In the race to bring a fully electric pickup truck to market, we’ve (sadly) seen some flops. But generally speaking, those have been companies starting from the ground up. It’s an entirely different story when an established auto manufacturer like Ford announces their entrance to the EV truck scene. That is to say, the new F-150 Lightning already feels much more tangible, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the steering wheel.
The F-150 Lightning will be the most powerful F-150 to date, with 563 horses and 775 pound-feet of torque, and we may see them on the road as soon as 2022. But this truck promises much more than impressive power. In fact, the team in Michigan says that this will be “the most innovative truck Ford has ever built.” What exactly does that mean? Well, as you can imagine, lots of fancy electronics and technology. Here’s a brief run-down:
Seamless Connectivity to Software Updates – Over-the-air software downloads and a service dubbed “Ford Power-up” deliver a better technological experience and offer new features and fixes without having to go to the dealership.
BlueCruise – This is Ford’s hands-free highway driving feature. Initially, users can expect 100,000 miles of approved divided highways in the US and Canada, with more to come down the road. *Note that BlueCruise is not intended to replace a focused and attentive driver.
Pro Power Onboard – Similar to what we’ve seen with Ford’s hybrid Eco-boost-equipped trucks, Pro Power Onboard will offer robust independent electrical power. The standard Lightning trim will start with 2.4 kilowatts but can be upgraded to offer as much as 9.6 kilowatts. Intelligent features can automatically cut off Pro Power before the truck’s battery falls below the range required to reach the nearest EV charging station.
Built Ford Tough Comes Standard – Dual in-board motors deliver true 4×4 capability and a new independent rear suspension results in improved ride comfort. The Lightning’s all-new frame uses the strongest steel ever in an F-150, resulting in a 2,000-pound payload and 10,000-pound towing capacity.
The Frunk – Well, what did you think they were going to do with all that extra space under the hood? The frunk provides dedicated secure storage space, with a 400-liter volume and 400-pound payload capacity. In this space, there are also four electrical outlets (delivering 2.4 kilowatts of power), two USB outlets, and a drainable floor for food and beverage—just picture it full of ice with frosty beverages poking out (although I’m not yet sure how this works with the electrical outlets).
“For both Ford and the American auto industry, F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment as we progress toward a zero-emissions, digitally connected future,” said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company. “F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 44 years, the backbone of work across the country, and a trusted icon for generations of customers. Now we are revolutionizing it for a new generation.”
Ford currently has a more than 22-billion-dollar electric vehicle plan which will see emissions-free versions of its most popular vehicles, including the Mustang, Transit, and F-150, but that’s just the start.
“The F-150 Lightning is a massive moment for our Ford team. America’s No. 1 auto brand is going zero emissions with America’s favorite vehicle. It’s quicker than a Raptor, with standard 4×4 and independent rear suspension; a power frunk, enough juice to run your house for three days or power an awesome tailgate; and it will forever improve with over-the-air updates,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley. “It will be built at the Rouge factory, where Henry Ford changed the world and my grandfather punched in every day. F-150 Lightning represents all that our country can do when we push for progress.”
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