2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning – electric trucks just got serious

As has been previously rumored, Ford is bringing back the famed Lightning name after nearly two decades. While it’s no longer a product of SVT with a short cab, supercharger, and rad 90’s styling, the new Lightning is arguably the most important F-150 ever. The Lightning returns, but as the first all-electric F-150. It will help lead the charge (so to speak) for the company’s EV revolution with smart tech, impressive capabilities, and a price point you won’t believe. And for us old school Lightning fans, it’s also the quickest F-150 in company history. Electric powertrain theme aside, it’s earned that name.

The way Ford has approached this is not much different than they’ve approached any other F-150, and that’s what makes it stand out. Ford designed the Lightning to be used and to serve its owners. It offers similar levels of payload and towing, has all of the same amenities and [way] more, and is… uh, just a truck. It’s not a six-figure fashion statement like the new Hummer EV is going to be and it’s not an unrealistic meme on wheels that the Cybertruck could be if it ever gets built (debuted in fall 2019 and has yet to be seen in public again). And while Rivian and Canoo have exciting and interesting electric pickup concepts, they are newcomers in what is a very difficult world. It’s too early to know if their offerings will sink or swim. With a manufacturer like Ford, you know your electric pickup is going to work as advertised and is going to exist. On that note, the Lightning’s production is scheduled to begin in Spring 2022. Provided the world’s microchip shortage is at least somewhat under control by then, here’s what you can expect.

What makes the Lightning strike

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The Lightning is a SuperCrew four-door with a 5.5-foot bed and permanent dual-motor all-wheel drive. No other cab/bed configurations have been announced but I suspect those will come later. Underneath the body and integrated cleanly into the chassis is a massive liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack in two configurations – standard-range and extended-range. Neither this battery pack or the motors that it feeds has been borrowed from other Ford EVs. Something like the F-150 needed hardware a little beefier than what is under the floor of the Mach E. For example, the motors are in-board and sheltered by metal skid plates (they shield the battery as well) so it can take abuse.

Its estimated payload and towing capacities are impressive even when compared to other F-150s. With the Standard battery, payload and towing are 2,000 pounds and 7,700 pounds respectively. Opt for the Extended-Range battery and payload is reduced slightly to 1,800 pounds but you get 10,000 pounds for towing. These numbers aren’t dramatically different than other SuperCrew F-150s. Some body/engine combinations offer more than the Lightning, some offer less. These numbers are a good middle ground.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Battery capacities are unknown at this time but we do know that the motors are capable of some serious power. With the standard battery pack you’re looking at 426 horsepower and 775 lb.-ft. of torque. The extended-range battery pack has the same torque but increases power up to 563 horsepower. In its most powerful configuration, the Lightning is capable of a mid-four-second 0-60 mph time. 4.4 seconds is the number being thrown around after the President took it for a spin on Tuesday, which is only a couple tenths off what my Mustang GT is quoted at and I’m not at all salty about that.

It’s not just quick in a straight line either. For the first time, Ford has given it an independent rear suspension. This combined with its low center of gravity means the Lightning is the best-handling F-150 ever. With a drop and some wider, stickier tires it could be a stupid fun sport truck like the SVT Lightnings were.

While a sport variant hasn’t been announced, there will be a dedicated worker’s spec which will be revealed at a later date. This one is targeted specifically at commercial fleets and contractors who can take advantage of significantly lower operating costs plus many of the advantages the Lightning can offer.

Driving range and charging

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Driving ranges are not official, but they’re targeting 230 miles of range with the standard battery and 300 miles of range with the extended-range battery. Those numbers stuck out to me as a little underwhelming given how much battery capacity they could theoretically fit in something as large as a SuperCrew F-150. But trucks are big and heavy and adding electric components seems to make them heavier. And despite Ford’s attempts to make the Lightning more aerodynamic, it’s still the shape of a truck. But still, 230-300 miles of range is sufficient for anything short of a road trip.

The Lightning supports fast charging and offers an 80-amp home charging station and inverter as standard when you have the extended-range battery. That along with its class exclusive dual onboard charging system means you can add an average of 30 miles of range per hour. 15% to 100% takes about eight hours. Find a 150-kilowatt DC fast charger to hook up to and you can add 54 miles of range in 10 minutes and charge from 15% to 80% in 41 minutes. Ford has tried to make finding a charging station as painless as possible with the FordPass Power My Trip feature. This will identify charging routes before embarking to make sure you’re always within range of a public charger that will hopefully maybe work.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

And if you’re at home but the home is what needs charging, the Lightning can help with that too. With the available Ford Intelligent Backup Power, you can offload 9.6kW of power to keep the lights on during a prolonged power outage. Ford says it can go for up to 3 days provided the truck is charged enough or up to 10 days if power is rationed. If you have this option plus the 80-amp home charging station/inverter, this will all be handled automatically. Just make sure the truck is plugged in and it will know when it needs to kick in to power the house. Once power is restored, it automatically goes back to charging itself. This backup power can also be used on the road by distributing power out of a total of eleven outlets.

Exterior and Interior

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Lending to the Lightning’s advantages of “just being a truck”, it looks… like an F-150. Without analyzing it too intensely, the big differences in exterior styling come down to lighting, the grille, and low-drag wheel designs. Lighting elements at both ends are connected by a strong horizontal bar which runs across the full width of the vehicle. Three new grille designs are available and each will certainly take advantage of the fact that there’s no air-sucking engine trying to breathe behind them. Overall the design is mature, futuristic enough, and I think quite attractive. It’s enough to set it apart from other trucks without turning it into a shitty MS Paint drawing.

Oh, and the best part? There’s a frunk. Sorry, a “mega power frunk”. This storage area offers 400 liters/14.1 cubic feet of volume and 400 pounds of payload. It’s secure, water resistant, and powered. No longer do you need a hard bed cover for secure storage to be a thing on your truck.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The cabin is equally modest. The newest-generation F-150 just got a dramatically improved cabin and the Lightning takes full advantage of it. There’s a fully digital 12″ instrument cluster but its party piece is the largest screen currently offered in a truck at 15.5″. It’s got all of the other amenities you could ask for in an F-150 with more being available the higher up the trim level food chain you go.

Pricing and launch date

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

If there’s one bit of info which makes the F-150 Lightning a truly compelling offering, it’s this. The MSRP sans destination charge is $39,974 and that’s before any federal or state tax credits. At that price point, it’s a couple thousand less than the not-a-Mustang Mach-E and right around the same price as a Tesla Model 3. But as with any truck that price can escalate rapidly. Ford says the mid-series XLT model will start at $52,974 excluding destination. Once you factor in Lariat and Platinum trims they’ve already announced, forget it.

The F-150 Lightning is expected to enter production in Spring 2022 at the historic Rouge Complex. A new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is being finished up with a $700 million investment, 500 new jobs, and a focus on carbon neutrality. This new center is where the Lightning will become a reality.

If you want to be one of the first in line for it, head on over to Ford.com to place a reservation. $100 buys you a spot in line.

[Source: Ford]

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

21 Comments

  1. Sounds pretty impressive, and has set a bug target if any of the new startups can beat it to market

  2. I’m glad this exists, and am excited about the progress that the manufacturers are making – BUT, with all of the gushing, let’s take a step back and actually look at the all important range. 230 miles sounds really impressive, but that is in ideal conditions with brand new batteries and no load. Start with winter (and I’m talking about my far-northern Minnesota winter) and that mileage figure can immediately be cut in half (or even more). Now, put a loaded 4-place snowmobile trailer behind it, and this truck is no longer a realistic, viable choice. Even in the summer, I can’t envision this towing a camper, or UTV or really anything further than an hour or so from home. They have the huge “frunk” so why not put a small range extending engine in there?

    I can see this truck being a perfect fit in the right application, but my real worry and concern is the heavy hand of government “forcing” this upon the consumer’s, when it just is not practical. [all this said while I put on my tinfoil hat, polish my weapons and pack my doomsday prepper bags, right 😉 Sorry, guess I’m having a hard time putting all of my different thoughts and ideas into one cohesive comment]

    1. Well, a balanced comment is a good comment. You’re perfectly right that your hard winters will half effective range. That can be mitigated with a heated garage and smart use, but it is an issue nonetheless. As with ICE cars, you will hardly ever max the range either. Chop off another 10%. The answer to that, I believe, is that this is not the right pickup for everyone. But it is a great start. I would also assume that the range estimat provided thus far is a conservative one, a bit like Porsche did with the Taycan. Precisely because driving with trailers and/or load is to be expected.

      With Google Translate, this might be of interest to you:
      https://motor.no/elbil/motors-rekkeviddetest-av-elbiler-vinter-2020/119157
      Winter driving battery range reduction test, yielding 10-25% reduction for most cars. It has to be noted though that cold starts and short distance driving would have the biggest impact (due to cabin/battery warmup), and I believe you see significantly colder days+windchill.

      1. “…this is not the right pickup for everyone” – very well put, and what I was trying to formulate in my scattered thoughts but couldn’t quite come up with (huh, leave it to a Norwegian to write better, clearer English!).
        Like almost the entire internet, people tend to formulate an opinion based solely on their needs/experiences, and I’m just as guilty as anyone.
        It is absolutely the wrong truck for me, but for someone like the urban cowboys that the internet always complains about (you know, the brodozer types who drive a truck as a status symbol and never actually use it like a truck) how cool would it be to have an electric hot rod that can blow the doors off anyone?

    2. I am interested to see if it can be configured to be charged while driving. Cycle loses yada yada yada…The new UTV/Snowmobile trailer could have a generator on it. Water finds its level, your fuel savings will be sponged up by the market.

  3. Great writeup and this looks like a pretty perfect start for electric trucks. A 400 liter frunk offers a proper storage volume and the price is an eye-opener – How? Sold at a loss? New and cheap economies-of-scale battery factory? The range doesn’t bother me, as fast charging is an option in many areas in the US and even in work environments I would expect a host of charging options at work sites, along the road etc.

    The one and only thing that disappoints me is not the truck itself, but that it took a full decade to pop up after the Nissan Leaf really brought the “good enough“-EV to everyone who wanted one. Now, I am excited to see if this monster is coming to Norway. If the sales prices plus taxes will be anything in the vicinity of 40k$, I would quickly have to adapt to…eh…more well-filled roads.

    We are getting proper long distance EV busses here now, Golden Dragon Triumph. They come with a 422kWh battery, with two charging points allowing a full charge in 1.5h (!). The range is 300 to 400 kilometers. Comparing a work truck to a bus is probably a bit too polemic, but what I’m trying to say is that more numbers will be exciting to see for this Ford.

  4. I have to say, I expected a higher price tag. For what many people functionally need out of a FS truck– and in particular considering the impressive performance– that’s actually a pretty sweet vehicle.

  5. I’ll definitely be curious to see just how well equipped the XLT is – Canadian pricing for the non-fleet model apparently starts at $68k, while as best as I can tell, a similar ICE truck would be $64k (pre-incentives, of course, which are normally more substantial than I’d expect on the EV). I also wonder if Ford will be petitioning the government up here to change the tax rebate threshold, or have some loophole added. Right now, nothing with a base price over $45k qualifies (and up to $55k with options) to ensure luxury cars aren’t being subsidized. That said, it might be hard to justify that a mid-spec version of the country’s best selling vehicle is a luxury vehicle (or at least, it might be a political bone to through to certain ridings).

    1. I’m guessing, but I would think the equipment level and interior pieces to be mostly the same as any other XLT. For retail buyers the XLT is pretty much the base truck. Back when the local Suburban Ford dealer kept inventories of 100+ trucks they would have 2 or 3 XLs in stock between F-150 and Super Duty. Of course there are a couple of dealers that do stock XLs but most don’t.

      1. Absolutely – what I’ve seen describes it as a “well-equipped XLT,” I’m just curious to see how well equipped it is, or to put it another way, what the actual price jump is over a 3.5 Ecoboost truck with similar equipment. It looks like it’s a little more loaded than the typical mass-market truck up here (usually an XLT in the 300A/301A package range), which I’m assuming is to give up some of the profit margin of the extra equipment to keep it competitive.

  6. While it’s a bit too big for European roads, and hell, a lot of European cars are too big for European roads and parking spaces these days, an electric F-150 could really open up the market for these in Europe with punitive CO2 taxes (and previously engine size taxes) that made these unviable for regular buyers. They generally didn’t work out as commercial vehicles either due to a whole different set of criteria on what defines a commercial – which likes a lot of things comes down to boring taxes. We might be all high and mighty about the stupidity of this stuff as a passenger car, but like McDonalds, watch what happens when we can have it. We’ll hate ourselves after, but we’ll probably give in.

    1. Places like Sweden or Finland, with hundreds of miles of secondary rural roads that get torn up every spring? This would fit the bill perfectly, if it can handle the climate.

    2. A good chunk of us west of the Atlantic were your ancestors’ neighbors, if you had space to spread out, it would be all Big Macs and professional wrestling with drag racing down the Champs Elysees.

  7. Oh man, this thing is great. This is finally an electric pickup truck for the price of a similar gas-burning truck. And because it exists, there are some people that are getting really butt-hurt about it. Like really upset, that Ford dared to make one and some people dare to buy one.

    I hope it’s a success, for a commuter truck and family sedan replacement it’s awesome. The frunk fixes the major drawback of the pickup truck design, and to me it is a lot bigger deal than it appears at first. I put my preorder in right away, lets see what the order guides are actually going to look like. All I need is an XL, and if I can add options, i’d love to get the big battery pack and the small power pro.

  8. Oh mama, is this the beginning of the end of Tesla?

    Quite seriously, I think that this is huge. A major manufacturer has come out with a vehicle targeted at the current heart of the American market and it’s a good product at a good price. For a lot of American men this truck is a lot more desirable (IMHO) than a Cybertruck as it is a functional vehicle while the Tesla is a styling exercise. Further, it is here NOW while the Cybertruck remains vaporware.

    So Tesla losing its ‘first-mover’ advantage in this segment of the market. When the Cybertruck finally appears it must face judgement:“Yeah it’s cool but is it worth another ?$20,000? more than the Ford?” Had they gotten here first they could have had a lot more sales on uniqueness alone.

    Another point is that as more of the majors enter the EV marketplace Tesla’s income from selling EV credits to them is going to diminish and the company is going to have to start living on profits from car sales…..

    1. Yes, Tesla is going to have to figure out how to make money selling cars, not selling cars and credits.

    2. If everyone agrees on a universal charging standard and it’s good, Superchargers could become the betamax of the charging format wars too.

      1. A common standard makes sense, and I can hear the echo of Schadenfreude already if Tesla has to adapt. No matter where people stand, almost everybody has an opinion on Tesla, and often a strong one. That in itself is a remarkable feat.

      2. Well Nissan the one mfg who sold any appreciable number of cars with ChDeMo plugs has said their next EVs will have the CCS plug, so there is a standard moving forward for everyone but Tesla.

  9. Regarding how they are doing it for $40k well they really aren’t for retail buyers in the near term, at least that is what I expect. In the past Ford didn’t start building fleet trucks until ~6 months or more after Job 1. Once they do open orders on the XL they will sell out to certain gov’t fleets. For example CA has claimed that if an EV is available in a needed fleet segment that is all that they will buy. So how every many Ford will allocate to XL production will sell out in a flash. So yeah for all intents and purposes for most buyers the XLT is the cheapest one you will be able to buy at your local dealer will be the XLT.

    The other thing to consider is the mark up and discount way of selling pickups. Every month is truck month and getting thousands in rebates and discounts was the norm, pre shortage anyway.

    My state and pretty much any gov’t agency in it could buy an XL 4×4 Crew Cab 5.5′ bed for $30,200, if they weren’t sold out for the 2021 MY The build and price says that truck has a price just shy of $42k. I do not expect that there will be any of those kind of discounts on the Lightning for at least a couple of years and I do expect many if not most dealers will adorn them with ADP stickers and if they probably won’t have to many XLTs in stock either. I expect the retail ATP will top $70k and there will be trucks that go out the door for $100k.

    That said it will be a hit. The Mega Power Frunk is a big deal in my opinion. Having a sealed, locked, hidden storage like that is huge. I can see setting up the bank charger for the cordless tools in it and always have them with you and ready to go. It also makes it much more practical for things like getting groceries or hardware and depending on the exact dimensions going golfing. While maybe not the ultimate road trip vehicle it would also be good for luggage.

    It is the final piece in the full size truck is the new full size car puzzle.

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