The F-150 pickup truck has been an iconic part of Ford’s lineup for most of its history. The brand built its first truck, the Model TT, in 1917, but the Ford F-series trucks didn’t appear until 1948.
When the F-150 first rolled off the assembly line in 1975, it changed everything. It has been one of the best-selling trucks of all time, but other than some upgrades as the technology evolved, it hasn’t changed much — until now.
In 2019, Ford announced the F-150 Lightning, its first fully electric pickup truck, with a rather impressive towing stunt that went viral. What makes the F-150 Lightning so exciting?
Trading one gas for two electric
Traditionally, pickup trucks are powered by central gasoline or diesel engine secured under the hood when there’s no need for internal combustion; your options for engine placement, number, and power potential change dramatically.
In theory, you could assign a powerful electric motor to each wheel and create the most powerful street-legal car on the market. No one has done that yet, but Ford’s got the right idea.
The F-150 Lighting will have two different lithium-ion battery packs to choose from and two electric motors that can generate between 426 and 563 horsepower, depending on the battery pack you choose.
The Standard Range pack will carry you an estimated 230 miles, while the Extended Range battery is aiming for 300 miles before you need to recharge.
Battery power is nothing to sneeze at
Die-hard F-150 fans might look down their nose at the idea of a battery-powered pickup truck, but this technology is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you’re using the truck for towing and hauling.
Unlike gasoline or diesel engines, which need to reach a specific RPM to deliver on their advertised torque generation, electric motors benefit from instant torque. As soon as you hit the accelerator, the torque is there, ready for the taking.
Both range options will generate a solid 775 pound-feet of torque, and while it might not be the fastest F-150 on the market, the Extended Range option, equipped with the Max Trailer Tow package, can easily tow up to 10,000 pounds.
While you might not be towing a million pounds of freight cars as the Lightning did in its 2019 showcase, the sort of power these electric trucks provide means that they can stand toe to tow with other pickup trucks on the market.
As a bonus, the Lighting comes with a feature that allows you to use it as a battery backup if the power goes out. Set it up to work manually or automatically as a generator if the grid fails, and the lights go out. It can power your entire house for up to three days on a full charge.
Creating an electric legacy
This isn’t the only electric car making a debut in Ford’s lineup. The Mustang Mach-E, a fully electric SUV and the first four-door vehicle to bear the Mustang moniker, is available for the 2021 model year and has Ford fans in a tizzy.
For those who are not fans of SUVs, the Mustang Lithium or something like it might be the car for you. This beastly little pony car has more than 900 horsepower and more than 1000 lb-ft of torque. That sort of power is nearly unheard of for a coupe.
Unfortunately, the Mustang Lithium was a one-off concept that premiered at 2019’s SEMA car show, but it shows that Ford is working toward a fully electric Mustang. It might not be too long before we start seeing electric pony cars as a regular part of Ford’s lineup.
This also won’t be the last EV we see from the brand. According to a report released in May, Ford plans to invest more than $30 billion in EVs by 2025 and expects that half their global sales will be of EVs by 2030.
Make the most of your new frunk
Like the Mach-E and other EVs that don’t need a traditional internal combustion engine, the F-150 Lightning comes equipped with a ‘frunk’ or front trunk. These empty spaces have been repurposed for storage, though if Ford’s Mach E advertising is any indicator, the brand wants you to use it as a cooler.
The water-tight storage comes equipped with a drain plug in the bottom so you could, in theory, fill it with ice and cocktail shrimp, so you’re ready for your next tailgate or outdoor party.
While there are definitely more sanitary ways to haul your tailgating goodies, having an additional 14.1 cubic feet of weatherproof storage space makes it easier to move all your supplies from point A to B. It’s also a lot better for moving weather-sensitive materials instead of just throwing them in the bed of your truck and hoping you beat the rain.
Bringing home an F-150 Lightning
If you’re a die-hard F-150 fan, then getting your hands on a Lightning is the next logical step. These electric pickups will be available for the 2022 model year, so stay tuned and keep in touch with your local Ford dealership to make sure that you’re in the know when these things start rolling off the assembly line.
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Last Updated on June 26, 2021.