Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup – Knox County VillageSoup | Rare Techy


Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were best friends. They vacationed together, lived side by side, and shared many innovation projects—including working together on the battery-powered Model T in 1914. Unfortunately, Ford went in a different direction as the various batteries used failed to alleviate range concerns. cost and durability.

Irony of irony, Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup is built at the “new” Rouge River Power Plant in Dearborn, next door to the original Ford complex that built millions of Model Ts and Model A’s. Battery technology has advanced on many levels; only time will tell if this is enough to transform today’s BEVs into the transportation of the future. This flash is definitely not a Model T.

The Lightning looks like a regular F-150 pickup truck because consumers want functionality, not weird form. That this research project goes like lightning is more than a coincidence.

The Lightning, here in mid-level Lariat trim and augmented with a twin E-motor system, is a 580-horsepower rocket ship that blasts from zero to sixty-four seconds on a flat surface—muscle car territory. A single-speed direct-drive transmission passes through the full-load AWD system (no high- or low-range 4X4) and squeals the front tires under full throttle when the occupants are shafted. It is eerily quiet in the cabin, you can only hear the sound of tires.

Every Lightning is a four-door Crew Cab F-Series. Base Lightning Pro models use a 98.0 kWh battery and 452 horsepower electric motor, good for 230 miles of range. A dual-motor battery with a capacity of 131.0 kWh has a range of 320 miles. Both systems have a recoil torque of 775 lb-ft.

The rear axle has been replaced with an independent suspension that smooths out the ride. The full underside of the lift has skid plates to protect the precious battery that spans the entire floor of the lift.

Powering the front—where the engine normally resides—is a 14-cubic-foot storage box that can hold 400 pounds of whatever. A shaded LED light bar across the front end lets your neighbors know this is no ordinary F-Series.

Lightning Dashboard. Tim Plouff

The interior remains standard Ford – except for the giant laptop-sized screen in the dashboard. A huge volume rocker at the bottom of the screen is helpful, but too many basic functions require multiple taps on the screen. The Lariat offers all the features of FordPass Connect 4G, a Class IV towing device, a 360-degree camera system, a dual-panel sunroof, a power rear window, selectable drive modes, a power tailgate, and a host of electronic driving aids—in other words, a loaded luxury pickup truck. There are also 11 (yes, 11) outlets for powering accessories, tools or other electric vehicles.

Yes, Lightning can charge other vehicles. It can run your household if properly equipped. It can also weigh itself and distribute power accordingly, plus it can tow a trailer up to 10,000 pounds.

And it drives amazing. Smooth, comfortable, and so wickedly fast that you’ll burn through your range so quickly that you’ll soon experience the dreaded distance anxiety.

And that’s the rest of the story…

The first day, with 82 percent battery power, the projected range soon turned into “will I get home” as the freeway miles (cruising at 75 mph) from Brunswick ate up 1/3 as much power as predicted. A stop at the Bangor Ford store to use their proprietary Level II chargers (they said they had Level IIII, but didn’t) added 41 miles of range after a one-hour charge.

The second day, a quick jaunt to Ellsworth and home—24 miles—used up all the overnight charging range added by Level I charging (110 volts) at home in 16 hours.

As stated earlier, Level I charging is not relevant and unfortunately too much money has already been spent on Level I chargers in Maine.

Equipment on the Lariat and above includes Ford’s 240-volt Level II Charge Station Pro for home charging, a $1,310 option for base-model trucks. Installation can range from $400 to $4,000 per home, depending on what you have for electrical panels. This is essential for home charging, as it took four days to charge the Lightning from 30 percent to 99 percent on 110-volt household power. The Charge Station Pro is also required for a home integration system to power your home, a power pack that costs almost $4,000 – plus installation.

Fully charged for the return trip, the Lightning read 262 miles—not quite the 320-mile range that Ford advertises. Heater operation (31 degree day) fell within the range. Getting to a ChargePoint dispenser in West Gardiner is pumped up to 90 percent from 50 percent in 40 minutes for just over $23. Drivers must equate miles per kilowatt, which is used to compare the cost of driving electric vehicles.

Lightning prices have increased significantly. Base Pro models now start at $53,769, while the popular XLT trim is $59,474. Our pick of the Lariat was priced at just over $80,000, while the top-of-the-line Platinum models are nearly $100,000. The Lightning weighs 1,300 pounds more than a gas-powered F-150 — a not insignificant 6,855 pounds.

There is a very clear market for Lightning. It expands the leader’s paradigms of what is possible; But for drivers who pile on the miles, tow heavy loads, and have limited access to city charging, the Lightning is just one of several F-Series pickups available from Henry Ford’s eponymous company. As impressive as the Lightning is, the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid also offers additional electric power, costs less, doesn’t compromise range, and has a higher towing rating.

Consumers love choices.

Tim Plouff has been reviewing cars for more than 20 years.

“The previous one


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