2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-150 Lightning has everything going in its favor except for the range and towing capacityby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 22:04
Ford debuted the F-150 Lightning in 2021, and the electric truck checks almost all the boxes and can be considered as the first mainstream electric pickup truck for the masses. There are a lot of electric trucks launched in recent years, like the Tesla Cybertruck, the Rivian R1T, the Lordstown Endurance, the Bollinger B2, etc. But, none of them offer the all-round capability that the F-150 Lightning does.
The Ford truck comes with all the bells and whistles one can ask for, and then some more. For now, Ford has launched it in one body style and three basic trims plus an exclusive work truck model, but expect it to grow in the coming years. With all the subsidies and credits, the F-150 Lightning works out to be the cheapest full-size truck in the market today! (more on this in the ‘Pricing’ section). From the looks of it, the F-150 Lightning seems to be an all-rounder that offers good power outputs, decent range, and a lot of tech features. Do you think it will be a runaway success, or will the loyalists look around at other trucks?
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
Horsepower @ RPM:563
Torque @ RPM:775
0-60 time:4.3 sec. (Est.)
Ford revived the ‘Lightning’ moniker for it, which is a very smart move considering ‘Lightning’ was one of the fastest trucks back in the 90s. It is also a clever wordplay that gels perfectly well for an electric truck. Despite being under the gun for not coming out with an electric version of the truck for a long time (the Tesla Cybertruck was launched in 2019!), Ford didn’t rush the product. The electric F-150 has been in the works for a long time now, and Ford’s one-million-pound stunt back in 2019 proves that.
Fast forward to 2021, Ford started teasing the much-anticipated truck and finally launched it in a virtual event. The F-Series trucks are Ford’s bread and butter and it’s evident the company didn’t want to screw that up while switching to electrification. The F-150 Lightning has almost everything one can expect from an electric truck. It’s got decent looks, a four-trim buffet, lots of tech features, and a great sticker price. The range is not the best, but Ford will certainly look to improve in the coming model years. The same goes with towing as well. A maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds with optional packages isn’t very impressive. Not to mention, towing at full capacity will take a serious hit on the range. But, all said and done, the F-150 Lightning is an electric truck to watch out for and you can be sure that Ford will keep improving it moving forward.
Ford F-150 Lightning – Exterior
The Ford F-150 Lightning will be offered in three trims – XLT, Lariat, and Platinum – and a work truck trim that Ford called the F-150 Lightning Pro. The F-150 Lightning be available only in the SuperCrew four-door body style with a 5.5-foot bed. Ford has pinned the F-150 Lightning on a high-strength steel frame and mentioned that the body and bed are composed of high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy.
Coming to design and styling, Ford hasn’t gone extreme, thankfully. We’ve seen automakers go berserk with EVs, but that’s not the case with the Blue Oval. It is still unmistakably a Ford F-150, but with specific Lightning touches that will set it apart from the standard model. Up front, there’s a full-width LED strip that encompasses the closed, stylized grille. You get a similar setup at the rear as well – an LED strip running the width of the tailgate and bonding into the taillights. There’s something known as Zone Lighting that lights up the truck’s surroundings and will be immensely helpful when camping at night. Overall, it looks like an F-150 and has certain EV-specific elements like the LED strips at the front and back. A mature, modern design that will please all and offend none.
The truck comes with 18-inch, machined aluminum wheels as standard on the Pro and XLT models. The Lariat trim is equipped with 20-inch, dark carbonized gray aluminum wheels as standard. These wheels are optional on the XLT trim. The top-spec Platinum rides on 22-inch, bright machined aluminum wheels with Ebony Black-painted pockets.
As for the suspension system, the F-150 Lightning comes with an independent double-wishbone with coilover shocks at the front, and independent semi-trailing arms at the rear.
How Big Is The F-150 Lightning?
The F-150 Lightning is 232.7 inches long, 83.6 inches wide, and 78.9 inches tall. It has a 145.5-inch long wheelbase and sits 8.9 inches above the ground. The front track is 68.1 inches wide, whereas the rear track is 68.3 inches wide.
|Width - excluding mirrors||80.0|
|Width - including standard mirrors||96.0|
|Width - standard mirrors folded||83.6|
|Track width - front||68.1|
|Track width - rear||68.3|
|Overhang - front||37.8|
|Overhang - rear||49.4|
As for the angles, the F-150 Lightning has an approach angle of 25.4 degrees, a departure angle of 24.2 degrees, and a breakover angle of 17.8 degrees.
|Angle of approach (degrees)||25.4|
|Angle of departure (degrees)||24.2|
|Ramp breakover angle (degrees)||17.8|
How Much Can The F-150 Lightning Tow and Haul?
With the Standard-Range battery, the F-150 Lightning can tow up to 7,700 pounds and haul up to 2,000 pounds. It features similar mounting points to the current F-150 for easy fitting along with a standard Class IV hitch.
With the Extended-Range battery, you’ll be able to tow up to 10,000 pounds, provided you get the Maximum Trailer Tow Package. The maximum payload capacity is rated at 1,800 pounds.
It seems like the maximum towing capacity is limited to make sure the range doesn’t dip embarrassingly low when you’re using it at full capacity. To give you a perspective, a 2021 standard Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine and four-wheel-drive configuration in the SuperCrew body style with a 5.5-foot bed can tow up to 11,300 pounds in the standard form and up to 13,900 pounds with the Max Trailer Tow Package.
Ford F-150 Lightning – Interior
The Ford F-150 Lightning is offered in a SuperCrew avatar only with seating for five folks. Step inside and you’ll find Vinyl bucket seats on the Pro model, cloth seats on the XLT, leather-appointed seats on the Lariat, and Premium Nirvana leather seats on the Platinum. The driver’s seat is 10-way power-adjustable on the Lariat and the Platinum trims. While this seems fine, I’m a little perplexed as to why Ford didn’t offer Max Recline seats here as standard or optional on all the trims. It can be had only on the top Platinum trim by shelling extra moolah. Someone who will use the Lightning as a work truck will need it the most and these folks generally opt for the lower trims.
For the uninitiated, Ford introduced the Max Recline Seats on the 2021 F-150. These are basically seats that fold flat to nearly 180 degrees. The bottom cushion rises to meet the back one while the upper back support rotates forward up to 10 degrees. On the standard F-150, it is available on the top-tier trims – King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. Back then, Ford even said the XLT – second from bottom – is the most popular trim. So, people using it as a work truck will need it the most and it should’ve been offered on all the trims. It’s funny how Ford didn’t learn from its mistake even now.
The truck comes with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. The Pro and XLT trims feature a 12-inch touchscreen on the center console powered by the SYNC4 infotainment system. The Lariat and the Platinum benefit from a bigger 15.5-inch touchscreen powered by the SYNC4A system. Both the touchscreen systems support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Other create comforts include:
- Push Button Start
- 360-degree Camera
- 4G Hot-Spot (up to 10 devices)
- Eight-speaker B&O sound system on the Lariat
- 18-speaker B&O sound system on the Platinum
How Spacious Is The F-150 Lightning?
In the front row, the F-150 Lightning offers a headroom of 40.8 inches, legroom of 43.9 inches, shoulder room of 66.7 inches, and hip room of 62.5 inches. There’s 40.4 inches of headroom, 43.6 inches of legroom, 66 inches of shoulder room, and 62.6 inches of hip room at the rear.
The bed is 67 inches long, 50.6 inches wide, and 21.4 inches tall. This translates to 52.8 cubic feet of space in the bed. Apart from this, you also get 14.1 cubic feet of space in the frunk. The frunk is lockable, waterproof, and can hold a weight of up to 400 pounds.
|Shoulder room (Front)||66.7|
|Shoulder room (Rear)||66|
Ford F-150 Lightning – Powertrain
Ford will offer the F-150 Lightning with a dual-motor setup and a four-wheel-drive system as standard on all trims.
The power outputs, however, differ based on the battery pack you choose. With the Standard-Range battery pack, the truck churns out 426 horses and 775 pound-feet of torque. Opt for the Extended-Range battery pack and you’ll have 563 horses at your disposal. The torque, however, remains the same – 775 pounds-feet.
The automaker didn’t provide the official 0-60 mph times yet, but noted at the launch that the F-150 Lightning will be able to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in mid-four seconds.
|POWERTRAIN/DRIVETRAIN||Standard-Range Battery||Extended-Range Battery|
|Drivetrain Layout||Dual eMotor, front/rear transverse mounted, four-wheel drive||Dual eMotor, front/rear transverse mounted, four-wheel drive|
|Motors/configuration||Two inboard three-phase fixed magnet AC motors with internal PMAC controller and transaxles||Two inboard three-phase fixed magnet AC motors with internal PMAC controller and transaxles|
|Targeted Peak Power (hp/kW)*||426/318||563/420|
|Targeted Peak Torque (lb.-ft.)*||775||775|
|Battery type||Lithium-ion pouch with internal battery management, liquid cooled||Lithium-ion pouch with internal battery management, liquid cooled|
|Onboard charger power (input/output)||11.3 kW/10.5 kW||19.2kW/17.6 kW|
Ford F-150 Lightning – Battery, Range, and Charging
The F-150 Lightning will be offered with two battery pack options – Standard Range and Extended Range. There’s no word on the capacities yet, but based on the charging times, some back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the Standard Range pack might be around 120 kWh, whereas the Extended Range pack might be around 175 kWh.
As for the range, Ford noted that the targeted EPA-estimated range for the Standard-Range battery pack is 230 miles and for the Extended-Range battery pack, it’s 300 miles.
Ford gave the charging times for both the battery packs. When connected to a 150 kW fast-charging DC charger, the Standard-Range battery will take 44 minutes to recuperate from 15- to 80-percent. Also, you’ll be able to add 41 miles of range in 10 minutes. Plug it into a 50 kW DC fast charger and it’ll take 91 minutes. If you’re using a 240W mobile charger, then you’ll have to wait for 14 hours for the battery to charge from 15- to 100-percent. If you’re plugged into a Ford Charge Station Pro or a Connected Charger Station, it’ll take your truck 10 hours to rejuvenate to a 100-percent.
|TARGETED CHARGE TIMES||Standard-Range Battery||Extended-Range Battery|
|150 kW DCFC 15-80%||44 minutes||41 minutes|
|50 kW DCFC 15-80%||91 minutes||122 minutes|
|80A Ford Charge Station Pro 15-100%||10 hours||8 hours|
|48A Connected Charge Station 15-100%||10 hours||13 hours|
|32A/240W Mobile Charger 15-100%||14 hours||19 hours|
If you opt for the Extended-Range battery, then you’ll have to wait for 41 minutes to let the battery recuperate from 15- to 80-percent when plugged into a 150 kW DC fast charger. 54 miles of range can be added in 10 minutes if you’re in a hurry. If plugged into a 50 kW charging point, then you’ll need 122 minutes for the battery to recuperate from 15- to 80-percent. The mobile charger will take 19 hours to replenish that battery to a 100-percent, whereas the Ford Charge Station Pro and Connected Charger Station will do it in eight- and 13 hours, respectively.
Coming back to the range, if you aren’t in a hurry to get a new truck, we’d suggest you wait it out a year at the least because, at this point, electric trucks are nowhere as effective as internal combustion engine trucks. While the official figures say 230- and 300-mile range, these will be seriously hampered when you use the truck the way it’s supposed to be used. Car and Driver did some math and came to a conclusion that you’ll get a range of under 100 miles when towing at the max. In fact, Audi did a test in 2020 that also proved that the range is halved when towing to the full capacity.
This isn’t a Ford problem, per se; it’s an EV problem. Offering higher capacity battery packs will increase the manufacturing cost of the truck and the added weight may not make the truck as efficient as you would think. It all boils down to the battery tech. Ford is planning to manufacture its own batteries by 2025 and that could help reduce the production costs. This will allow Ford to offer slightly bigger batteries. Also, they could offer more miles per kWh that will help with the overall range, too.
Pro Power Onboard Generator Will Is Offered, Too
The F-150 Lightning also comes with the Pro Power Onboard as standard. The Pro and XLT trims come with a 2.4 kW Pro Power Onboard. There are eight 120V outlets here in total – two in the cab, two in the bed, and four in the frunk. The Lariat and Platinum, on the other hand, feature a 9.6 kW capacity generator. Here you get ten 120V outlets - and two in the cab, four in the bed, and four in the frunk. You also get one 240V outlet in the bed.
On the productivity front, the F-150 Lightning comes with two more features we saw on the 2021 F-150 – the Interior Work Surface and Tailgate Work Surface.
The Interior Work Surface comes standard on the XLT, Lariat, and Platinum trims. Here, the gear lever folds down and provides a flat surface that can be used to place laptops, sign documents, or have lunch. The Tailgate Work Surface is offered on the Lariat and the Platinum, and is optional on the XLT. This is basically a workstation on the tailgate that comes with a ruler, clamp mounts, tie-down rings. They also double up as bottle openers and a tablet holder.
How Much Does The Ford F-150 Lightning Cost?
Ford hasn’t revealed the pricing for all the trims, but has given us some idea. The Lightning Pro work truck trim starts at $39,974. The non-commercial XLT model starts at $52,974.
There’s no word on the Lariat and Platinum’s pricing, but Ford said the F-150 Lightning will top out at around $90,474. This was expected because the company’s CEO had mentioned that the company is not targeting to introduce six-digit EVs.
Unlike Tesla and GM, Ford EVs are still eligible the federal tax credits of up to $7,500. However, it could be the next automaker in line to exhaust this cap. The company now has the Mustang Mach-E and the E-Transit as well that will bring in volumes. But, a GREEN Act by the Biden administration could be passed soon that will ensure that the cap on the tax credit benefits is increased.
To put it simply, the first 200,000 EVs from a brand are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. As noted earlier, Tesla and GM have exhausted this cap and their EVs are no longer eligible for the credit. However, the new GREEN Act states that the next 400,000 EVs – after the 200,000 cap is exhausted – will be eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,000.
Ford is still away from exhausting the first cap, but it could happen soon. But, even if you factor this and the state tax credits, the F-150 Lightning, in its Pro variant, is working out to be cheaper than any full-size truck in the market today!
Ford F-150 Lightning – Competition
The F-150 Lightning doesn’t have any direct rivals at the time of penning this piece. The electric versions of the Chevy Silverado, the GMC Sierra, and the Ram 1500 are a long time away. However, we’ve pit it against two of the hottest electric trucks at the moment – the Tesla Cybertruck and the Rivian R1T. The GMC Hummer EV is in a different price band, so we haven’t considered it.
Is The F-150 Lightning Better Than The Tesla Cybertruck
The odd-shaped, unorthodox truck from Tesla caters to a different segment of customers altogether. But, with a starting price of under $40,000, it is the cheapest alternative to the F-150 Lightning at the moment. Tesla announced it in three iterations when the Cybertruck came out in 2019 – single-, dual-, and tri-motor setup. However, the latest developments indicate that the single-motor option will be phased out and a four-motor option will be added to the mix.
The quad-motor specs aren’t available yet, but Musk confirmed it will have features like Tank Turn and Crab Walk. The tri-motor setup specs are known, and on paper, they beat the F-150 Lightning’s ass. The estimated range is over 500 miles, and the maximum towing and payload capacities are rated at 14,000- and 3,500 pounds, respectively. The three motors are expected to churn out 800 horses and 1,000 pound-feet of torque, combined. Tesla even gave the performance specs: 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and top speed 130 mph.
The Cybertruck is priced at $39,900 for the single-motor option, $49,900 for the dual-motor, and $69,900 for the tri-motor setup. With the single-motor expected to phase out and a quad-motor setup joining the lineup, we speculate the same pricing, but with a motor extra. This means the dual-motor Cybertruck could be priced at $39,900, tri-motor at $49,900, and quad-motor at $69,900.
Is The F-150 Lightning Better Than The Rivian R1T?
if you’ve been following the electric truck space, then you’ve definitely heard of the Rivian R1T. The R1T features a quad-motor setup as standard and it can sprint to 60 mph in three seconds in its best form. The towing capacity isn’t as good as the Cybertruck’s, but it beats the F-150 Lightning. The R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds on all the trims. It is skilled off the roads as well. Rivian says the truck can rock crawl at 100-percent grade. We even got a glimpse of this recently. The company has noted that it will have a range of up to 400 miles, but has also been up front that when towing at a full capacity, you can expect a 50-percent range reduction.
On the inside, you get a 15.6-inch touchscreen on the center console. Rivian’s driver assistance system is called Driver+ and it can automatically steer, adjust speed, and change lanes on the driver’s command. The setup includes 11 cameras, five radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a 360-degree field vision. An all-glass panoramic roof will be available as well, and in the next model year, you’ll be able to opt for a removable roof. The truck will feature four 110-Volt and three 12-Volt outlets. A camp kitchen setup will be available and can be popped out of the gear tunnel.
The Rivian R1T will be offered with three packages – Explore, Adventure, and Launch Edition. The Explore starts at $67,500, whereas the other two start at $73,000. The Launch Edition, by the way, is sold-out.
Ford F-150 Lightning Driver Assistance System
The F-150 Lightning comes with Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 Tech as standard. This includes:
- Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
- Pedestrian Detection
- Forward Collision Warning
- Dynamic Brake Support
- BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert
- Lane-Keeping System with LaneKeeping Alert, Lane-Keeping Aid, and Driver Alert
- Rear View Camera
- Auto High Beam headlamps
- Reverse Sensing System
- Reverse Brake Assist
- Post-Collision Braking
Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 is standard on the Lariat and Platinum, and optional on XLT. It includes:
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go
- Lane Centering and Speed Sign Recognition
- Evasive Steering Assist
- Intersection Assist
- Connected Built-In Navigation
Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 is standard on the top-of-the-line Platinum and optional on Lariat. It is bundled with:
- Driver Assist
- Active Park Assist
Ford F-150 Lightning Warranty
The F-150 Lightning offers a bumper-to-bumper warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles. The unique EV components come with a warranty of 8 years/100,000 miles. There’s also a 5-year warranty on the aluminum body panels and paint adhesion, irrespective of the miles covered. Finally, the truck comes with Roadside Assistance of 5 years/60,000 miles.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is expected to arrive in Spring 2022, but with the global chip shortage, it could be delayed.