The professional's workhorse.
The internet is ablaze with stories about the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning, the Blue Oval's first-ever electric truck. Its reveal was met with positive responses all around, aside from the internet trolls who demand that all trucks be V8-powered. For the most part, demand will be so high that the first year of production will probably be limited, so buyers will have to act fast if they want one of the early models. But what about commercial buyers? Ford today announced the F-150 Lightning Pro, and although it seems very similar to the regular truck, there's plenty for fleet managers and workmen alike to get excited about.
Purpose-built for commercial customers, it bears a number of similarities to the standard F-150 Lightning. Like the passenger version, it comes with the same 426 horsepower, and 775 lb-ft of torque as the regular Lightning, as well as the option of a more powerful setup with 563 hp. The base version has 230 miles of range, can tow up to 7,700 pounds, and has a targeted payload capacity of 2,000 lbs, while the more powerful version can tow as much as 10,000 pounds and manage 300 miles of range.
Both models also inherit a 5.5-foot cargo bed that boasts similar dimensions t the standard F-150 truck and a number of mounting points that make it ideal for upfitting, depending on your business's needs. In addition to this, in place of the traditional engine, there's the Mega Power Frunk, a lockable front storage area that offers 14.1 cubic feet of storage in a water-tight compartment and a 400-pound carrying capacity. This frunk also boasts 2.4 kilowatts of power via four outlets, while the load bed has an additional 2 outlets.
Buyers can also opt for the 9.6-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard, providing power for additional power tools that Ford claims can "rip up to 30 miles of half-inch plywood on a single charge of the extended-range battery" and adds two more 120V power outlets to the bed and a 240-volt AC outlet. This system works with the truck's onboard telemetry, and fleet managers can set parameters around it. Should the Pro Power system deplete the battery to the point that the remaining travel will be compromised, the system will automatically deactivate.
That telemetry is another major part of the F-150 Lightning Pro's allure. Onboard scales in the vehicle can help monitor payload and provide accurate range calculations, and the telemetry systems can keep track of power, schedule charging, reimburse individual drivers who charge the truck at home, and even be alerted of crashes all via the truck's onboard systems. The Intelligent Range system can also factor in weather, terrain, cargo and trailer load, and distance to destination so that you never run out of power on the way home. Ford claims that these systems reduce scheduled maintenance by 40% over a period of 100,000 miles.
As for charging, thanks to the availability of 48- and 80-amp chargers for overnight Level 2 charging, as well as a standard home charger, drivers won't have to radically alter routes to recharge. However, the 150-kW DC fast charging capability means drivers can recharge from 15-80% of the battery's capacity within 45 minutes - less than the average lunch break, according to Ford.
The F-150 Lightning Pro will be sold in a single configuration as far as the body goes, with the five-passenger SuperCrew configuration and 5.5-foot load bed. Inside the cabin, vinyl seats are standard for easy cleaning, but Ford has still included a high standard specification. This includes SYNC 4 as standard, boasting a 12-inch touchscreen with full smartphone connectivity. Additionally, the full Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 suite of driver assists ships as standard to ensure the safety of both drivers and cargo.
But do electric trucks make sense for the busy workman?
"More than 145 million miles of telematics data show that for the average F-150 commercial customer in the US, 95% of their daily travel is less than 174 miles," said Ted Cannis, general manager, Ford North America commercial business. "Commercial customers track their business expenses closely - they buy what they need and not a penny more."
So there is a market for it. More than this, the benefits of an electric truck are numerous. The aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel frame are rugged and capable, while the fully sealed battery's resultant low center of gravity combines with an independent rear suspension for improved driving dynamics. The truck's high-strength underbody shields and advanced heating and cooling systems ensure that the F-150 Lightning Pro is highly capable in a vast range of conditions and climates.
Registrations for the truck open today with arrival expected next year. 2,300 EV-certified dealers will help service the vehicle when it arrives and will be supported by 644 EV-certified Ford Commercial Vehicle Centers across the country. Pricing starts at $39,974 for the base version and $49,974 for the more powerful, 300-mile version.