by Jay Traugott
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is the future of Blue Oval's best-selling F-Series trucks. All legacy automakers will soon follow suit but Ford beat them to the punch. The 2022 F-150 Lightning is an all-electric pickup truck that's extremely capable and affordable. Four trims are on hand - Base Work Truck, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. Sound familiar? It should because Ford has similar trims for the regular F-150. Once again, there's something for everyone.
The battery-electric F-150 Lightning offers a wide array of connected and intelligent features such as over-the-air updates and BlueCruise hands-free driving. Require hard physical tasks? No problem, as it can tow up to 10,000 pounds and supports a maximum 2,000-pound payload capacity.
The Lightning name holds a special place in the hearts of many F-150 fans as it first appeared back in the early 90s on a high-performance street truck. It's now been reborn to push the F-150 to another level entirely.
See trim levels and configurations:
The F-150 Lightning very much looks like an F-150. That's because designers began with the existing model and then applied a number of changes to give it more of a high-tech and modern look. The most noticeable change is up front with the new three grille design and wraparound lighting. The optional signature LED lightbars running across the front and rear is an excellent touch. Out back is a similar lighting design with "F-150" stamped boldly across the tailgate.
Ford claims the truck is the most aerodynamic F-150 to date, thanks to redesigned running boards, a sculpted hood aimed at reducing drag, and more compact dimensions in general compared to the regular truck. The body is made from military-grade aluminum.
Open the front hood and instead of an engine there's a high-tech, water-resistant "frunk" with 400 liters of volume and 400 pounds of payload, which Ford claims is good enough to store two carry-on bags, one checked-bag, or two sets of golf clubs. It also contains four electrical outlets, a pair of USB chargers, and a drainable floor. With 2.4 kilowatts of juice, it can provide power to tools, laptops, speakers, and TVs.
The interior is a digital wonderland. Lariat and Platinum models receive the first application of SYNC 4A housed in a 15.5-inch touchscreen. Systems like voice control, cloud-connected navigation, and wireless access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and integrated Amazon Alexa are all there. Drivers will enjoy a 12-inch, fully customizable gauge cluster with animated graphics. The optional fold-out interior work surface and fully reclining seats are carried over from the 2021 F-150.
Owners will also be able to utilize their trucks for another purpose other than regular driving: a home power source. The optional Ford Intelligent Backup Power system provides 9.6 kilowatts of power that allows owners to power their homes in case of a blackout. This same system can further be used to supply power for tools, electronics, and other appliances outside of the home, such as at work construction sites. XLT trims come standard with 2.4 kilowatts.
For now, the truck is solely available as a Quad Cab, meaning there's seating for up to five passengers. Ford has confirmed overall dimensions inside and out (including the bed) are the same as its gasoline-powered counterpart.
The most powerful version you can buy is the Platinum, which has a total of 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque thanks to its dual motors. Maximum range is 300 miles. The base truck is no slouch with 426 hp and the same torque, though range drops to 240 miles. All-wheel drive is standard. Zero to 60 mph will reportedly be in the mid-4-second range. An independent rear suspension replaces the solid rear axle, and this should improve the ride and overall comfort level. Ford stresses it put the truck through the same rigorous testing as the ICE version.
Thanks to the 1,800-pound battery pack mounted under the floor, the F-150 Lightning has a very low center of gravity, with two motors at each axle.
Buyers receive a standard 80-amp charge station for home charging use. The unit utilizes the dual onboard charging system that enables an average range of 30 miles per hour charged. A complete charge requires about eight hours. Owners have access to the country's largest charging network consisting of more than 63,000 stations. Using a 150-kWh DC fast charger, the extended range truck gets up to 54 miles of range in 10 minutes. Going from 15 percent to 80 percent takes around 40 minutes.
Ford is already accepting pre-orders with a $100 deposit required. The base truck begins at $39,974 before any state and federal tax credits. The mid-range XLT starts at $52,974. A fully-loaded Platinum will set you back around $90,000. Deliveries are due to get underway in the middle of next year.
At the moment, it's hard to pinpoint a proper competitor. The Tesla Cybertruck still hasn't been revealed in production form. The GMC Hummer EV is not only more powerful but also far more expensive. It can correctly be viewed as an EV super truck. The Rivian R1T is, perhaps, the most direct rival at the moment but it's really more of a lifestyle truck. It'll be fantastic outdoors but the jury is still out as to how it can handle a construction site. Next year, an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado will debut.
Until then, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is literally in a class of its own and the Blue Oval has a lot to celebrate. It's safe to say the F-150's decades-long legacy is not only secure but has been properly updated for the electric vehicle era.
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