it seems like this feature requires quite a few additional (and pricey) things to get operational.

    2. They should have offered a max tow test in addition to the 5000lbs one.

    3. I’m not sure how they did an IRS and 2300lbs max payload. The Tundra and RAM use coils/link (still with a solid axle) and suffer lower max ratings and more squat compared to leaf spring trucks. Air/electric load leveling can help with squat but that won’t increase max weight.

    4. This is 1000 times better than the Mach-E.

    5. The pricing is weird. The Pro trim is an incredible screaming deal but an extended battery XLT is $76k. I know trucks are expensive but an ICE XLT isn’t $75K.

    6. Will they actually build a Pro trim for someone that isn’t a fleet/government buyer?

    7. The charging speeds are kind of weak.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      3. The GVWR of the Lightning is 8250 lb, the Suburban with IRS is up to 7700 so it isn’t that far out of line. Maybe the way the battery weight is distributed can help?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Max payload on the Suburban is still 30% less than max on the Lightning. The Ram and Tundra crew cab 4WD max around 1800. So it’s basically a passenger load worth of difference.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          No doubt the standard-battery ups payload. Also the extended range battery isn’t an option on the base truck except for fleet/gov buyers.

          I managed to (backup generator) power my house/breaker-box for near zero dollars.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Search “backfeed panel box” if you’re interested. It’s good to know how, either way. You can spend $300 and do it like a Pro, or spend a bit more for true electrical contractor and whatnot.

            I just wired my generator to like you would an RV hookup. It’s the same difference, only backwards.

    • 0 avatar

      There isn’t really payload limit to IRS. The Hummer H1 was IRS and it had a 10k lbs GVWR. Also Meritor makes a IRS that’s good to over 25K lbs. I seem to recall one of the European makers (DAF) used IRS on heavy commercial trucks years ago. SOme fire trucks are IRS as well. I think it’s more a cost to payload (and unloaded ride) that kept them from happening before.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “I think it’s more a cost to payload (and unloaded ride) that kept them from happening before.”

        I’m not sure what you mean by this but at least with consumer-segment ICE trucks, it seems like there has to be some practical advantage to leafs and a live axle. Why does a Ram 2500 use coils but a Ram 3500 uses leaf springs? And the Ram 2500 has a lower payload than a Silverado 2500 or F-250. Why would a Tundra or RAM 1500 have lower numbers and more squat compared to a Silverado or F-150 if Toyota and Stellantis could help it?

        If the answer is you can reasonably do IRS with no tradeoff penalty among ride, handling or payload then why hasn’t it happened? It seems like the Lightning setup would be advantageous across the entire F-150 line.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Probably “longevity” mostly. There’s many soft bushings involved plus alignment. Also less than optimal tire wear. Of course less than optimal tire contact, negatively affecting grip/traction, handling and braking.

          Are you sure you want it?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Are you sure you want it?”

            Not sure which is better for utility applications because I’m getting heavily conflicting information.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            They have opposing pros/cons so it depends on your specific uses. Stick axles front/rear and (custom) air suspension is as good as it got, at least for my purposes/intents.

            The (rear) “sticks” want to pitch sideways over frost heaves and pot holes, but it’s more of a uneasy and momentary feeling (of loss of control), than actual danger.

  • avatar
    Dan

    “We averaged an energy consumption of 2.0kWh/mi over 105 miles, spiking to an average of 2.8 during a stretch of heavy traffic in which the truck aggressively regenerated power through one-pedal driving. To reach the advertised 320-mile range rating, one would have to hit an average of 2.44; improbable but not impossible. Assuming an electric economy of 2.0kWh/mi, the extended range battery pack would be exhausted in 262 miles.”

    I think you need to go to math class again.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ Recall our unladen energy consumption from earlier – 2.0kWh/mi spiking to 2.8 in heavy traffic. The payload test saw that number drop to a consistent 1.5kWh per mile, though it was possible to get it under 1.0 while driving like a fool.”

      This doesn’t make sense either. The “truck” used far less electricity when loaded and driving like a fool than unloaded. Interesting.

      And no reporting of range numbers when towing. Are they that bad?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      He flipped the units. Instead of kWh/mi, he meant to say mi/kWh.

      This is why the math makes no sense.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        So with a 1,500 payload the truck uses 25% more electricity.

        Think about that and the effect it has on range.

        Now imagine towing a 3k pound boat or maxing it out at 10k pounds.

        This truck is such a half baked effort it’s astounding.

        • 0 avatar
          ilkhan

          Have you never driven a truck before? Put 1500lbs in the bed of a truck and you are going to use more gas. Its less noticeable because the gas vehicle starts with more energy in the tank, but the extra usage is still there. This is plenty of trucks for 90% of F-150 buyers. For the rest (due to desire or usage), Ford will still sell ICE F-150s and ICE super duties for a long time.

          I want an electric Explorer and a 6.7L or 7.3L super-duty, myself. Best of both worlds.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ Have you never driven a truck before? Put 1500lbs in the bed of a truck and you are going to use more gas.”

            Where did I indicate that more weight doesn’t have an impact on fuel consumption?

            The issue here is that with a relatively small payload, the non-lightening loses a staggering 25% of its efficiency

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Fifteen hundred pounds is 25% of the truck’s curb weight. That’s like putting about 800-900 pounds of stuff in my Jetta. Why would it not be unreasonable to expect that to shoot my car’s mileage all to hell in city driving?

            But again…if you’re concerned about the impact of loads on the F150 Lightning’s efficiency, then don’t buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You’re going to lose 25% of your city gas mileage if you put 1500 lbs in the back of your gas F-150 too, especially if you “drive like an idiot.”

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ You’re going to lose 25% of your city gas mileage if you put 1500 lbs in the back of your gas F-150 too, especially if you “drive like an idiot.”

            No. Not even close. I honestly don’t know where you and freedmike come up with some of this nonsense.

            I lose about 25% in fuel economy when towing a 4,000 pound boat (18mpg to 13mpg).

            Losing that same amount while hauling only 1500 pounds is ridiculous. Proof this isn’t really truck but more of a toy for rich people.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Proof this isn’t really truck but more of a toy for rich people.”

            What, rich folks aren’t entitled to the toys they want? Is that you, AOC?

            Why don’t you let the rich folks who want to buy this as a toy have their toy, and buy something else for yourself?

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ What, rich folks aren’t entitled to the toys they want? Is that you, AOC?”

            Where did I say that they aren’t entitled to they toys they want?

            I love how you put fourth these straw man arguments to try and reframe what I’m saying. It’s pathetic yet very predictable.

            Be better.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It would be about as smart as I expect from you to tow your boat around block-by-block in the city.

            Or, more likely, you’re so determined to hate EVs that you willfully conflate city and highway economy.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ It would be about as smart as I expect from you to tow your boat around block-by-block in the city.”

            Where did I say I tow my boat around the city block by block?

            If you could just show me the quote that would be great.

    • 0 avatar
      Matthew Guy

      Units were backwards / backwards were units. Corrected now to Miles per kWh. Thanks for reading.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        That’s because the Canuckians ask: How many liters to do a kilometer, for some weird reason, then move the decimal-point two spots to the right. That makes perfect sense!

        What was so wrong with Kilometers per Liter (KPL)? Not complicated enough?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Brilliant vehicle. Now for the big question: how many ways will Ford find to f**k this product launch up?

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Ford will suddenly discover the chip shortage again, delaying certain builds and annoying everyone. Then Ford’s dealers will begin the surprise markups on unsuspecting customers.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’m thinking the usual Ford f**kups, ala junk Explorers that had to be built and then rebuilt.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        It’s already happening. There are reports that these toy trucks are piling up at the Dearborn test track waiting chips. Because Ford would rather dump 1200 chips into this amazingly incapable truck vs 200 into a normal F150 that people actually want.

        https://www.autoevolution.com/news/dozens-of-ford-f-150-lightning-pile-up-at-dearborn-test-track-the-problem-is-too-familiar-188451.html

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          “Because Ford would rather dump 1200 chips into this amazingly incapable truck vs 200 into a normal F150 that people actually want.”

          I think your numbers are exaggerated, but Ford isn’t going to prioritize the Lightning over ICE F-150s. They’ll never let the ICE version sit unfinished, even if they halt production of every other vehicle.

          The Lightning Pro is certainly a money loser, and – like the popular Maverick – isn’t going to be as profitable as the ICE F-150. So I expect very tight supplies of the Lightning Pro and Maverick because Ford doesn’t want to stop the gravy train.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ I think your numbers are exaggerated, but Ford isn’t going to prioritize the Lightning over ICE F-150s.”

            Not at all. Although I was wrong. The F150 Mach E has 1,700 chips in it, not 1,200

            http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=81383

            Go to the 1:10 mark.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ Brilliant vehicle.”

      How is a “truck” that requires 25% more electricity to move 1,500 pounds “brilliant”? Imagine an ICE truck that averages 20mpg unloaded getting 15mpg while carrying 1500 pounds?

      “Now for the big question: how many ways will Ford find to f**k this product launch up?

      Yes.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        If you put 1,500 pounds of stuff in any vehicle, it’s going to take more fuel to move it.

        I don’t get this jihad you’re on against EVs. Did the guy who used to taunt you in middle school show up to your reunion in a Tesla or something?

        If you don’t like EVs, don’t buy them. Whether they make sense for other people is their business, not yours.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “ If you put 1,500 pounds of stuff in any vehicle, it’s going to take more fuel to move it.”

          Where did anyone indicate otherwise?

          “I don’t get this jihad you’re on against EVs.”

          We know. Reasonable skepticism and asking reasonable questions is something you struggle with. You can’t comprehend it so you lash out and characterize it as a “jihad”

          SEC: “ but Ford isn’t going to prioritize the Lightning over ICE F-150s. They’ll never let the ICE version sit unfinished, even if they halt production of every other vehicle.”

          Wrong again:

          “ This somehow contradicts Ford’s claims that the F-150 Lightning is its top priority at the moment. Talking to Automotive News just a day ago, Darren Palmer, Ford’s vice president of electric vehicle programs, said that the Lightning would get preferential treatment to avoid the chip problems. “The truck’s the highest priority, but the electric truck will be higher,” said Palmer. ”

          https://www.autoevolution.com/news/dozens-of-ford-f-150-lightning-pile-up-at-dearborn-test-track-the-problem-is-too-familiar-188451.html

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @EB:

            We have our disagreements, but if Ford actually prioritizes the Lightning over the F-150 ICE then I say they’re crazy.

            Even Tesla doesn’t prioritize its lower-margin vehicles, as their configurator delivery dates clearly show.

            And the Lightning Pro is certainly a money-loser. Maybe the high trim Lightning will be profitable, but it can’t beat the well-honed F-150 money printer.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “@EB:

            We have our disagreements, but if Ford actually prioritizes the Lightning over the F-150 ICE then I say they’re crazy.”

            I mean that came right from Ford. The vice-president of electric vehicle programs.

            Granted this is the same Ford that said early on that the F-150 Mach E range numbers were with 1,000 pounds of payload onboard and that was flat out untrue.

            But with the sales performance of other vehicle lines, it’s clear Ford is diverting chips to the F-150 Mach E from other products like Explorer and the Escape pickup.

            Ford would sell the Escape pickup at a 10:1 ratio (yes that’s a guess) to the F-150 mach e if Ford would just produce them. But they refuse to because the Escape pickup has very low margins and it’s not their “headline generating” product at the moment.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    “It’s the trim bearing the much-touted sticker price of $39,974.”

    I went to the Ford website and built the most basic F150 Crew Cab 4×4 possible, and that comes with the non-turbo 3.3L. It’s close to $45,000.

    Now maybe that’s an apples-to-apples comparison, or maybe it’s apples-to-coffeepots. But if I owned a business that had a fleet of around-town trucks that returned to home base every night, the Lightning seems like a no-brainer.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      I think the $40k F150 will be like the $35k Model 3 – impossible to buy.

    • 0 avatar
      psychoboy

      I run wholesale parts delivery, and I could certainly see the benefits of this. Tho, I’d prefer a long bed regular cab variant.

      But honestly, put this platform under a Transit shell, and it’s the perfect in-town runabout.

      Of course, getting my bosses to drop the coin on brand new delivery trucks is … unlikely, so I’ll keep suffering along with my auction-sourced battered Silverados.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I hate to be pessimistic but: 230 mile range with 98kWh standard battery. That’s under ideal conditions and I assume real world and typical range will be more like 200 miles? Leaving yourself a little margin you’re not going to stretch things beyond 170-180 miles at the most? Getting stranded in an EV is no joke – can’t just put in a gallon of gas and drive to a station. Now you’re going to tow a boxy 5000 lbs trailer and you economy goes to 1.3kWh/mile. 1.3 x 98 = 127 mile from fully charged to battery exhaustion, so 100 miles to leave yourself adequate margin so you’re not stranded.
    I would never buy something like that, makes no sense.
    EV’s unfortunately need more range than ICE vehicles to make up for the “refueling” shortcomings – charge time and charger availability (or lack there of). It needs a 500 mile range and that’s just not practical with the batteries we have today. Use cases will remain limited and specialized. This is a truck toy for rich people who don’t actually need it, and that’s a shame.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I would say that if you need to tow then the Lightning is not the correct truck. But for people who drive to the job site and park, it’s perfect, especially when you have some onboard power to use while working. This will also work for all the gentlemen truck owners who don’t really need a truck.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Towing doesn’t make much sense with this vehicle, but lets face it for personal use (IE: not for work) most full-size truck owners don’t tow. My weekend towing requirements are about 250 miles of range but I only need to move 2,500lbs. I guess its possible that local boat ramps will offer charging options but currently (no pun intended) that isn’t happening.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Imagine building a truck for the masses that isn’t good at towing. Imagine a $90k F150 Mach E being a worse tow vehicle than a $25K Escape pickup.

        This “truck” is laughably bad.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          Once again, EBFlex thinks that just because it doesn’t work for him, it won’t work for anyone else, or that it has to work for all four million or whatever it is pickup buyers every year in the US…

          I put 18,000 miles on my newer full size crew cab pickup over the last six months, more than two thirds of those with the 6.5 foot bed actually full, and zero of those miles with a trailer of any kind. I have zero need or desire to tow anything any kind of distance but have lots of need for a large truck that can haul stuff to and fro which I do not want inside an enclosed space such as a van.

          I can’t say I’m a huge fan of of the Lightning for various reasons having nothing to do with it being an EV, but from what I see around here the vast (80-90%?) majority of light duty half-ton owners either never or very rarely tow anything. People serious about or who do a lot of towing just get 3/4-tons, the price difference is negligible. With the self-imposed build quantity limitations that Ford has imposed on itself, towing ability or lack thereof isn’t going to make any difference whatsoever to the success of this first generation Lightning.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “Once again, EBFlex thinks that just because it doesn’t work for him, it won’t work for anyone else,”

            Couldn’t be more wrong but please go on.

            “People serious about or who do a lot of towing just get 3/4-tons, the price difference is negligible.”

            Why does someone need a 3/4 ton to tow 3,000-4,000 pound boat or trailer?

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            They don’t “need” a half ton for those little 3-4k weights either, any number of midsize pickups or SUVs would tow that easily. According to Ford, even some Mavericks will do that.

      • 0 avatar
        psychoboy

        legit question:

        What does backing a battery pack and axle motors into a lake look like? Depending on the boat/trailer and the ramp angle, I’ve seen some trucks get awfully far into the water before the boat floated.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, since the vehicle is designed to be used in wet conditions, I’m pretty sure all that stuff is watertight.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “ What does backing a battery pack and axle motors into a lake look like? Depending on the boat/trailer and the ramp angle, I’ve seen some trucks get awfully far into the water before the boat floated.”

          That’s a good question. Being splashed with water because of rain and being submerged are two very different things. Wouldn’t surprise me if Ford went cheap on little stuff like that to meet their fairy tale price point. They couldn’t even figure out how to make a roof that works. The odds this fake truck isn’t riddled with problems are virtually 0.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Silverado EV is claiming to offer a 400-mile range but no one knows the price of that spec.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Towing is the reason I went ICE instead of EV for my recent purchase.

      We tow enough that I wanted to retain the 3500-lb capability of my old Sedona, not be stopping every 100 miles to recharge, and not spend $80k. In our case, a Santa Fe fit the bill.

      50% range loss while towing has been known since the 2016 Model X was released, so the Lightning’s performance is not a surprise. EVs tow great, but you need to stay local if you want to stay sane.

    • 0 avatar
      woj1s

      The majority of truck owners only use their trucks for commuting to and from work… alone. And those F-150 drivers that DO tow something, only do it once a year. Americans think they need more than they actually do. A lot of trucks with no hauling/towing. A lot of Wranglers with no rock crawling and only grocery-getting. Yee-Haw

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        How many M4 or GR86 owners use their cars for commuting and maybe go to a track or autocross once a year? How many Avalon owners regularly fill up their trunk and carry a full load of passengers?
        At what point does anything more than a 1st gen Insight deserve a Yee-Haw?

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “And those F-150 drivers that DO tow something, only do it once a year.”

        Citation needed.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        “The majority of truck owners only use their trucks for commuting to and from work… alone. And those F-150 drivers that DO tow something, only do it once a year.“

        The first part is certainly debatable, nobody I know who owns a truck doesn’t occasionally use it for trucky things, including towing. As for the second, if you need it to do something only once a year, and it can’t do it, you bought wrong truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        I have a neighbor who bought his wife a very well optioned Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and in three years I don’t believe it has ever so much as traversed a dirt road. I’m certain they’ve never engaged 4WD, much less low range. But it’s pretty and it’s trendy.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          At my office (about 100 people work there) I’d say over 50% of the men drive trucks. I’ve spoken to many of them and they admit owning one purely due to size/comfort. They want a big, plush, powerful vehicle. This was once your typical land yacht (full size, four door car) but today its a truck.

          The other 25% own some kind of CUV/SUV or Jeep with the remaining 25% having a luxury vehicle like a BMW or a Tesla. There are just 3 or 4 of us with sports cars: someone has a Camaro and I have a Corvette in addition to my weekend tow vehicle: a old Dodge Dakota.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    These curb weights are ridiculous on full size EVs.Like, we don’t have enough pot holes in KC.
    Not to mention the implication when the middle aged prole has a few too many whiskies at the golf club and rear ends some poor schmo in a mazda 2. Good luck.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Looks to me to be the best EV for suburban families currently offered. Room for 5 (6 if front bench is an option) Good utility for around town. As long as you can afford it’s very high price and also afford at least one other vehicle for road trips it looks compelling.

  • avatar
    shane_the_ee

    Bolt owner here. Will truck owners switch might be the wrong question. The real question is given the extra utility, why wouldn’t you buy an electric F150 as a commuter car, instead of a Bolt or a Leaf? At just a few dollars more for a crew cab pickup instead of a compact car, I certainly won’t be buying another Bolt.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      The cost to refuel an EV is certainly more economical than an ICE vehicle, but making economic comparisons requires cherry picking. Much is made about less maintenance for EV’s, but you’re not exactly spending a fortune on oil changes and “tune ups”. EV’s cost more, cost more to ensure, and cost more to repair when they breakdown or are damaged in an accident – leading to those higher insurance rates. Everyone should carefully consider the true, total cost of ownership before opting in. There are a great many variables and the lower equivalent cost of electricity is just one.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Bolt owner here. An F-150 wouldn’t fit in my garage at home; my garage at work; or at least half the parallel parking spots where I can jam the Bolt when I’m running errands in the city.

  • avatar
    Tree Trunk

    Looks like there is a typo with the milage, should be 2mi/kwh under normal conditions and 1mi/kwh towing not 2kwh/m normally and 1kwh/mi while towing.
    At 2mi/kwh it comes to 6 cents per mile 13cent kwh compared to 23 cents per mile for 20mpg and $4.5 gas. For fleet truck driven 100miles a work day that is a saving of $4500 a year.

  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    1,600 lbs of battery in the base, maybe 2,000 or so in the extended? We’re talking nearly the same weight as two Cummins diesels in the RAM HDs.

    It seems to me there’s going to be a real issue coming up with all the materials to make batteries in the quantities required for widespread adoption of EVs.

    Also, how well are the batteries integrated to the structure to not fly out of the vehicle in an accident or will it just break apart? Our son wrecked his Maverick years ago and the battery was almost 150′ down the road. That was a 50 lb battery, not 2,000 lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “how well are the batteries integrated to the structure to not fly out of the vehicle in an accident or will it just break apart”

      I’ll bet the engineers never thought of that. Boy, will they be surprised when they crash test this thing!

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    id love to see video of it doing 1-pedal mode down the cajon pass fully loaded with trailer

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Nice writeup. Nice truck. (I did work truck things with my work truck today and drove a total of 2.5 miles – some of you might want to rethink the ‘500 mile minimum range’ trope. Also, a truck that I can drive inside large buildings occupied by humans? Yes please.)

    Thank you, Ford, for building an EV which does not look like a science fair project.

    “…over a mix of congested traffic, country roads, and steady-state highway driving. EVs perform most poorly in the latter **since there are few energy regeneration opportunities**…”
    That’s not why. (If it is why, Ford has invented a Perpetual Motion Machine.)

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “(I did work truck things with my work truck today and drove a total of 2.5 miles – some of you might want to rethink the ‘500 mile minimum range’ trope. Also, a truck that I can drive inside large buildings occupied by humans? Yes please.)”

      The reason people want a 500-600 mile range is because ther infrastructure to recharge these vanity products is essentially nonexistent. Further, manufactures, for whatever reason (lazy engineering?), limit rapid charging to 80%. Anything over that is essentially a trickle charge. So you can make up of a lack of infrastructure by having a proper range.

      But I do like the argument that bringing up towing and hauling in a truck is unreasonable but hey now we can drive inside a building. That happens far more often than towing or hauling with a truck :)

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Is 600 enough? Don’t you mean 700-800 mile range?

        I know what I want, what I’m willing to pay for, and what will make me money. I’m not looking for your approval.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “Is 600 enough? Don’t you mean 700-800 mile range?”

          Double what’s currently offered would be ideal. But as long as the infrastructure remains virtually non existent, you really can’t have too much range. But the 230/300 that the non lightning offers is pathetic and far too low.

          “I know what I want, what I’m willing to pay for, and what will make me money. I’m not looking for your approval.”

          Relax…

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            “you really can’t have too much range”
            For a BEV, this is equivalent to saying “I will pay for any amount of batteries and haul them around constantly.” For me, this is not true.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “some of you might want to rethink the ‘500 mile minimum range’ trope.”

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2021/10/2022-ford-maverick-hybrid-mpg-confirmed/#comment-10060234

      ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        @ajla, well played.

        Gasoline has incredible energy density, and adding additional range for gasoline vehicles is simple and straightforward and more OEMs should do it (in my opinion).

        Balancing range vs. cost for a BEV is a different exercise.

        For me, my truck sticks relatively close to home, and my cars (in non-pandemic years) go vast distances (ideally). So yes I would like more range in my ICE vehicles and the option to purchase less battery for my work truck.

        And one day when my long-distance vehicle is an EV, I would like good-but-not-amazing range. (But that day is a long way off.)

  • avatar
    kosmo

    5.5 foot bed only? If I’ve got that right, not a real truck.

    Hope I’m wrong…..

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You have to consider the ease of parking, whipping it around, street, off road, mall, whatever, and still have a crew cab.

      It’s not far off. The 6.5 ft bed is the Goldilocks, at least for my misadventures. So is the 145 inch wheelbase.

      A Crew cab and 5.5 ft bed or Extended cab with 6.5, it’s still a linear 9 ft of cargo including the “enclosed” section.

      12 ft (length) material is where a 5.5 will slow you down, but it’s still doable, and ideally you want to avoid grabbing a trailer when possible.

      Some material, like cinder blocks, gravel, dirt or sod will easily max the payload of any 5.5 bed.

      Although I’ve circled the damn planet with the tailgate down and stuff/pallets, wrapped, netted, bungeed, etc, extending a couple feet past that.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      kosmo…..Yes, you are wrong. It is a real truck. Crew cab with the 5.5 ft bed is the #1 configuration sold. So of course they’re going to go for that.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This is it. This is where the rubber hits the road. If the Lightning can succeed, the entire EV transition can succeed. (And “succeed” won’t mean that every single ICE vehicle is replaced—it will mean that enough vehicles are EVs to seriously reduce our transportation carbon emissions.)

    As things stand today, the Lightning will work just fine for virtually every application where people use pickups within a metro area. It will not work for people who haul long distances. And that’s fine. Hotshotters and the like, along with the sort of hobbyists who are always towing trailers hundreds of miles, will have ICE trucks for a long time. It will make a huge difference in a lot of ways if (1) the day-use fleets and (2) the everyday commuters who use trucks eventually go electric.

    The biggest thing it needs isn’t more capability, but a lower price. The last couple years have stopped the previously consistent drop in battery prices, but if we can ever get our supply chains untangled again there are lots of promising battery tech improvements in the pipeline, so a lower price should eventually be reality.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ it will mean that enough vehicles are EVs to seriously reduce our transportation carbon emissions.”

      Yes lithium mining and electricity production are emission free….

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