Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn introduced its first electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, during a virtual unveiling Wednesday night.
The F-150 Lightning is a pillar of the company’s more than $22 billion global electric vehicle plan to lead electrification in areas of strength. Ford is starting with zero-emissions versions of its most popular and best-loved franchises — Mustang, Transit, and F-150 — with much more to come.
The new truck delivers a new experience for truck owners at a starting price on par with today’s similarly configured F-150 trucks. The electric platform unlocks new capabilities as well — such as enough energy to power an entire home and a massive lockable frunk with power and charging capabilities to spare. Ford will deploy standard over-the-air software updates — called Ford Power-Up — to improve the technology experience, add new features, and fix issues without trips to the dealership.
F-150 Lightning will roll off the line next year at a new high-tech factory using sustainable manufacturing practices at Ford’s storied Rouge complex in Dearborn.
“For both Ford and the American auto industry, F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment as we progress toward a zero-emissions, digitally connected future,” says Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford. “F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 44 years, the backbone of work across the country, and a trusted icon for generations of customers. Now we are revolutionizing it for a new generation.”
The commercial-oriented entry model starts at $39,974 MSRP before any federal or state tax credits, while the mid-series XLT model starts at $52,974 MSRP, offering additional comfort and technology.
“The F-150 Lightning is a massive moment for our Ford team. America’s No. 1 auto brand is going zero emissions with America’s favorite vehicle. It’s quicker than a Raptor, with standard 4×4 and independent rear suspension; a power frunk, enough juice to run your house for three days or power an awesome tailgate; and it will forever improve with over-the-air updates,” says Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford. “It will be built at the Rouge factory, where Henry Ford changed the world and my grandfather punched in every day. F-150 Lightning represents all that our country can do when we push for progress.”
F-150 Lightning targets 563 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of near instantaneous torque — more than any F-150 ever — and a 0-60 mph time in the mid-4-second range when equipped with an extended-range battery, based on typical industry methodology. F-150 Lightning targets a maximum 2,000 pounds of payload in the standard-range model with 18-inch wheels, and a maximum 10,000 pounds of available towing capacity on XLT and Lariat trucks with the extended-range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package.
“We’re not here to make an electric truck for the few — Ford is committed to building one that solves real problems for real people,” says Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, Americas and International Markets Group. “F-150 Lightning delivers everything we’ve said electric vehicles can offer, plus the capability expected from a Built Ford Tough truck — not just near instant torque but powerful towing and hauling customers can depend on.”
Packed with features, F-150 Lightning will offer Ford Co-Pilot360 technology, or BlueCruise, which allows for true hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of pre-qualified divided highways in the U.S. and Canada — with more Hands-Free Blue Zones to come.
Another offering is Onboard Scales, which uses the truck’s sensors to estimate payload and tell customers how much they’re hauling. And since payload can impact range, Onboard Scales is integrated with Intelligent Range to help ensure F-150 Lightning gives an accurate estimate of how far you can go. F-150 Lightning debuts available Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, which automatically controls steering, throttle, and brake inputs to make hitching trailers even easier.
Also making its F-Series debut on select vehicles is available Phone As A Key. When activated, this allows customers to lock, unlock and start their truck without taking their phone out of their pocket or using a key fob.
All these features and more can get even better over time with Ford Power-Up software updates. These can help improve the performance of F-150 Lightning, deliver quality upgrades, update existing features ,and add all-new functions and capabilities. The majority of updates will be completed in under two minutes and whenever the customer chooses6.
Making its truck debut on F-150 Lightning in the Lariat and Platinum series is SYNC 4A — a sleek, modern interface supported by a 15.5-inch touch screen and designed to adapt to driver behavior. SYNC 4A employs natural voice control, cloud-connected navigation, and wireless access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Amazon Alexa, and SYNC AppLink apps.
Elevating the digital experience even further is the 12-inch instrument cluster, featuring a customizable interface that instills confidence by naturally surfacing key information. Animated graphics smoothly relay how the vehicle is performing in hands-free highway driving mode or how well you’re bringing power back to your vehicle through regenerative braking, seamlessly providing relevant information as needed.
“It really is the smartest F-150 we’ve ever made,” says Darren Palmer, general manager, battery electric vehicles, at Ford. “F-150 Lightning offers an immersive touch screen, giving our customers all the info they want in an instant — a real-time view of where they’re going, what they’re hauling or how much real-world range they’ve got banked. And with Ford Power-Up software updates, the experience is only going to get better.”
Debuting on F-150 Lightning is available Ford Intelligent Backup Power, turning the truck into the ultimate power source for a home. With the ability to offload 9.6 kilowatts of power, Ford Intelligent Backup Power keeps the lights on during an outage while providing security by powering home appliances, security systems and more.
With Ford Intelligent Backup Power, enabled by the available 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system Ford can help install, F-150 Lightning automatically kicks into power our house. Once power is restored, the truck automatically reverts to charging its battery. Based on an average 30kWh of use per day, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery provides full-home power for up to three days, or as long as 10 days if power is rationed, with results varying based on energy usage.
In the future, Ford will introduce Ford Intelligent Power, which can use the truck to power homes during high-cost, peak-energy hours while taking advantage of low-cost overnight rates to charge the vehicle in time for your morning drive. This can help save money on electricity that powers your vehicle and home while also taking pressure off the grid in peak usage times.
Ford is also teaming up with the nation’s leading solar company, Sunrun, to facilitate easy installation of the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home integration system. Through this collaboration, customers will also have the opportunity to install solar energy on their home, enabling them to power their household with clean, affordable energy and charge their F-150 Lightning with the power of the sun.
Power capability is not limited to the home, either. With enhanced Pro Power Onboard, customers can take advantage of built-in electrical outlets to directly power a variety of tools, electronics, and appliances away from home. Standard on base trims is 2.4 kilowatts of power with the option for more, while Lariat and Platinum series come standard with 9.6 kilowatts of power — a combination of up to 2.4 kilowatts available through the frunk and up to 7.2 kilowatts through outlets in the cab and bed.
Smart features make power management easier than ever. Customers receive a FordPass notification if their truck’s battery falls below one-third of its total range, and they can even set the truck to stop using Pro Power Onboard if the battery level approaches the distance to the nearest charging station.
All these capabilities are possible thanks to the truck’s powerful next-generation lithium-ion battery. F-150 Lightning offers two options: a standard-range battery targeting 230 miles of EPA-estimated range and an extended-range battery targeting 300 miles of EPA-estimated range.
Under the hood is a versatile, high-tech mega power frunk offering dedicated storage space that’s secure, lockable and easily accessible by a powered open and close system. The spacious area targets 400 liters of volume and 400 pounds of payload — enough to stow two carry-on bags and one checked bag, or two sets of golf clubs.
Cleverly designed with bumper-height clearance, this water-resistant space comes equipped with four electrical outlets, two USB chargers and a drainable floor that can double as a food and beverage container. It can easily power a mobile work site or an epic tailgate. With 2.4 kilowatts of power, there’s enough capability to plug in power tools, TVs, laptops, speakers, crockpots and more.
“The words ‘front trunk’ don’t even begin to describe all the innovation and capability Ford packed into this high-powered space,” says Nancy Reppenhagen, supervisor, global feature process. “It will have customers rethinking what their truck is capable of — and enable the kinds of experiences they never would have thought possible before.”
F-150 Lightning goes through the same tortuous Built Ford Tough testing as all F-Series trucks. The military-grade aluminum alloy body and upgraded frame support the advanced battery, while the first F-Series independent rear suspension and low center of gravity help improve isolation from the road, provide a more stable ride and reduce steering roll – while maintaining the durability and reliability expected from F-150.
“Whether they’re hauling a bed full of firewood through snow or towing a trailer on a road trip, customers need to be able to rely on their truck’s performance,” says Linda Zhang, chief engineer of the F-150 Lightning. “This all-electric truck has been engineered with dual in-board 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.”
F-150 Lightning boasts excellent off-road performance, with a 4×4 system featuring four selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, Off Road and Tow/Haul. Rugged underbody protection keeps the battery safe, with metal skid plates shielding both the battery and inboard motors from tough terrain. The battery itself is secured inside waterproof casing surrounded by crash-absorption protection and has been tested at temperatures as extreme as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure Lightning can perform when needed most.
Rigorous endurance testing included running the truck through Iowa Hill, Calif., where it towed massive trailers for long durations up and down steep inclines. As a result, F-150 Lightning sports a state-of-the-art liquid cooling system and powertrain layout that expertly manages heat distribution across the vehicle. Improved cooling systems and components ensure the truck can thrive even in the toughest driving ordeals.
Ford is the only automaker to offer an 80-amp charge station as standard equipment, helping customers easily charge an extended-range truck at home. This system takes advantage of the only dual onboard charging system on an electric truck in the industry for even faster home charging. With this, F-150 Lightning adds an average range of 30 miles per charging hour, fully charging an extended-range truck from 15% to 100% percent in about eight hours8.
On the road, customers have seamless access to North America’s largest public charging network through FordPass, with more than 63,000 charging plugs and growing across the U.S. On a 150-kilowatt DC fast charger, extended-range F-150 Lightning is targeted to get up to 54 miles of range in 10 minutes and charge from 15 percent to 80 percent in about 41 minutes.
F-150 Lightning takes the guesswork out of when and where to re-charge with FordPass Power My Trip, which identifies charging routes before even starting your journey. In the truck, Intelligent Range accurately calculates range while factoring in weather, traffic, payload, towing weights and more. Cloud-connected navigation on SYNC 4 also identifies public charging locations and prompts owners to charge at convenient points on each drive.
Key elements of the truck include available signature LED lightbars that run across the front and rear, plus three new grille designs that bring a bold new look to a familiar face while maintaining Built Ford Tough authenticity.
F-150 Lightning, Ford states, is the most aerodynamic F-150 ever, with improvements like newly shaped running boards, a sculpted hood to reduce drag, and grilles that replace air intake holes with a smoother, textured surface. Even more functional design delivers available enhanced 360-degree Zone Lighting, which can light up a specific zone or the entire area around the vehicle.
The electric pickup maintains the same cab and bed dimensions as its gas counterpart, so it remains capable of accommodating thousands of accessories already available. The available fold-out Interior Work Surface makes working inside the vehicle even easier and more productive, while available Max Recline Seats offer nearly 180 degrees of recline to help customers recharge as needed.
The F-150 Lightning will make use of the new, state-of-the-art Rouge Electric Vehicle Center – which will also be a zero-waste-to-landfill site. Ford is investing $700 million into the historic Rouge Complex, adding 500 new jobs and employing advanced sustainable manufacturing technology to build the truck as part of its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
Arriving in spring 2022, F-150 Lightning will be available in four series and two battery options at more than 2,300 EV-certified Ford dealers across the country, with the option for fleet customers to access Ford’s complete ecosystem of connected data and telematics services via Ford Commercial Solutions.
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