Ford CEO To Jay Leno: Not Everyone At Ford Wanted To Build F-150 Lightning

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Developing a groundbreaking product like this isn't easy.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, like thousands of Ford customers, must be breathing a sigh of relief. After an excruciatingly long build-up, the electric Ford F-150 Lightning finally began making its way to lucky customers earlier this month. The truck has proven to be immediately popular and, despite Ford warning dealers about exorbitant markups, this hasn't stopped one Lightning pickup from being listed at a price of over $145,000.

To continue promoting what is a landmark vehicle for Ford, Farley met up with knowledgeable gearhead Jay Leno. Farley expanded on the Lightning's best features, and Leno got to drive the pickup for the first time. Interestingly, Farley also admitted that his bold plans for the Lightning drew the ire of some of his colleagues.

Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube

Jay Leno's first comment from behind the wheel of the F-150 Lightning isn't how most would describe the average pickup. "It's amazing how quiet this is," said Leno. What also stood out was the truck's acceleration, with that typically instant responsiveness that sets EVs apart from ICE models. When we drove the Lightning, we were blown away by the more powerful versions of the truck that can propel it from 0-60 mph in just over four seconds.

Other than the power and refinement, Farley and Leno highlighted the truck's ability to power equipment and even other EVs with Pro Power Onboard. Ford Intelligent Backup Power turns the Lightning into a power source for your home, ideal for unplanned outages.

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Earlier in the interview, Farley admitted that getting to this point with the Lightning has been far from easy. "We were arguing about this truck more than almost any vehicle I've seen in my career," said Farley when talking about the EV's long development process and internal conflicts about what the pickup should be like, as well as production targets.

Crucially, the F-150 Lightning's starting price of under $40,000 means that this isn't an EV that's out of reach. Although Leno got behind the wheel of a fully-loaded Platinum model, Ford has prioritized the base model from the start instead of launching high-priced versions exclusively. When we drove it, we said that the Lightning would completely alter your expectations of a pickup. Unless you are towing heavy rigs regularly, which will undoubtedly impact range, the Lightning is superb.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Forward View
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Dashboard
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Front Seats
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Insignia
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Rear Angle View
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