2020 Ford F-150 Lightning EV Pickup Debuts, 300-Mile Range, Priced At $40k

2020 Ford F 150 Lightning Ev Pickup Debuts, 300 Mile Range, Priced At $40k
Ford
Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford revealed the new 2022 F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup at its “Glass House” headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, in a dramatic outdoor multi-media presentation. Ford hopes the EV will be the blue-collar hero.

The truck, which maintains a close physical resemblance to its gas counterpart, will offer buyers a standard-range battery that can travel an estimated 230 miles on a full charge as well as a larger extended-range battery projected to deliver 300 miles of range.

Pricing for the 2022 F-150 Lightning will start around $40,000 for the entry-level model. The mid-level XLT will cost $53,000. Both prices do not include destination fees or the $7,500 federal tax credit for which the truck will be eligible.

“We’re not here to make an electric truck for the few,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America. “Ford is committed to building one that solves real problems for real people.”

“The Ford F-150 Lighting can be a best-selling electric vehicle in the U.S. if they market it and get it on the road and in the communities where the truck drivers live,” said Katherine Garcia, acting director of the Clean Transportation Campaign for the Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization. “Drivers will talk and will say that it’s the best vehicle you can buy.”

The Sierra Club is hopeful Ford will manufacture significant quantities of the truck to make sure that people can purchase it. “Some EV models have waitlists and we want to make sure that potential buyers are not stuck in a queue,” Garcia told Forbes Wheels.

The Ford F-150 Lightning is not only similar in style to the F-150, but in stature as well. Available initially as a crew cab (the pickup version with the biggest second row) with a 5.5-foot bed, the F-150 Lightning pickup stretches 232.7-inches in length and has a 145-inch wheelbase. Both figures fall within a few slivers of the standard F-150’s 231.7-inch length and 145.5-inch wheelbase.  (By contrast, the popular Ford Expedition full-size SUV is 210.0 inches long with a 122.5-inch wheelbase.)

Beneath the aluminum skin, it’s clear the F-150 Lightning has unique DNA. In addition to the obvious items like the four-wheel drive EV powertrain, the frame is unique and constructed of “the strongest steel ever put in an F-150 frame,” Ford says. It also has an independent rear suspension, a first for Ford pickups.

Ford F-150 Lightning
This design sketch indicates how Ford entered the design process with a clear idea of how they wanted the F-150 Lightning to echo the design of the standard F-150. Ford

F-150 Lightning Pickup Tow Rating and Payload

The F-150 Lightning is rated to tow up to 10,000 pounds, or 7,700 pounds with the standard-range battery. But it doesn’t come close to the 19,500-pound max tow rating of a similarly equipped F-150 with the 3.5-liter turbocharged (EcoBoost) V6 engine. (To be fair, many configurations of the standard F-150 don’t break the 10,000-pound barrier either.) The F-150 Lightning is rated for a 2,000-pound payload (1,800 pounds with extended-range battery), falling right in league with peers.

The Lightning comes available with Ford’s Onboard Scales, a technology that uses sensors to weigh payload. The Lightning version of Onboard Scales also is integrated with Intelligent Range to relay an accurate estimate of the load’s impact on estimated range. Also available is Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, which automatically controls steering, throttle and brake inputs to eliminate hassle from hitching to a trailer.

Ford F-150 Lightning
Rated to tow up to 10,000 pounds, we’re anxious to see some data on how towing affects range. Ford

Two Motors, Standard-or Extended-Range

The F-150 Lightning is powered by a pair of fixed magnet AC motors–one mounted to each axle providing four-wheel drive. Two lithium-ion battery packs are offered, both liquid-cooled. The 230-mile 10.5 kW standard-range battery provides 426 horsepower, while the 300-mile 17.6 kW extended-range battery is good for 563 horsepower. Torque is 775 pound-feet for both.

More impressive, the F-150 Lightning is quick. The extended-range version sprints from zero to 60 mph in the mid-four-second range. That’s faster than the Raptor. All the underhood space consumed by an engine in the Raptor and other conventional F-150s is a frunk with enough room to hold two sets of golf clubs and cargo up to 400 pounds. The frunk also has four 110-volt outlets and two USB chargers as well as 2.4 kW of output to power tools, TVs and more. A drain helps it pull double-duty as a cooler.

Ford F-150 Lightning
The battery resides underneath the passenger compartment with motors mounted one each on the front and rear axle. There’s a certain elegance to the tidy layout of the hardware. Ford

F-150 Lightning Charge Time

Ford will offer three levels of home charging options: A 32-amp Ford mobile-charging unit that runs on either 120- or 240-volt household AC, which is standard with a lease or purchase. Ford claims this unit will fully recharge the standard-range battery in 14 hours and the extended range battery in 19 hours. A 48-amp Ford Connected wall mount charge station is optional. It requires a 240-volt source and can charge the batteries in 10 and 13 hours, respectively. Ford also offers the 80-amp Charge Station Pro, which shortens charge time for the extended-range battery to 8 hours.

Buyers with access to an Electrify America DC Level Two 50 kW fast-charging station can increase the battery charge from 15% to 80% in just 91 minutes for the standard battery and 122 minutes for the extended battery. A DC charger that operates at a full 150 kW output drops the times to around 40 minutes for both batteries. Additionally, a quick 10-minute charge session can add up to 41 or 54 miles. Conversely, an hour on the standard 32-amp home charger adds 14 or 13 miles, respectively.

Ford F-150 Lightning
The interior follows the lead of the successful F-150. The latest Sync 4a infotainment system makes its debut on the F150 Lightning. Ford

Advanced Technology

The latest version of Ford’s Sync infotainment system, Sync 4a, debuts on the F-150 Lightning with a 15.5-inch touchscreen. All the usual cons—natural voice control, cloud-connected navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Amazon Alexa and SYNC AppLink apps—are on tap.

Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driving app is part of the available Co-Pilot 360 package and allows for actual hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of pre-qualified divided highways in the U.S. and Canada.  

Similar to the ProPower Onboard system of the F-150 Hybrid, the Lightning has Ford Intelligent Backup Power, which provides 9.6 kW of power during a power outage to keep the lights on, power home appliances, security systems and more. 

Enabled by the available 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system, the F-150 Lightning automatically kicks in to power your house. (Additional hardware installation is required, contact Ford.) Based on an average 30kWh of use per day, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery provides full-home power for up to three days, or as long as ten days if power is rationed, with results varying based on energy usage.

Ford has even bigger plans, plotting a setup where the Intelligent Power system will use the truck to power homes during high-cost, peak-energy hours and then recharge the battery overnight. This can take pressure off the grid in peak usage times and potentially save you money. There will also be options to explore a collaboration with Solar Installer Sunrun, permitting customers to install solar energy on their home for household use and F-150 Lightning Charging.

1994 Ford F-150 Lightning
Though the new 2022 Lightning EV shares a name with the street-brawling Ford Lightning pickup from decades ago, they are entirely unrelated in mission and hardware. Alex Kwanten

How Much Does the F-150 Lightning Cost?

The 2020 Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup will be assembled at Ford’s new, state-of-the-art Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on the grounds of the stories River Rouge complex. The Electric motors are built at Ford’s Van Dyke transmission plant and the batteries are made at Ford’s Rawsonville Components plant, both in Michigan.

The Ford F-150 Lightning Pickup will initially be available in four trims: Base, XLT, Lariat and Platinum. The commercial-oriented entry model starts at $39,974 before any federal or state tax credits, while the mid-series XLT model starts at $52,974.

Vehicles will be available in the Spring of 2022, but Ford is taking $100 reservations right now.