Green Lightning debuts for F-150 drivers
June 2, 2021
He may be 78 years old, but President Joe Biden is quick to push the pedal to the metal. On May 18 at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Mich., the president tried out the paces of Ford’s newly revealed F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck. And while consumers might have thought an electric F-150 would be a non-starter, Biden proved them wrong by punching it and achieving 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds (at least according to the president’s internal stopwatch).
“This sucker’s quick,” Biden said.
The Lightning marks a turning point for both Ford and truck owners. Rather than gear the EV version of the country’s most popular pickup to the wealthy among us, Ford will market the Lightning to everyday drivers, with a price to match: $39,974 before taxes and license. And that doesn’t include the $7,500 federal tax credit. In fact, the Lightning will be one of the least expensive and most versatile pickups on the market, gas or electric.
To persuade skeptical buyers, Ford has made new technology in the Lightning a top priority. In fact, Ford says the truck is a generator on wheels. What does that mean? The truck’s batteries can power a home during a blackout (such as the recent Houston-area blackout) for up to three days. Campers can offload as much as 9.6 kW of electricity to appliances, power tools, or other camping necessities through a variety of outlets in the vehicle’s cabin, bed, or “frunk.” What’s a frunk? It’s the immense space under the front hood where the engine would normally go.
The Lightning can also tow up to 10,000 pounds.
But how far can a driver go in a fully charged Lightning? The truck will come with a standard 230-mile range battery pack. An extended 300-mile pack is also available. And if drivers worry about running out of “gas,” they can receive warnings of that through smartphone alerts. Lightning sensors can also calibrate the load it’s hauling, combine that figure with driving conditions, and give drivers a very accurate estimate of how far they’ll go.
One of the absolute best things about Ford’s F-150 Lightning, though, is its green status.
There must be cons, right? One of the downsides of owning a Lightning will depend on where drivers live and where they plan to go. In some areas of the country, charging stations may be hard to find on a trip. Biden aims to fix that through the EV and charging station subsidies in his infrastructure package. If passed, consumers will be able to reliably find charging stations for the Lightning and other electric vehicles across the country.
Union workers may entertain doubts about the source of EV batteries for the vehicles. Won’t those come from other countries? Reuters reported on May 19 that Ford has joined with South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovations to launch US manufacturing of EV batteries for the Lightning and other electric vehicles.
“We’ve been writing our own battery management software for quite some time,” Reuters reported Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley as stating. “Now it’s time for us to lock in on the latest technology and to have a secure cell production relationship.”
The Ford F-150 Lightning promises to bring consumers power and versatility—all in a green package.