A blue 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown set up for camping.

The Versatility of the F-150 Lightning

Ford’s new all-electric pickup, the F-150 Lightning, has created a lot of buzz, piquing the interest of all kinds of people. The latest addition to the F-Series family is a versatile vehicle with a wide range of appealing features. It has to be adaptable to compete in this segment because as much as the group may be stereotyped by some, truck drivers have a diverse range of lifestyles and needs. Some rely on their truck for their job, while others use them for recreational activities like camping, sailing, or tailgate parties.

When designing an all-electric version of the F-150, Ford had to keep in mind all of the different ways that its trucks are already used while also developing features specific to the electric powertrain. That’s a tall order, but if demand is any indicator, then it looks like they delivered because most folks who want to buy one are signing up for a Ford F-150 Lightning pre-order so they can get one as soon as possible. So let’s take a closer look at how Ford made its truck of the future adept for both work and play.

Electric Powered Capability & Performance

The F-150 Lightning’s pair of electric motors can deliver up to 452 horsepower with the standard-range battery and up to 580 hp with the extended-range option. Either way, the truck delivers 775 lb-ft of instant torque. For one thing, that power gives the Lightning impressive acceleration, which can come in handy on the highway, whether you need to pass a vehicle moving at a snail’s pace in order to get to your worksite on time or want the drive to your vacation spot to be half the fun.

When it comes to trucks, some of the most important stats for buyers to consider are towing and payload capacity. With the standard-range battery, the Lightning can tow up to 7,700 lbs and haul up to 2,235 lbs. With the extended-range battery, the upper limit for payload goes down to 1,800 lbs (probably due to the more powerful battery’s extra weight) but towing capacity increases to 10,000 lbs.

For workers, these numbers mean that they can load the bed up with gear or heavy materials and have the option to hitch up a trailer filled with any equipment that’s too big to fit onboard. When it comes to recreation, this capability can be put to good use by hauling off-road motorcycles or towing camping trailers. And, of course, drivers of all stripes can take advantage of the truck’s power anytime they need to move, replace old furniture, or upgrade their kitchen appliances.

A silver 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown from the side while off-road after the owner got a Ford F-150 Lightning Pre-order.

Keeping Your Truck Running

There are plenty of minor differences between the F-150 and the F-150 Lightning, but the most obvious one is how the trucks get their power. Filling up at a gas station is comfortable and familiar to most drivers, so switching over to charging can feel intimidating. However, EVs have come a long way in recent years, and the F-150 Lightning uses the latest tech to make charging as simple and easy as possible.

The Lightning gets an estimated range of up to 230 miles per charge with the standard-range battery. Upgrade to the extended-range battery, and you can boost that up to 320 miles. However, your actual range can vary depending on a number of factors, including weather, traffic, and how much weight you’re towing or hauling. That’s why Ford created the Intelligent Range feature, which gives you a real-time estimate of your range that continuously updates as different factors change. This can come in handy for road trippers who need to figure out when and where they’re going to charge up along the way, and it’s also useful for contractors who move from job site to job site throughout the year rather than having a standard commute.

Gas stations may be pretty well spread out, but with an EV, you can power up just about anywhere that has electricity. With a dedicated Level 2 home charging station, you can plug your truck in at night and wake up to a full charge the next morning. However, you can still plug into a regular home outlet to get some charge from anywhere, though it won’t be as fast. That means you can charge up at your vacation house or at your worksite, with no extra stop at the gas station required. If you want the fastest charge while out on the road, you’ll want to find and utilize one of the public Level 3 fast charging stations that can take you from a 15 to 80% charge in roughly 44 minutes.

More Storage Space Than Just in the Bed

A pickup bed is great for loading and unloading lots of cargo, but it does have its downsides. Some equipment is too sensitive to be kept in an open-air environment, and if you park and walk away from your truck, everything stored in the bed is vulnerable to thieves. A sealed trunk can keep cargo protected from inclement weather and sticky fingers, but with most vehicles, you have to make a choice between the security of a trunk and the volume and versatility of an open bed.

Since the F-150 Lightning doesn’t have a traditional engine, Ford has converted the space under the hood into a sealed front trunk that provides 14.1 cu.ft. of storage space that can hold up to 400 lbs of cargo. From holding power tools to scuba gear to luggage, there’s no shortage of ways that you can make use of this extra space. There are also power outlets built into the trunk, so you can use it as a mobile workbench or charging station for personal devices.

A black 2022 Ford Lightning is shown from the front while driving through snow.

Providing Power

One big perk of getting the Lightning is that it comes with a built-in source of energy that can be used to power more than just the truck itself. Ford first turned the F-150 into a mobile generator in the 2021 model year, introducing a 2.0kW power source as an option on some gas-powered F-150s, a 2.4kW option that comes standard on hybrid F-150s, and a 7.2kW option that’s an optional upgrade for the hybrids. Even the least powerful of these can still be used to operate a few power tools or run a sweet tailgating setup, complete with portable speakers and mini-fridge, but the Lightning takes things to a whole new level.

At 7.6kW or an available 9.6kW, the Lightning provides more power than any of the other Pro Power Onboard options. You have plenty of power to run a mobile metal shop or charge up your electric dirt bikes on the trail. However, the F-150 Lightning goes beyond that with its Intelligent Backup Power. If you opt for the extended-range battery, then your Lightning comes with Ford’s Charge Station Pro. If you ever lose power, you can hook up your F-150 Lightning to the Ford Charge Station Pro, and it will immediately begin powering your home. You can get power for your home for three days or even up to ten days if you ration your electricity usage.

An Electric Truck for Everyone

The Ford F-150 Lightning’s impressive features have something for everyone. Campers can store valuables in the front truck while they explore the great outdoors, workers can access a mobile source of power that can handle even the toughest of jobs, and drivers of all backgrounds can save time and money by charging up at home rather than being at the mercy of fluctuating gas prices. Ford has decades of experience catering to the needs of all kinds of truck drivers, and they’re not going to forget it as they move forward into the electric future.