The Car Connection Ford F-150 Lightning Overview
The Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck is a battery electric version of the long time bestselling vehicle in the U.S. It outdoes the F-150 by being quicker, quieter, cleaner, and as capable—if not more so—than many gas and hybrid versions. It rivals traditional gas pickups more than lifestyle trucks such as the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV, but the forthcoming Silverado EV will electrify the truck wars once again.
Sold only with a crew cab, short bed, and standard four-wheel drive, the Lightning comes in four trims with two battery pack choices.
MORE: Read our 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning review
The Lightning looks like an F-150 because it’s essentially the same truck from the body up with one big difference: it has a frunk where the engine would be. The frunk seals down at the bumper, and is crossed by a lightbar that connects the Lightning’s futuristic C-clamp headlights. Otherwise, the F-150 carries over from the windshield back, including the window step and recessed rockers, to the same 5-foot-6 bed so owners can carry over their old accessories and drop them into the Lightning.
The frame is another story. Wider, stronger, and with a motor planted at either axle, the high-strength steel frame supports and protects one of two battery packs: a 98-kwh standard-range battery pack has a range of 230 miles, and the system outputs 452 hp; a 131-kwh extended-range battery pack has a range of 320 miles (standard on top Platinum trims with a range of 300 miles), and a system output of 580 hp. With either pack, the motors churn out 775 lb-ft of torque for lightning quick acceleration and a 0-60 mph time estimated at 4.5 seconds with the big pack. It’s remarkable given its boxy proportions and estimated curb weight of about 6,600 lb.
Even more remarkable is how quiet and collected it rides, thanks in part to a fully independent suspension with rear coil over springs and a stabilizer bar.
The big lug can tow, too. The Lightning extended-range tops out at 10,000 lb, and the payload between the bed and cab reaches 2,235 lb. With a 2.4-kw or 9.6-kw onboard generator, the Lightning doubles as a power source on the campground or worksite, and its innovative home integration charging unit enables it to serve as a backup home generator in case of power outages or to negotiate peak utility pricing.
At home, with a Ford-installed Level 2 240-volt outlet with an 80-amp circuit, the Lightning charges in about 8 hours, or 30 miles per hour. Lesser amperages increase charging time up to 15 hours with 30 amps. On the road, DC fast-charging at up to 150 kw will go from 15-80% of charge in less than 45 minutes, with either pack size.
Ford fits the Lightning with good standard tech features, but vinyl seats and molded plastics put the base Pro in its place as a proper work truck, albeit with power features and a 12.0-inch touchscreen and a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster. USB ports and 120-volt outlets abound, but the latest connected tech is not the only emphasis.
Every Lightning is equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and other safety features. Options range from BlueCruise hands-free driving system and a surround-view camera system, to executive-level amenities in the top Platinum trim, such as massaging and fully reclining front seats.