Zoom in / At first glance, this may be any other Ford F-150 pickup, but the aerodynamic wheels and nose handling mark it as the all-electric F-150 Lightning. This is the highest specification Platinum gasket.

Jonathan Gitlin

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Simply put, the Ford F-150 Lightning is the most important new electric vehicle we’ll be driving for a while. Car journalists can be accused of using this cliché too easily, but in this case I think it is protective. Americans love pickups more than any other four-wheel drive vehicle, and when it comes to pickups, they love Ford’s F-Series enough that it’s the nation’s best-selling vehicle. almost since I was alive.

Therefore, creating a fully battery-powered electric version of his favorite pickup seems like a good way to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in a country that lags behind Europe and China. But only if the truck is good. Part of the reason Ford sells so many F-Series trucks is that many of them are up and running, towing trailers or hauling heavy loads in their beds. And it’s just as important to decarbonize these trucks, which means that the destroyed electric F-150 must be able to cut it in the workplace just as much as in the role of a fully loaded pickup truck from a suburban dad.

For the casual observer, there is nothing that marks the F-150 Lightning as anything other than just another F-150 with a super crew cabin and a 5.5-foot bed. Instead of an open grille, there is a more aerodynamic finish at the front, plus some distinctive daytime running lights. The surfaces of alloy wheels are more disc than you usually see. And if you look closely, you will notice lightning from time to time. The cabin is light and airy thanks to the large glass moon roofs, and at the back there is enough space for large adults.

The rear seat of the F-150 crew cabin is a spacious space.
Zoom in / The rear seat of the F-150 crew cabin is a spacious space.

Jonathan Gitlin

Power transmission between the rails

All this can lead to an underestimation of the amount of work that Ford’s engineers and designers have done over the past few years. The hull may look like most F-150s, but that’s the beauty of using a body structure on a frame. And unlike the other electric pickups we’ve driven in the last few months, this one is firmly attached to the frame. Much of the hard work has gone there. The battery pack, wrapped in its protective shell, is insulated from the frame, not just bolted – it better withstand the shocks and vibrations that can occur, according to Ford engineers.

Redesigning the frame, not just removing the internal combustion bits and putting the electric ones in their place, means that Ford has not filled the nose of the truck with air conditioning parts and other ancillary elements that are all too common in European BEVs. Rather, there is an impressively useful bag large enough for sets of golf clubs or a pile of carry-on suitcases that can be locked away from prying eyes.

The F-150 Lightning can be ordered with a choice of batteries. The standard range package offers a usable capacity of 98 kWh, which is enough for a mileage of 230 miles (370 km), according to the EPA, and carries an on-board AC charger that can accommodate up to 11.3 kW and an output of 10, 5 kW. The battery pack also dictates output power; choose the smaller package, and the front and rear electric motors with permanent magnets will generate a combined 452 hp. (337 kW) and 775 lb-ft (1050 Nm).

The extended range battery provides 131 kWh of usable capacity, which should allow between 300-320 miles (482-515 km) between charges, depending on the configuration. The larger package also delivers more engine power – 580 hp. (433 kW) in this case. The torque is identical to the standard range package, but in addition to the larger capacity package, Ford also has an on-board AC charger that can accommodate up to 19.2 kW and produce 17.6 kW.


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