We can finally tell you about Ford’s highly anticipated all-electric F-150, after the company began a multi-day slow drip of embargoed information starting on Friday, culminating in a splashy launch tonight that included a simultaneous Times Square livestream, a video projection across its Dearborn world headquarters building, on the Las Vegas strip, prime time TV and livestreaming across various social platforms, with Ford suggesting there were over 30 ways to watch its debut live.
Even U.S. President Joe Biden got a chance to drive a camouflaged version of Ford’s upcoming battery electric full-size pickup – coming away impressed at its acceleration, with videos of his reaction confirming to the world its 4.4 second zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) official acceleration time.
Clearly, this is a milestone vehicle for Ford. And also for the entire North American auto industry.
What is yet to be confirmed is how much of a societal shift it’ll provide in Canada in particular, which will depend in large part on how many become available in this country. Canadian truck buyers will see a notably different launch strategy than in the U.S., thanks to a much higher C$68,000 starting price, while a fully loaded Lightning will top out around C$110,000 after all options. Ford of Canada officials say that the Lightning will debut at two trims higher than the launch version in the U.S., which will start at US$39,579.
The 2022 F-150 Lightning will be one designed for work as well, utility as well as performance, coming standard with dual-motor four-wheel drive in Canada, with two choices of battery sizes, an independent rear suspension, a SuperCrew four-door body with a 5.5-foot bed, plus a large power-operated ‘frunk’ frontal storage area.
The standard range battery will offer roughly 370 km of range, with an optional extended range battery of undisclosed size offering an estimated 483 km of official range. These estimates will obviously be when not loaded or towing, or in the middle of sub-zero winter conditions, which all reduce battery range, and which truck buyers in Canada will likely want to know once the F-150 Lightning reaches the market in late spring next year (barring any chip or other supply shortages or other delays).
This standard Lightning model will offer 426 hp and a massive 775 lb-ft of torque, while the extended range battery will come in at the same immense torque figure, and a whopping 563 hp. The all-new and still aluminum frame will offer a 2,000-pound payload maximum, and the ability to tow up to 10,000 pounds with the extended range battery (with a 7,700 lb. towing max on the standard battery model).
Looking at these specs, all F-150 Lightning will be performance trucks – with the highest maximum torque of any F-150 to come before – but unlike the previous standard cab F-150 SVT Lightning from the early-to-mid-1990s, this one will also offer much more everyday usability as well as work capability. Daily driving comfort and handling will be improved by that independent rear suspension and the Lightning’s lower centre of gravity, reducing body roll common in many high-riding full-size trucks.
From a charging perspective, the F-150 Lightning will offer up to 150 kW of Level III quick charging, with an estimated DC quick charge time between 10-80% charged in 41 minutes (extended battery) to 44 minutes (standard battery). Or in shorter stops, it can add up to 87 km of range in a 10-minute DC quick charge stop.
But as with most EVs, the vast majority of charging will be done at home overnight, on Level II chargers. This is where the Lightning offers a powerful 80-amp Level II charge station, which can take anywhere from 11.3 kW in the base model to 19.2 kW in the extended battery model. Ford hasn’t specified the KWh sizing of either battery, and may choose not to even closer to launch, as Tesla now does as well.
With this Ford Charge Station Pro, the larger battery can be charged overnight in eight hours, which is actually quicker than the 10 hours Ford estimates to fully charge the standard pack, which doesn’t have the dual onboard charging system of the extended battery model.
This 80-amp charging station also allows the Ford Intelligent Backup Power system and its bidirectional power home management system to connect to your home’s power supply, and in case of blackout can automatically come on and power your home from your truck, providing home owners with up to 9.6 kW of power at once. Based on an average daily home use of 30 kWh per day, Ford says it offers owners full power for roughly three days, or as long as 10 days with careful electricity use.
Visually, the F-150 Lightning looks very much like other latest-gen F-150 models, but with a distinctive LED available light bar in front and in back that will set your Lightning apart most noticeably. Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck offers a similar truck-wide LED light strip up front, but also a very angular and ‘cyber-punk’ aesthetic that had onlookers questioning whether it was still a design concept when originally unveiled – and famously had its shatter-resistant windows at its introduction shattered. Twice.
That F-150 Lightning front-end also houses extra interior storage space with a ‘frunk’ that powers up and down, and will offer four regular 120-volt outlets. There’s a hefty 400 litres of space in there, with an opening cut down to front bumper level, with two USB chargers and a drainable floor that can be filled with ice as a mobile cooler, or used to power the ultimate camp site, with plugs and power for TVs, laptops and speakers.
There will be 10 of these regular outlets in total: two others inside, another four in the bed, plus a 240-volt bed outlet that can power tools or other larger equipment.
Like the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, the Lightning will be capable of over the air software updates, with some of these “Power-Ups” that offer new features or resolves issues for free and with no dealer visits required. And in future-forward fashion, there will be an available hands-free semi-autonomous driving function available called BlueCruise, as part of the Co_Pilot360 suite of technologies, which at launch will cover more than 160,000 km of divided highways, though it won’t be able to change lanes on its own – at least at launch.
Interested Lightning consumers in Canada can put down a refundable reservation for C$100 now to save a spot in line, with online orders to start this fall, where buyers can choose their configuration and options. The contract and final delivery will be with a Ford of Canada EV-certified dealer.
The F-150 Lightning will be built at Ford’s massive Rouge plant, and though Ford executives wouldn’t project what proportion of F-150 sales the Lightning was expected to make up, it’s clear that this is a much higher volume project than that original Lightning performance truck. As Canada’s best-selling truck for 55 years now, this could well be the electric vehicle that will help spread EV appeal to a much wider audience, even if Ford of Canada’s pricing plans suggest this latest Lightning will be more of a technology showcase than volume hauler, at least to start.