News of Ford’s 2022 F-150 Lightning crackled across the industry from the moment it was announced.
The truck’s unveiling at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., was dramatic. Blue CGI lightning danced across the front of the Glass House as stage lights flickered and pulsating techno built toward a climax. Executive Chairman Bill Ford soon appeared on stage and said, with warbling verve, “this is a defining moment for our country, a watershed moment for our industry, and on a personal note, it’s really gratifying for me.” Finally, the F-150 Lightning rolled raucously down the runway.
Fourteen days later, as of this writing, the live-streamed event has been viewed 1.5M times. At least 70,000 pre-orders have piled up in Ford’s inbox. So what’s all the fuss about?
F-150 Lightning: “An Elevated Driving Experience”
Ford accidentally self-shades by claiming that the F-150 Lightning delivers, among other things, “the first-ever F-series that…offers an elevated driving experience.” But, looking over the spec sheet and all the details so far, maybe the brand is right. The truck is loaded with promising tech and boasts a lot more power (as targeted) than you might think.
The specs that surprise me most are the power numbers. As targeted, the F-150 Lightning will pull a maximum of 775 lb-ft of torque at 563 hp. If delivered as planned, Ford says the Lightning will do 0 to 60 mph in the mid-4.0-second range. (Per Car and Driver, the fastest F-150 they’ve ever tested is the 2017 Raptor, which did 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.) Ford also estimates a category-respectable 2000-pound payload capacity and 10,000-pound max towing capacity.
Ford does a lot to make sure Lightning drivers get where they’re going comfortably, too. The Lightning’s equipped iteration of FordPass is tailored specifically to the electric truck. Drivers can access the FordPass Charging Network, with 13,500 charging stations nationwide. Ford claims that makes it the largest public charging network in North America, as researched using data from the Department of Energy.
Also through FordPass, the ‘Power My Trip’ function helps drivers navigate between charging stations on the road. To facilitate accurate measurements, it takes payload, towing status, and driving conditions into account.
Finally, Ford takes a step toward the e-vehicle tech echelon occupied by Tesla with two integral additions. Self-explanatory ‘Phone As A Key’ can make Lightning truly keyless. ‘BlueCruise’ will use cameras to make the Lightning self-driving on approved sections of the road.
Charging, Range, and Generator Capabilities
Two battery options will be available to Lightning buyers. The stock entry gives drivers an EPA-estimated 230-mile range, while the optional high-capacity battery cranks the range up to 300 miles. Notably, the powerplant configuration with the smaller battery delivers less power than the upgrade; 426 hp is Lightning’s entry-level horsepower. No matter which powertrain option Lightning buyers choose, the truck will be all-wheel drive.
Ford has been adamant that it would offer its drivers the nation’s biggest e-vehicle charging network even before introducing any electric vehicles in 2019. Two years later, it’s delivered with 13,500 charging stations nationwide. Each F-150Lightning will come with a standard 120V/240V charging cord for home use, and each vehicle equipped with the extended range battery will also come with the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro.
With the F-150 Lightning, Ford works hard to make sure you don’t run out of power while you’re driving. But it also helps out if you lose power at your house. With Ford Intelligent Backup Power, the Lightning also becomes a generator. It’s capable of powering the average home for 3 days with 9.6 kW peak energy.
Pricing and Final Notes
The 2022 F-150 Lightning is Ford’s most highly heralded foray into the electric vehicle world. If you want one, act fast: sources including Ford CEO Jim Farley have indicated that production will be limited. And with 70,000 pre-orders already in, available units are getting scarcer.
However, there’s reason to be optimistic that more electric units will be available in the near future. The explosion of interest in the Lightning program has already caught Ford’s eye. Before the project launch, it had invested $22 billion in its global electric vehicle plan. Seven days later, it pledged to bulk the plan to $30 billion.
The fully electric 2022 F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 MSRP before federal or state tax credits (if any) are applied. For comparison, Tesla’s Cybertruck starts at $39,900. The mid-grade XLT trim level starts at $52,974 MSRP.
Proceed to Ford.com for the full details.