By launching the all-electric F-150 Lightning, Ford has embarked on its most ambitious innovation since the Model T and the result is a quick and capable pickup truck with zero emissions. The Lightning shares much of the regular F-150’s body and cabin but swaps that truck’s gasoline-powered V-6 and V-8 engine options for a pair of electric motors and one of two different battery packs. The Standard-Range battery is said to deliver up to 230 miles per charge and the Extended-Range juice pack offers up to 320 miles. It’s not the first electric pickup truck to hit the market—GMC’s Hummer EV SUT and the Rivian R1T have launched this year too. Neither of those trucks, however, have the strength of the F-150 name behind them, and the electric version of America’s favorite truck starts at a much more affordable price than those rivals.
What’s New for 2022?
While it uses a name from Ford’s performance past, the F-150 Lightning is an all-new model for the Ford truck lineup for the 2022 model year. All-wheel drive is standard and the EV pickup is capable of towing up to 10,000 pounds.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Although Ford has announced a base Pro model with an attractive starting price, it doesn’t have as many creature comforts. We’d go with the more desirable and better equipped XLT trim. The Extended-Range battery pack adds a $10,000 lump sum to the bottom line, but if you’re planning to drive long distances or use the Lightning to tow, it could be a good investment. Unfortunately, to add that bigger battery to the XLT model, you must also add the $9500 312A High package. Luckily, that package includes a very long list of desirable equipment to justify its price, including adaptive cruise control, Ford’s Pro Power Onboard generator feature, heated front seats and steering wheel, a power-operated tailgate, in-dash navigation, and a lot more.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
All F-150 Lightning models come standard with two electric motors and all-wheel drive. With the Standard-Range battery, the motors combine to make 452 horsepower but with the Extended-Range battery the horsepower rating rises to 580; peak torque is an impressive 775 pound-feet with either setup. Performance should be brisk, and we estimate that the Extended-Range battery model will hit 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. During our initial test drive, we praised the Lightning for its, ahem, lightning-quick acceleration and were pleasantly surprised that it managed to maintain the normal F-150’s refined road manners. If anything, the Lightning’s handling is slightly more agreeable, thanks to a lower center of gravity that helps keep body roll in check. When we get a chance to take the F-150 Lightning to our test track, we’ll update this story with test results and more driving impressions.
More on the F-150 Lightning Pickup Truck
Towing and Payload Capacity
Ford staged an event in July 2019 to prove that a prototype of the EV pickup could tow a 1,000,000-pound line of train cars loaded with F-150s. The official maximum towing capacity of the production model is a mere 10,000 pounds, but only trucks with the optional Extended-Range battery are capable of such feats. Standard-Range battery models are limited to a 7700-pound capacity. Payload capacity is as high as 2000 pounds for the Standard-Range model and as low as 1800 pounds for the Extended-Range.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
With the smaller 98.0-kWh battery, Ford claims a driving range of 230 miles per charge; upgrading to the larger 131.0-kWh pack boosts driving range to 320 miles. Buyers will be able to charge their F-150 Lightnings at home via 110- and 220-volt outlets but the truck is also capable of juicing at public DC fast-charging stations, and Ford says it can charge from 15 percent to 80 percent of battery capacity in 44 minutes. Ford also engineered the F-150 Lightning to serve as a backup generator and says a fully-charged truck can supply up to three days of electricity for the average household in the event of a power outage.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The EPA has rated the F-150 Lightning Extended-Range for up to 78 MPGe city and 63 MPGe highway; the Standard-Range models are slightly less efficient at 76 MPGe city and 61 MPGe highway. When we get the chance, we’ll subject the F-150 Lightning to our 75-mph highway fuel economy test and update this story with results. For more information about the F-150 Lightning’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Like the truck’s exterior, the F-150 Lightning’s cabin is much the same as the gasoline-powered F-150 with a few key differences such as an extra-large infotainment display and a voluminous front-trunk cargo bay. The F-150 Lightning is offered only as a crew-cab with a 5.5-foot bed. While it’s possible Ford could offer Regular (two-door) or SuperCab (rear half-doors) configurations later on, we think most buyers will appreciate the roomy four-door cabin. Speaking of roomy, the F-150 Lightning offers a large front trunk (frunk) that utilizes the empty space where the normal F-150’s engine would sit to carry additional cargo weighing up to 400 pounds.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 12.0- inch touchscreen infotainment system with Ford’s latest Sync 4 software is standard, but Lariat and Platinum models come with an even larger 15.0-inch display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, in-dash navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, are all standard. Ford will leverage its partnership with Bang & Olufsen to deliver two different optional premium stereo systems, one with eight speakers in the Lariat and one with 18 speakers in the Platinum.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of driver-assistance features are standard, with Ford’s new BlueCruise semi-autonomous driving mode offered as an option. For more information about the F-150 Lightning’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with hands-free driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The F-150 Lightning is protected by Ford’s basic warranty package but also includes an eight year/100,000 mile policy for electric vehicle components. This additional warranty matches that of other EV rivals.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Battery components warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
Base: Pro, $41,769; XLT, $54,769; Lariat, $69,269; XLT Extended Range, $74,269; Lariat Extended Range, $79,269; Platinum, $92,669
Front Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Mid Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Combined Power: 452 or 580 hp
Combined Torque: 775 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 98.0 or 131.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 11.3 or 19.2 kW
Wheelbase: 145.5 in
Length: 232.7 in
Width: 80.0 in
Height: 78.3 in
Passenger Volume: 136 ft3
Frunk Volume: 14 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 6400–7000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 4.5–5.0 sec
100 mph: 11.0–13.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 13.1–14.0 sec
Top Speed: 110 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 66–70/73–78/60–63 MPGe
Range: 230–320 mi
More Features and Specs