Until now, the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning has been a bit camera shy. It was hiding under a sheet Tuesday, and then we got a good look at its platform; hell, then we got to see the President driving one. We can now call this game of Where’s Waldo officially over, because Ford’s just revealed the truck in its entirety in an event streamed Wednesday night.
No need to beat around the bush; price is probably the number one question on your mind, so let’s get to it. The F-150 Lightning will start at $39,974, and critically, that’s before any tax incentives. The gas-engine F-150 starts at $28,940, so when you lop $7,500 off a smidge under $40K, the difference doesn’t seem very stark at first glance.
The catch is, that’s the pricing for what Ford calls the “commercial-oriented” version. The “more-equipped” XLT model with additional tech will cost $52,974. At the top end, you’re looking at $90,474 for a fully-loaded one.
The Lightning’s dual-motor powertrain — one motor on each axle — produces 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque. Ford quotes a 0-60 mph time around the 4.5 second mark. That would make the Lightning even faster than the Raptor, but that’s more of an estimate at the moment. It also packs an independent rear suspension for the first time on an F-150, for sharper steering and less body roll.
With the standard battery equipped and when not hauling anything, the Lightning can reportedly travel for about 230 miles before needing a full recharge; the extended-range battery will offer 300 miles. We don’t yet know the capacities of these battery packs — Ford is keeping tight-lipped on that. But the pack is protected in a waterproof casing and shielded by metal skid plates, which will hopefully assuage any concerns about punctured cells.
If you are lugging stuff around, the Lightning matches the regular F-150's payload capacity at 2,000 pounds. With the battery upgrade, the Lightning has a max towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. Of course, the big question is to what effect payloads and towage will impact range, and that’s something Ford didn’t shed light on at the reveal. However, the truck will incorporate an onboard scale to factor what you’re carrying or pulling into range estimates.
Besides towing and accelerating very quickly, you can also use all the Lightning’s juice as a generator. It’s not the only EV to do this — even the comparably cute Hyundai Ioniq 5 can power a small campsite, but the F-150's capability will probably see more use in, say, construction applications. There are 11 outlets in total around the truck.
The truck will come with an 80-amp charging station that Ford says will be able to top up the battery from 15 to 100 percent in eight hours. If you’re DC fast charging on a long trip, you can expect to get from 15 to 80 percent in about 40 minutes.
From the outside, the F-150 Lightning pretty much looks like a normal SuperCrew-cab F-150 except with slightly softer edges. Still, that massive frontal area looks to have the aerodynamic properties of a shipping container, so it’s not like Ford has upended the classic truck aesthetic or anything.
One of the major cargo advantages of a battery-electric truck is the ability to have a frunk in addition to a bed, and the Lightning has a big one, with a volume of 400 liters. Ford says that’s enough space for two carry-ons and a checked bag, which makes it even more spacious than the cargo areas in most small hatchbacks. (I’m speaking from experience there, I’ll have you know.)
Inside, you can get a gigantic 15.5-inch touchscreen on the more premium trim levels. It looks a lot like the one in the Mustang Mach-E, with the same nifty dial bonded to the display.
The Lightning is planned to hit dealers by the spring 2022, though Dearborn is no stranger to delays, having pushed back the Mach-E and Bronco rollouts. So maybe add an extra couple months to that already vague ETA, just to be safe.