The Ford F-150 Lightning is a battery electric full-size light duty truck unveiled by Ford in May 2021 as part of the fourteenth generation Ford F-Series. Four models have been announced, and all models initially will be dual-motor, four-wheel-drive, with EPA range estimates of 240–320 mi (390–510 km). A commercial-grade version of the all-wheel drive (AWD) truck is sold in the United States, with higher-power/trim/range models also sold. The F-150 Lightning began production on April 26, 2022.
In January 2019, Ford announced the intention to produce a fully-electric light pickup at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
In July 2019, Ford tested prototype electric test mules on existing F-150 chassis. This culminated in a record-setting demonstration test tow of 1,250,000 pounds (570,000 kg) on rails. Chief engineer for the F-150, Linda Zhang, emphasized at the time that Ford intended to take the "built Ford tough [characteristics of] durability, capability, and productivity and [extend that into] a whole new arena" of electric trucks.
Ford unveiled the truck, and released the model name on May 19, 2021, with production planned for spring of 2022. Ford received 69,500 refundable-deposit orders in the first four days after the announcement.
By late May 2021, Ford had begun discussing other electric trucks beyond the F-series, such as the Expedition and Navigator, which are intended to be underpinned by their full-size EV truck chassis, as well as a smaller chassis which will be used for the Bronco, Explorer, and Aviator.
The first pickup was manufactured on April 18, 2022, with first delivery on May 26. In June 2022, Ford announced its intention to restructure its dealership model, including building an e-commerce platform where customers can buy EVs at non-negotiable prices in an effort to match Tesla’s profit margins. Ford also stated that it would spend $3.7 billion to hire 6,200 union workers to staff several assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri in a bid to sell 2 million EVs a year by 2026.
In May 2023, Ford announced integration of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) system into their electric vehicles. New built Ford electrics after 2024 will have native NACS charge ports on the vehicle. Existing Ford electric models will be able to connect to the NACS system and its chargers by use of an adapter. Both will thus have access to the extensive NACS charging network with more than 12,000 chargers in North America. The F-150 Lightning is ready to launch in Iceland, Norway, South Africa in Late 2023 and Australasia in Early 2024 alongside with Mustang Mach-E.
The base configuration has 452 hp (337 kW), 230 mi (370 km) range, and its smaller battery supports a 2,000 lb (910 kg) payload. The high-end configuration has 580 hp (430 kW), 300 mi (480 km) EPA range, 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) times in the mid-four-second range, and a towing capacity of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg). All models have 775 lb⋅ft (1,051 N⋅m) of torque, full-time 4wd, independent rear suspension, and will initially come in a crew-cab configuration only, with a 5.5 ft (1.7 m) bed. The F-150 Lightning weighs 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg), over 35% more than the internal-combustion-engine (ICE) powered equivalent F-150, with most of the additional weight a result of the Lightning's 1,800 pounds (820 kg) battery. The F-150 Lightning was one of several electric vehicles cited by National Transportation Safety Board head Jennifer Homendy as being significantly heavier than ICE-powered models and thus raising the risk of other road users being killed or seriously injured in collisions, alongside products from other manufacturers such as General Motors and Volvo. The active suspension provides real-time load weighing function.
Like Tesla, the Ford F-150 Lightning is announced to include over-the-air software updates, and a significant software driving aid which will allow limited hands-off highway driving, but fall short of full self-driving. The F-150 Lightning in some trim packages, in concert with the "80A Ford Charge Station pro with Ford Intelligent Backup Power capability," can provide household-oriented V2G power, which can meet the electrical needs of a typical American home for three to ten days. The truck can also supply up to 9.6 kW of power through up to eleven 120V and 240V electrical outlets distributed around the truck. Those outlets can be used to charge other vehicles or itself.
This electric truck has a standard battery and can travel 230 mi (370 km) on a single charge. EPA range estimates of 230–300 mi (370–480 km) produced by Ford in May 2021 were based on 1,000 lb (450 kg) of cargo carried in the truck. Electrek reported that the range with no load, just a driver and the truck, appeared to be closer to 400 mi (640 km).
The Ford F-150 Lightning was also evaluated to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds. Maximum available payload is 2,235 pounds (1,014 kg), which includes the 400-pound (180 kg) payload of the "frunk" (which was Ford's interpretation of the front trunk). The new Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg).
The base model is the "commercial-grade Lightning Pro" fleet version while the "mid-series" model is called the XLT. Higher-priced models are known as the Lariat and Platinum.
In MotorTrend testing of an F-150 Lightning Platinum without a trailer and only the driver, the Platinum attained a range of 255 miles (410 km). When towing a 7,218-pound (3,274 kg), 33 ft 11 in (10.34 m) camper, the F-150 Platinum was only able to reach 90 miles (140 km). The test was over a 80-mile (130 km) route with average highway speeds between 64 and 67 mph (103 and 108 km/h), and with the headlights and audio system on and the automatic climate control set to 72 °F (22 °C).
The F-150 Lightning is produced at the new Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan, and involves two other plants: the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan which will assemble the electric motors and the Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan will produce the batteries.
For the 2022 model year, the F-150 Lightning was available in four trim levels: Pro, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. The Pro trim was only available with the smaller-capacity battery, and the Platinum was offered only with the higher-capacity battery, although all other trims include the smaller-capacity battery as standard equipment, but also offer the higher-capacity battery as an option.
Starting in April 2023, the Ford F-150 Lightning is officially sold in Europe, with the first market being Norway. In the country, it is only offered in the Lariat Launch Edition version, featuring a Super Crew Cab body style and available exclusively in Antimatter Blue.
Less than a month after announcing the vehicle could be reserved, by June 11, 2021, over 100,000 reservations were made, and Ford announced that the company would offer digital services for subscription revenue that will change car sales from a single-time transaction process. As reservations continued, Ford had received more than 200,000 Lightning reservations for a 3-year backlog by the end of 2021. As of June 2022, demand continued to be strong leading to market adjustment prices by some dealers with one used 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum being offered for sale at $100,000 above the base price for the model.
In 2022 Ford sold ca. 2000 units of the F-150 Lightning. In the first quarter of 2023 it were 7085 units and in the second quarter 4466 units.
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