The first mutterings and published rumors about the electric pickup truck that would eventually become the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning appeared in late 2019. This was a time when many American automobile manufacturers were announcing a commitment to an electric future, so many drivers took the rumors with a grain of salt. After all, previously manufactured electric vehicles (EVs) were slow, cumbersome, and needed to be charged every few miles. How on Earth would those limitations be overcome in order to create a successful work truck?
A pickup truck needs to be able to haul heavy loads, accommodate a sizable payload, and drive from site to site without pausing to catch its breath. Historically speaking, EVs needed to recharge every few hours, and you definitely couldn't get enough power in the battery to actually haul anything more than a few passengers. But the time has come for drivers to abandon everything they thought they knew about EVs and take a look at the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, a truck that's been built "Ford Tough," and just so happens to run on electricity. The all-new Lightning is shocking… in the best ways possible.
If Ford's early EVs, such as the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, have taught the public anything, it's that speed and electricity can join forces. In fact, the power of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning goes beyond zero emissions and clean air into the extra abilities made possible by electric propulsion. For example, torque response is almost immediate, and the truck itself becomes a power source when fully charged.
The F-150 Lightning will have a standard range of 230 miles per full charge, which can be lengthened to 300 miles with the available extended-range battery pack. Ford has covered the horsepower and torque issues with the extended-range battery, as well. When properly equipped, the Lightning will provide 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, giving it more power than even the mighty 7.3L Godzilla V8 in the Ford Super Duty. Currently, Ford is targeting a 0-60 mile per hour acceleration in the mid-4 second range, which is faster than many current sports cars.
Additionally, the 2022 Ford Lightning plans to be able to tow and stow with the best of them. The targeted towing capacity is 10,000 pounds when the Maximum Tow Package is added. The bed is designed to carry up to 2,000 pounds of payload, as well, making it ideal for all of your gear, whether you're headed to work or on a fun adventure. It may be electric, but the Lightning is a real F-150.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning was built with highly advanced technology, and the magic doesn't stop with the electric motor. Nearly every aspect of the Lightning is technologically advanced above and beyond what most drivers expect from a truck.
You can use your household electricity to charge your EV, but the F-150 Lightning can also be used to power your house. Pro Power Onboard allows drivers to turn their truck into a massive rolling battery, with 11 outlets dispersed throughout the cabin, front trunk, and bed. Ford Intelligent Backup Power takes that a step further, giving you the ability to power your entire home for up to 3 days if you're left without electricity.
As a Ford Lightning driver, you'll also have access to over-the-air software updates so that you'll never be caught without the latest and greatest version of every feature. Additionally, you'll be able to use the Phone As A Key feature to unlock your vehicle as you approach, which means no more juggling and shifting with your hands full as you struggle to reach your key fob.
BlueCruise is another technical innovation that will be on board the F-150 Lightning. Combining a driver-facing camera with radar technology, BlueCruise will allow for true hands-free driving. Currently, over 100,000 miles of highway are compatible with the system, giving your Lightning a path to follow without requiring any steering effort from you.
Four trims have been announced: Pro, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. Much like the trims in the gasoline-powered F-150, each trim will include its own variety of comfort and convenience options. For example, the Pro is a basic work truck with easy-to-clean vinyl seating and a no-frills interior. The XLT will include a 360-degree camera view, Ford's helpful interior work surface console, and cozy cloth seating. The Lariat includes some luxury touches, like heated and ventilated front seats and a power tailgate. Finally, the Platinum will go all-out with Nirvana leather seating, a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, and a twin-panel moonroof.
Many drivers are wondering if the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is going to be as capable as the current F-150. After all, many folks use their pickup trucks for off-road duty, whether that means the muddy driving areas at a construction site or packing up and voyaging through the gritty backroads of the local National Park on the weekends.
Linda Zhang, the chief engineer for the F-150 Lightning, has been quoted affirming the capability of the vehicle, stating that "this all-electric truck has been engineered with dual inboard motors, which means it can take on rough terrain. Our team of engineers has run the same arduous test regimen our F-150 customers have learned to expect from Ford."
The Lightning is equipped with a waterproof casing to protect the battery, along with skid plates for both the battery and the inboard motors. A liquid cooling system keeps the Ford Lightning performing in top condition, even while towing trailers up and down steep inclines, while the military-grade aluminum alloy construction and independent rear suspension offer a stable ride when the terrain gets rugged.
Cargo is actually the F-150 Lightning's forte. If you're wondering what's under the hood now that the powerhouse battery has been moved to the undercarriage, the answer is "a frunk." So named because it's a "front trunk," the frunk includes 14.1 cubic feet of space with a 400-pound weight limit, four 120V outlets, one USB-C outlet, and one USB-A outlet. It looks like tailgating is about to be joined by… frunkgating?
Technology is also on board when it comes to towing. Onboard scales will help drivers determine whether their cargo is too much or just right before getting on the road. Pro Trailer Hitch Assist technology will automatically guide your truck hitch ball to the trailer's coupler with the touch of a button. Smart Hitch is an available system that calculates tongue weight to ensure proper weight distribution before you drive, as well. And Trailer Reverse Guidance will help you avoid embarrassing and dangerous jackknifes when attempting to maneuver in tight spots.
When it comes to recharging the battery, Ford gives you options. Every Lightning comes standard with a 32-amp Ford Mobile Charger, which can let you charge from any standard 120 or 240V electrical outlet. Trucks with the extended-range battery come with an upgraded 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro for even faster charge times. These options allow you to plug your truck in for the night and get to work with a full battery every morning.
While you can stop at charging stations to fill up along your journey, it's not entirely necessary. The FordPass Power My Trip feature allows drivers to make the best decisions for each trip. This program uses the truck's current charge level and payload status to offer maps that will provide you with the most travel per charge, incorporating convenient stops for chargings as necessary.
From all early specs, reports, and reviews, it appears that the Ford F-150 Lightning is going to shock the world, but not with its electric underpinnings. Instead, it's poised to exceed every possible expectation of the American public.