After much anticipation, the fully electric, battery-powered, Ford F-150 pickup is finally here. Ford has been teasing the truck’s existence and giving glimpses into development for quite a few years now. However, the unveiling finally gives us the full rundown on this impressive vehicle. The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling truck for 44 years, something that Ford is immensely proud of, so when approaching how to build a battery-electric version of the pickup Ford knew they needed to get it right the first time.
At first glance, Ford has nailed it with the 2022 F-150 Lightning. The Lightning looks like a truck, it does all the things a truck needs to do and comes in at a price that won’t break the bank. The Lightning is the quickest and most powerful F-150 Ford has offered to date. And the most technologically advanced. Let’s take a look at some of the key features that are sure to turn any traditional pickup enthusiast into an instant fan, while answering some of the important questions along the way.
Does The F-150 Lightning Replace The F-150?
Truck fans can breathe a heavy sigh of relief as the all-new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning EV will not be replacing any models in Ford’s best-selling lineup. Instead, the battery-electric F-150 Lightning will be a welcome addition to the family. However, Ford would only confirm that this is currently the case with F-150, and we would expect to see a thinning of the company’s internal combustion engine options as the F-150 Lightning becomes more readily available.
Looks Matter, The F-150 Lightning Isn’t Ugly Is It?
We are very happy to report that future owners of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning won’t have to explain to their HOA why there’s a doorstop or Transformer parked in their driveway. The F-150 Lightning looks just like a typical F-150 pickup, with a few Lightning-specific accents. The F-150 Lightning is offered as a five-passenger, crew-cab, short-bed only and uses the same cab and bed as every other Super Crew F-150. This also means that all of our favorite features of the new 2021 F-150 will be available on the Lightning, such as the lay-flat seats and folding shifter, along with all of Ford’s line of Boxlink bed accessories.
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How Much Can The F-150 Lightning Tow?
It would be sacrilegious if Ford were to unveil a new pickup model and not give it impressive towing specs. For the 2022 F-150 Lightning Ford is targeting a maximum towing ability of 7,700 pounds for models equipped with the standard range battery and up to 10,000 pounds with the extended range battery. Why the difference in capacity? In simple terms, the larger extended range battery pack can provide greater voltage to the motors, which allows for increased horsepower, which then can be used to increase towing capacity. Ford notes that these are targeted figures as the truck has not been subjected to J2807 testing as of yet. We would expect final towing figures to be released close to the on-sale date, and if anything, we’d expect them to increase just slightly.
Ford has also added an interesting new feature to the F-150 Lightning. Building on the popular ProTrailer Backup Assist, Ford is debuting ProTrailer Hitch Assist. Hitch Assist will allow the truck to automatically back up to a conventional trailer and automatically align the hitch ball to the coupler. If this feature works as advertised, it will remove one of the largest pain and frustration points when it comes to towing. The F-150 Lightning will also feature Ford’s new on-board scales, which serve to alert the driver of payload and trailer tongue weight to help avoid an overloaded situation.
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How Much Payload Can The F-150 Lightning Carry?
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is no slough when it comes to payload capacity. Trucks equipped with the standard capacity battery are targeted to have up to 2,000 pounds of payload capacity. Bumping up to the heavier extended-range battery drops expected payload to 1,800 pounds. For comparison, currently the highest payload rating for a crew-cab, short-bed, four-wheel drive F-150 is 2,650 pounds. Up to 400 pounds of this expected payload capacity can be loaded into the F-150 Lightning’s front trunk, or as Ford is calling it, the “Mega Power Frunk”
Hang On, What’s A “Mega Power Frunk”?
Because the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has no internal combustion engine, there’s plenty of room under the hood for what Ford is calling its “Mega Power Frunk”. This front trunk (get it, front trunk, frunk) is the largest in the class with more than 400 liters of volume and a 400-pound storage capacity. This is large enough to store two full-size golf bags or two carry-on luggage bags and one checked bag, for example. The “Power” part of the “Mega Power Frunk” comes from the truck’s 2.4 kW of available electricity, which is delivered through four 110-volt outlets. The “Mega Power Frunk” features a power lift, is locking, and is weather-proof, providing another dry and secure storage compartment, outside of the truck’s cab. Never fear, there’s also a drain plug should you get the urge to turn it into a tailgating cooler.
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How Much Power (Horse) Does The F-150 Lightning Make?
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is the most powerful F-150 that Ford has ever produced. All F-150 Lightning models feature dual motors, one front and one rear. Standard-range models of the F-150 Lightning will be rated at 426 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. Extended-range models get a modest bump in horsepower, up from 426 to 563, while retaining the same 775 lb-ft torque rating. Ford claims a 0 to 60 mph time in the mid four-second range (4.4 seconds was overheard being quoted during President Biden’s test drive).
How Far Can The F-150 Lightning Go On A Charge?
Range is everything when it comes to electric vehicles, and this is vitally important for pickup owners. As we suspected, the F-150 Lightning’s range will be substantially less than its gasoline and diesel counterparts. On a full charge, under ideal conditions, the standard-range battery can provide up to 230 miles of range. Bumping up to the extended-range battery brings this range to 300 miles. At this point these figures are Ford’s estimates, as the truck has not received an official EPA rating.
As we’ve experienced with other EVs on the market, towing has a large impact on battery range. In real-world testing, we’ve seen battery range cut by as much as two-thirds when a trailer is in tow. If we were to hypothesize, then, we would expect an extended-range truck towing 10,000 pounds to get about 100 miles of range before a recharge is needed. Hopefully Ford proves this theory wrong.
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How Quickly Can The F-150 Lightning Be Recharged?
Recharging is likely to be a daily occurrence for owners of the F-150 Lightning. The Lightning uses 400-volt charging and comes with a 240-volt at-home charge cable. Using this, owners can expect to add about 21 miles of range for every hour on the charger. If the emergency 110-volt charger needs to be employed charge time drops to 3 miles of range per hour of charging. Ford will also be offering an optional at-home 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro. With this installed, the truck will add about 30 miles of range for every hour on the charger and extended-range trucks can expect to go from 15-percent charge to full in about 8 hours.
In public, owners can expect to see charge rates of up to 54 miles of range added in 10 minutes from available DC fast charging stations. When plugged into one of these chargers the battery can be juiced from 15 to 80 percent in about 41 minutes. For those curious, the charge port is on the driver’s side front of the vehicle as opposed to the rear. This is a bit of a bummer, as most pickup owners prefer to back into parking stalls.
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Power On Tap Not Just For Driving
Building on the Pro Power Onboard system that Ford debuted on the 2021 F-150, the 2022 F-150 Lightning has the ability to export up to 9.6 kW of electricity. The truck does this through a combination of 11 power outlets (21 if you count USB ports). The Lightning has four 110-volt outlets in the bed along with one 240-volt outlet. The truck also has four 110-volt outlets in the frunk. The bed-mounted Pro Power Onboard panel is capable of the same 7.2 kW as the PowerBoost Hybrid model, while the funk can provide an additional 2.4 kW. Together, they combine to make the Lightning’s 9.6 kW of available power.
What does this mean, exactly? Well, on the highest end, and if properly equipped, the F-150 Lightning can power a typical home for three days (or up to 10 if you ration power). The truck can also be used for more fun and functional duties, such as providing a crew the power to frame a home, run a mobile food trailer, or put on one of the best tailgate parties ever seen, hot tub included. Really, the options are nearly limitless. Additionally, the truck can be programmed to end power distribution when the predicted range hits a certain, user definable, threshold. So even if the tailgate party gets rowdy, you’ll still be able to get home.
Can The Electric Ford F-150 Lightning Off-Road?
Ford has made sure that the F-150 Lightning will be able to leave the pavement without damaging the important bits underneath. Metal skid plates shield both the battery pack and the electric motors from damage. And the battery packs themselves are encased in a waterproof and crash-resistant housing. All F-150 Lightning models are four-wheel drive and come with dedicated off-road driving modes. A new independent rear suspension and low center of gravity will surely give the Lighting a comfortable drive no matter the road condition. Getting to your favorite hunting, fishing, or skiing spot should be largely effortless.
That said, don’t expect the F-150 Lightning to be the trail slayer that GMC’s Hummer is anticipated to be. The Lightning is lower than the standard F-150 and isn’t as adapted to high-speed off-road travel as the larger F-150 Raptor, or even the new F-150 Tremor. Hopefully Ford will offer some sort of off-road package on Lightning in the future.
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So, How Much Will The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning EV Cost?
Here’s the fun part, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning will go on-sale with a base price of under $40,000. With destination and delivery charges added in, the base F-150 Lightning will sticker for $41,669. XLT models will start at $54,699, and top-trip Platinum models are expected to start at about $90,000. The F-150 Lightning will also be available in the popular Lariat trim as well. Not available on Lightning at this time are the ultra-luxurious Limited or Texas-themed King Ranch trim packages.
I’m Sold. When Can I Buy An F-150 Lightning?
As has become tradition, Ford has just opened up the order banks for the all-new 2022 F-150 Lightning and all it takes to hold your place in line is a $100 deposit. Beyond that, Ford says that the F-150 Lightning will go into production in early 2022 and we would expect to see the trucks on dealer lots by next summer. Of course, that’s all subject to change as Ford is still building out its new electric vehicle center at its Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan.