With the rise of electric vehicles across the automotive landscape, brands have been competing hand over fist to deliver the best EV. In order to effectively compete to be on the top, these EVs have to have brand recognition, range, power, style, and an attainable price point. The competition is fierce and the stakes are high. With gas prices soaring and growing concern over environmental factors, brands have had to shift focus onto their EV lineups, and fast. We’ve already been seeing EV sedans and SUVs, but trucks are a fairly new addition. But with competition as stiff as it is, you can’t count out truck drivers.
While the first electric pickup truck to hit the market was from Rivian, Ford was hot on their heels with the F-150 Lightning. While Ford wasn’t first, they have something Rivian doesn’t: brand loyalty. Ford has been building automobiles since 1908, compared to Rivian’s recent debut in 2021. That means Ford has a leg up on designing EVs for a customer base that has long existed. Not only that, but the F-150 has been the best selling truck for four decades. Merging EV technology with a historically successful vehicle feels like a no-brainer. As soon as Ford announced the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, orders started pouring in.
A Bright Idea
Before we examine the future of this model, let’s take a look at its present. The F-150 Lightning shares a great deal with its gas-powered counterpart. It offers peak performance, towing and hauling, and plenty of conveniences for its drivers. It looks very similar to the gas engine F-150s of the past, so switching to the EV doesn’t mean losing any of the rugged aesthetic that draws in fans of the F-Series. The 2023 Lightning offers an extended range battery and two electric motors with a few options for battery packs. Similar to the other F-150s, it offers customers lots of choices for personalizing the truck. The 2023 F-150 is offered in six trims including the Pro, XLT, Lariat, XLT Extended Range, Lariat Extended Range, and Platinum Extended Range. They vary in price from the mid-$50,000 range up to almost $100,000. While these figures might seem high, it’s key to remember that you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars each month on gas, and that many areas offer a rebate of up to $7,500 for investing in an EV.
While each F-150 Lightning has two electric motors, they vary on whether you opt for the Extended Range battery or not. Standard Range models produce 452 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, and offers 240 miles of range on a single charge. Extended Range models have a larger battery that enables you to drive 300 miles between charges. They also have two electric motors that produce 580 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque. Both versions offer fast acceleration, with a 0-60 mph time of only 4.1 seconds. Placement of the battery low in the vehicle helps to keep the truck’s center of gravity low to improve the overall handling and feel more secure in even the tightest of turns.
When consumers are new to the world of EVs, we hear a lot about range anxiety. The time it takes to charge and the access to public charging stations is often the first thing on a driver’s mind. With the F-150 Lightning, charging has never been easier. The 120-volt and the 240-volt outlets are interchangeable, so you can select whichever you’d like, no matter the model. The Ford Charge Station Pro has a peak charging power of 19.2 kW and can be easily installed in your home. It can fully charge the Extended Range battery in eight hours. The other option is to get the portable 120V or 240V NEMA 14-50 charger that doesn’t require any special equipment. Plug this into any outlet and fully charge your Extended Range battery in around 20 hours. When you’re on the road, it’s easy to find a charger that is part of the BlueOval public charging network. With 75,000 chargers and growing across North America, you’re never too far away from one. Your F-150 Lightning helps you stay ahead of the game with its Intelligent Range feature. This measures how many miles of range you have left by factoring in weather, payload, traffic, and inclines to keep you up to date and help you plan.
Like the other models in Ford’s F-Series, the F-150 Lightning is designed for hard work. While Standard Range models can tow up to 7,700 pounds, the Extended Range models have a 10,000-pound towing capacity. Similarly, the Standard Range trims offer 1,800 pounds of hauling power, and Extended Range models offer up to 2,235 pounds. You can select different driving modes to help optimize any scenario, including a Tow/Haul mode. To make things even easier, Ford offers a Tow Technology Package you can add to the F-150 Lightning to help you with Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Trailer Brake Controller, Smart Hitch, On-Board Scales, Smart Trailer Tow Connection, and Trailer Reverse Guidance. There are countless great features in the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, and Ford is taking all the best stock and building upon it for future models.
The Future of the F-150 Lightning
As most brands do, Ford has been in the game of designing and building concept cars. These allow fans to see the general direction in which the brand wants to go. While some concept cars feature wildly obscure features, Ford tends to build concepts that look and feel like models they have in production.
On February 9, 2023, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley posted a not-so-cryptic glimpse into where the company is taking the F-150 Lightning. A photo posted to Twitter shows the partial reveal of an F-150 Lightning concept to Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. From what’s visible in the photo, the truck closely resembles the current F-150 Lightning, with hints of similar tires, headlights, and the front end. The truck is flanked by the two of Ford’s other EV concepts that both produce over 1000 horsepower: the seven-motor Mach-E 1400, and the SuperVan 4. Whether this means Ford aims to build a 1000 horsepower F-150 Lightning is unclear, but we can assume the future of the F-150 Lightning will focus on high performance output. This news comes on the heels of Ford’s announced return to Formula 1 racing.
Today’s production F-150 Lightning is already a winning vehicle for the brand. Ford made good on their promise to deliver an EV pickup that’s loaded with capability, performance, and outstanding tech. The Ford F-150 Lightning’s four-second 0-60 mph time makes it faster than the gas-powered F-150 Raptor. There may be some hesitation as the world adjusts to all-electric vehicles, but Ford’s decision to build an EV of an already thriving model will curb those feelings for many drivers.
As far as the concept F-150 Lightning goes, we can infer that horsepower and torque will be much of Ford’s focus. If Ford wishes to keep staying ahead of the game, they’ll also work on the F-150 Lightning’s charging capabilities, range, and battery. The world needs more EVs, and it needs a line of trucks that work hard. The Ford F-150 Lightning aims to be the solution.