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What is the Ford F-150 Lightning?

Last week Ford unveiled the All-Electric 2022 F-150 Lightning, entering the competitive, emerging market of electric full-size pickup trucks. The F-150 itself has long been the most popular pickup truck on American roads, and by introducing the Lightning, Ford has the opportunity to change the whole pickup truck market.

In this blog we’ll dig into the 2022 F-150 specs, Ford’s surprisingly long history of electric vehicles, how it stacks up against the competition, and the hype that has already surrounded the release.

ford f 150 lightning 2022

Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Specs

The most obvious benefits of the 2022 Ford electric F-150 are the same perks of any electric vehicle: Saving money on gas with every mile you drive, zero emissions, and a quiet ride with no engine noise. With a single charge, you’ll get a range of approximately 300 miles for the larger battery and 230 miles with the smaller battery.

The new EV truck base model is listed at a reasonable price point of under $40,000 - and that’s before the $7,500 federal tax credit and any potential state tax credits you might qualify for by going electric. That means, at least for the base model, it has the lowest cost of ownership of any Ford truck. At face value, the truck doesn’t look too different from any regular F-150 other than featuring a new grill and a full length LED light bar along with updated headlights.

ford f150 lightning
Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

Here are some other Ford Lightning specs to be aware of.

Smooth, Powerful Ride

No one should assume electric means underpowered. With 563 horsepower, it beats out the Tesla Cybertruck at a much lower price. It’s also reported to have plenty of torque off the line (775 pound-feet of torque powered by two inboard motors) and can go from 0-60 at a screaming 4.5 seconds with the extended range battery. Early test drivers report plenty of passing power and super easy handling.

Since the battery sits underneath the truck, it has a low center of gravity allowing for an ideal weight balance. The battery is protected by skid plates and surrounded by waterproof casing with built-in crash absorption. It has 4 drive modes including an off-road option, and is always in 4x4 mode. Its independent rear suspension saves you from the shimmying you would feel with a live axle on a bumpy road.

Wondering how much the Ford F-150 Lightning can tow? With the larger battery and the maximum trailering package, it can tow up to 10,000 lbs. Plus, Ford’s built-in software will take your tow load into account when calculating your remaining range.

ford lightning
Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

Power For Your Tools, Or Even Your Home

You power the truck by plugging it into a charge station that simply pulls power from the grid. Once you charge your truck, it can return the favor by powering your tools or even your house! With the extended battery, you can use Ford Intelligent Backup Power to power your home for up to an amazing 3 days. And even if you don’t need to power your house, you still have lots of charging options with up to 9.6 kW of max power delivered through 11 outlets. This is guaranteed to be a huge benefit for contractors, small business owners, and anyone else who could benefit from powering tools or other accessories. Ford added on even more features that appeal to customers using their truck at a worksite, including enhanced zone lighting. In fact, the base model is primarily intended as a work truck with sales targeting fleet buyers.

ford f 150 lightning frunk
Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

Plenty of Space for Passengers and Cargo

The F-150 Lightning features a supercrew cab - meaning room for 5 people with 4 front-hinge doors and plenty of legroom even for passengers in the back seat. It also includes a standard full size bed. And let’s talk storage: Since the electric motor is below the truck, what would normally be the engine compartment is instead 14 cubic feet of lockable trunk space. In the front trunk (or frunk) you’ll find 4 charging ports and a drain for when you need to clean it out. It’s a great waterproof space to store groceries or anything else you want to stay in place while you’re driving. That way you can leave your back row open for passengers instead of using it as storage.

ford f 150 lightning app
Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

Smart Truck Features

Unsurprisingly, the 2022 F-150 is packed with smart technology to provide a smooth driver experience. Onboard sensors take weather, traffic, and towing information into account when calculating the remaining mileage range. It even has onboard scales to analyze your payload. A hands-free driving system called BlueCruise uses a camera facing the driver combined with radar technology to give you hands-free driving options on certain designated roads. You’ll access all these high tech systems through a 15.5 inch touchscreen that makes software updates easy.

ford f 150 lightning dashboard
Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

How the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Came to Be

The Ford Lightning story is unusual yet very Americanesque. Ford’s chief F-150 engineer Linda Zhang immigrated from China with her family when she was 8 years old. When she arrived in Indiana, where her father taught at Purdue University, she only knew the few letters of the English alphabet she had learned on the plane ride from China. She quickly learned English and developed an early interest in cars. 

At 19, she started working for Ford, where she stayed while pursuing her bachelor’s degree followed by two master’s degrees. In 2018 she started working on the Ford Lightning project and was able to unveil the new EV to the world this month. Zhang’s accomplishments stand out as especially impressive in the typically male-dominated automotive industry.

ford f 150 lightning event
Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company
 

But the story of the Ford F-150 Lightning started long before 2018 -- by more than a century! Henry Ford originally looked into electric motors before moving forward with gasoline powered vehicles. Ford once worked for Thomas Edison and they later became close personal friends. The two American inventors worked together on plans for an electric vehicle called the Edison-Ford

Rumors about the car started to spread in 1914 and though Ford promised he was building models and conducting tests, no electric vehicle ever materialized. It was said the project may have fallen apart due to Ford’s insistence on using Edison’s nickel-iron batteries, which weren’t capable of powering a car in many conditions. In 2021 the Ford Motor Company is still on a path towards better and more accessible EVs with the release of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Ford Lightning name. From 1993 - 1995 there was a first generation Ford F-150 Lightning, a high-performance F-150. It was followed by a second generation produced between 1999 and 2004. After that, the Ford Raptor took over as the high-performance F-series pickup and the lightning name was retired until it became part of this new release.

ford f 150 lightning 1993
Courtesy of Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences

The Competition

In America in 2020, EVs had about 2% of the new car sales market, but with strong players like Tesla, Rivian, GMC, and now Ford, we’ll see those numbers growing quickly as well as new EVs entering the market.

How does the Lightning stack up against the competition? There are a few factors we can compare:

  • Release Timeline: The Rivian R1T will be the first all-electric truck on the market starting in June 2021. After that, GMC will start delivering the Hummer EV. Then, the Tesla Cybertruck is on track to start being delivered at the end of 2021. Ford will be the fourth on the market, starting production of the Ford F-150 Lightning in the spring of 2022. 
  • Price & Package Options: The R1T is marketed as an adventure truck and boasts a 300+ mile range at launch with a 400+ range version to follow in early 2022. It comes in 3 variants at a higher sticker price: between $67,500 - $75,000. The Tesla Cybertruck has 3 motor options: Single Motor RWD, Dual Motor AWD, and Tri Motor AWD, with prices starting near Ford’s price at $39,900 and going up to $69,900. The Lightning has 4 variants, with prices only announced for two so far: The base model marketed for business starts at $39,974 and the more equipped Lightning XLT will be offered for $52,974. 
  • Options for Outfitting Your Truck: Customization will be a point of contention and opportunity amongst the EV pickup truck brands. When it comes to outfitting a truck, you’ll find it much easier to get accessories for the Ford Lightning compared to the Tesla Cybertruck or the Rivian R1T. Ford was spot on when they decided to make the Lightning similar to the gasoline F-150. Since the regular F-150 already has accessories optimized for it, it will be much easier to customize a Ford F-150 Lightning tonneau. This might not be a deciding factor for some, but this will  make a big difference once you actually own an electric pickup truck. For example, the Tesla Cybertruck’s rolling tonneau cover will prevent its users from loading and securing large loads. Ford’s F-150 Lightning will give its owners more versatility and customization options that Americans have come to expect and love.
tesla cybertruck
Courtesy of Tesla

Ford Chose the Right Moment to Release an Electric Truck

The benefits of electric vehicles are obvious and demand is already sky high. EVs are known to be more reliable and require less maintenance; and the money you save on gas just keeps adding up over time. Now that we’ve started tapping into the benefits of electric, we can only imagine how the market will keep evolving to faster and more powerful cars, not to mention a cleaner environment.

Ford CEO Jim Farley reported receiving over 44,500 reservations for the new F-150 in less than 48 hours after unveiling the truck. Looking for a Ford-150 Lightning for sale? If you want to join the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck wait list, all it takes is a $100 deposit. You can expect to get your new truck when they start rolling off the assembly line next year.

Conclusion

We’ve been as excited as anyone reading about the new Ford Lightning and we can’t wait to see how it impacts the pickup truck landscape. Whether you’re on Ford’s waitlist or still loving any other make and model of truck, give us a call at 801-692-3368 with any questions about cargo management or the best accessories for your truck.

Just like with any other pickup truck, owners of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning will want to outfit their truck to up the customization and get more for their investment. A great place to start is with the best way to manage your cargo: a truck bed cover.  Tonneau covers help protect your truck bed and any cargo you want to carry inside it. They add loads of security and give you peace of mind about how weather might impact whatever you’re hauling. Tonneaus come in all shapes and styles, from rolling to folding and even expanding truck bed covers like the Sawtooth STRETCH Tonneau Cover which is the only cover that can protect large and tall cargo.

red ford f 150 with tonneau cover