Test drive: The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a powerhouse pickup that may energy a home

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At the primary take a look at drive occasion for the brand new Ford F-150 Lightning, a number of the engineers who constructed the electrical pickup have been carrying shirts with a Model T emblem on it.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum is the top of the line trim.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum is the highest of the road trim.

It was a reference to Ford’s milestone mass-market automobile, however with at twenty first century twist. The T was borrowed from the Lightning’s emblem and formed like an electrical bolt. The message was clear: This is large deal for Ford.

The automaker has been touting the Lightning as a very powerful car it’s launched for the reason that Model T, and the parallels aren’t an excessive amount of of a stretch. The F-Series way back surpassed the Model T as each the model’s and USA’s all-time best-selling mannequin, so utilizing it as the idea for an electrical car proves Ford means enterprise.

The F-150 Lightning has a unique logo.

The F-150 Lightning has a novel emblem.
(Fox News Autos)

Ford expects to be constructing Lightnings at an annual charge of 150,000 by the center of subsequent 12 months, which might signify round a fifth of F-Series gross sales, and is engaged on a next-generation pickup that shall be produced at even larger volumes. Assuming individuals need them.

Signs are that they very a lot do. Customers have positioned over 200,000 reservations for the Lightning already, however few of them have even seen it in individual not to mention pushed one, so that they don’t actually know what they’re entering into.

The F-150 Lightning shares its body with other F-150s.

The F-150 Lightning shares its physique with different F-150s.

The very first thing you discover in regards to the Lightning is that you just don’t actually discover it. It makes use of the identical aluminum physique and cab as the remainder of the F-150 lineup, with tweaks to the lights and grille, the latter of which is now phony as a result of the electrical drivetrain doesn’t want it for cooling. It turns the occasional head on the street, however doesn’t get swarmed like some new automobiles do.

The components sharing helped Ford beat the competitors to market by a 12 months, leverage the prevailing F-150 restore community and cut back improvement and manufacturing prices.

The Lightning begins at a surprisingly low $41,669, which is cheaper than the Ford Mustang Mach-E electrical SUV. That’s earlier than you subtract any of the incentives it presently qualifies for, together with a $7,500 federal tax credit score that brings the underside line right down to $34,169, supply and different buy charges included.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is the entry level model and starts at $41,669.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is the entry stage mannequin and begins at $41,669.

The entry stage Lightning is the work-oriented Pro that comes with a four-door SuperCrew crew cab physique and a two-motor all-wheel-drives system rated at 452 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque. For comparability, the most cost effective F-150 XL 4×4 SuperCrew with a fuel engine has a base worth of $44,220, 325 hp and 400 lb-ft.

The Lightning Pro’s EPA-rated vary is simply 230 miles between fees, nonetheless, and if you need extra it’s going to value much more. It requires a step to the $54,769 XLT trim and an non-obligatory prolonged vary battery pack good for 320 miles that brings the value to $74,269. Higher finish Lariat and Platinum trims are additionally obtainable, with high fashions going for over $93,000.


As a bonus, the prolonged vary vehicles get 580 horsepower, making them the most-powerful F-150s, which boosts their tow rankings from 7,700 kilos to 10,000 kilos, whereas the utmost payload drops from 2,250 kilos to 1,800 kilos, as a result of elevated battery weight.

Regardless of the mannequin, the Lightning is constructed on a body that differs enormously from these beneath the inner combustion engine vehicles and options the primary unbiased rear suspension ever used on an F-150. The battery is secured inside the rails utilizing simply eight bolts to make it simple to take away for service, if wanted.

The Mega Power Frunk is standard on all F-150 Lightnings.

The Mega Power Frunk is customary on all F-150 Lightnings.

The Lightning’s signature function is a entrance trunk beneath a power-opening hood the place the engine was once. Not each electrical car has certainly one of these, and the Lightning staff wanted to maneuver gear out of the best way to create a 14 cubic-foot waterproof area that may carry as much as 400 kilos. It ought to be equally appreciated by grocery consumers, golfers and contractors who don’t need to depart their gear unsecured within the mattress.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro features a commercial-grade vinyl interior.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro includes a commercial-grade vinyl inside.

Before I get to how the Lightning drives, it’s vital to notice what it might do when it’s not shifting. All fashions can double as turbines at energy outputs starting from 2.4 kw to 9.6 kw, with as much as ten 120-volt shops positioned all through the truck plus one 240-volt outlet for good measure. Since there aren’t any emissions, it may be used for this goal indoors.

Along with the flexibility to energy electrical gear at job websites, campsites and tailgate events, the Lightning additionally presents a bidirectional functionality that meshes with a $3,895 house integration system to permit it to energy a typical house for 3 days with the prolonged vary battery pack earlier than you even begin turning issues off to preserve electrical energy.

The F-150 Lightning's battery pack can be used to power electrical equipment.

The F-150 Lightning’s battery pack can be utilized to energy electrical gear.

When the facility grid is working, the system can be utilized for arbitrage, the place the battery fees with low-cost off-peak electrical energy after which makes use of it to energy the house when charges rise. An app permits you to set a restrict on how far the battery will drain throughout this course of so that you don’t run all of it the best way down and make the truck ineffective as a truck. And the Lightning is much from ineffective as a truck.

A few minutes is all it takes to comprehend this can be a higher F-150. The energy comes on seamlessly and robust, and the experience high quality offered by the totally unbiased suspension is superior to any full dimension pickup’s … aside from the $112,495 GMC Hummer EV, which additionally has one, however is a excessive efficiency off-road monster that weighs roughly a ton greater than the Lightning and targets a special market.

F-150 Lightning Lariat and Platinum trims get a 15.5 inch digital display.

F-150 Lightning Lariat and Platinum trims get a 15.5 inch digital show.

Even as you rocket it to 60 mph in about 4 seconds prefer it’s a sports activities automobile, the Lightning is sort of silent. That is except you activate the artificial digital motor noise it might pump into the cabin to amp up the joy, which is an unconvincing substitute for the true factor.

The solely time the Lightning feels odd for a full dimension pickup is if you slam the accelerator, particularly in a flip, and it chirps the entrance tires and tugs the steering wheel in your arms like an outdated front-wheel-drive scorching hatchback. The entrance motor is simply as {powerful} because the rear one and the Lightning cannot at all times deal with that fact.

The F-150 Lightning has a locking rear differential.

The F-150 Lightning has a locking rear differential.

The Lightning isn’t obtainable in a particular off-road model and solely has 8.9 inches of floor clearance, however all trims come customary with underbody safety for the battery and an digital locking rear differential for optimum traction on slippery surfaces and difficult terrain. The suspension is simply as spectacular off-pavement as it’s on the freeway and the Lightning has no hassle scurrying up reasonably steep rocky climbs. You may experience fences in all of it day lengthy with out being worse for put on.

The F-150 Lightning is the first F-Series truck with an independent rear suspension.

The F-150 Lightning is the primary F-Series truck with an unbiased rear suspension.

Back on the street, the varied Lightnings I attempted over a few hundred miles delivered vary and vitality financial system near their official rankings, which works out to the equal of 66-70 mpg. That makes them probably the most environment friendly full dimension vehicles ever constructed by a large margin.

But what about once they’re hauling or towing one thing? According to Ford, the drop in effectivity is actually the identical as it’s for an inner combustion engine truck. Without a back-to-back comparability, I can’t vouch for that, however I can inform you that pulling a 9,500-pound trailer is totally easy. So a lot in order that for those who bought right into a Lightning with one hitched up, however didn’t comprehend it, you may not notice it for a few miles.


But the Lightning does, and may enhance its towing efficiency over time because it learns the completely different trailers you utilize, the roads you drive on them with and adjusts the drivetrain accordingly. Ford is even pulling nameless information from the Lightning fleet and making a library that every one can draw from when it approaches an unfamiliar street with a trailer of a sure weight.

The F-150 Lightning has a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds.

The F-150 Lightning has a most towing capability of 10,000 kilos.

Charging at a public station with a trailer could pose a problem, as they aren’t usually oriented for a car with one thing in tow, so that you may have to take away it to tug as much as the plug. The cost port’s location on the left entrance fender does will let you park head-in if there’s room behind you to depart the trailer protruding. The non-obligatory 360-degree digicam and self-steering Pro Trailer Backup help can come in useful on this scenario.

If it’s a DC quick charging station, the battery could be refilled to 80 % in simply over 40 minutes. Charging all of it the best way will take half a day on a 240-volt charger, both on the street or at house. Gas stations have been few and much between when the Model T was launched and the nationwide electrical automobile charging community equally has a method to go, however being able to cost this newfangled contraption in your storage is the true boon.


Ford is hopeful that the Lightning would be the car that’s convincing sufficient to get the majority of Americans who aren’t already on the Tesla bandwagon over the hump of electrical car possession, the best way the Model T bought them off horses. Early adopters ought to be blissful they got here alongside for the experience, and the Lightning has what it takes to win over various fence-sitters. As for the remaining, Ford isn’t solely giving up on inner combustion engines simply but, but when it might carry the value of extra Lighting trims down and enhance their vary a bit extra, it could possibly quickly.


2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Base worth: $41,699 to $93,703

Type: 4-door, 5-passenger all-wheel-drive pickup

Motor: Dual-motor electrical

Power: 452-580 hp, 775 lb-ft torque

Transmission: single-speed automated

MPGe: 66-70 mixed

Range: 230-320 miles

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