Can Ford F-150 Lightning Win Over Other All-Electric Pickups?

Photo Credit: Paul Balze

We are on the road to a future dominated by electric vehicles. Many automakers have invested in this technology, and all-electric pickup trucks are becoming a trend. Ford has decided to enter the market with its F-150 Lightning. It is an all-electric version of the popular F-150 full-size truck. But can it beat the competition?

All-electric

The pickup design of Tesla is very different from the conventional trucks we have on the road today. In 2019, the Cybertruck broke the internet with its futuristic and out-of-the-box design. It had taken the world by storm as many people expressed their views through memes.

Another newbie in the truck scene is Rivian, a California-based EV startup backed by Amazon. The company introduced R1T electric pickup truck with an intricate design, including a perfect kitchen package for truck enthusiasts who love to cook outdoors.

Despite the spike of the pandemic in 2020, General Motors announced the revival of their famous Hummer. The GMC Hummer EV, a formidable-looking full-size electric pickup, was unveiled.

Whether new or established, various automakers are starting to shift to electrification.

Being the best-selling truck maker in the United States, Ford has also pulled the wraps off their famous F-150. In 2021, It uncovered the all-electric pickup called F-150 Lightning that many customers have sought after.

What sets Lightning apart from the rest?

It is not the Rivian’s R1 T’s camp-ready pickup, GMC’s Hummer EV super truck, nor Tesla’s Cybertruck. These vehicles drive differently, but they appeal to more buyers, including the EV-curious ones.

An effective and efficient battery-powered pickup is a critical step in the EV transition for many truck enthusiasts and buyers — and it’s not just for Ford but also for the industry at large. Tesla has proven that many consumers want to purchase electric cars. Also, Rivian has shown a demand for electric lifestyle vehicles.

Although some EV startups have released their electric trucks earlier, Ford’s F-150 Lightning is still considered the first traditional pickup to go electric. It has almost the same truck parts but is tweaked for electrification with a potent electric motor and modern features.

The competitors will have a bigger chance if they are the only ones in the truck arena. The advantage for Ford Lightning is to work with the famous F-150 emblem. The power of the brand could change the EV landscape, even though Ford is not relying on the brand name alone to convince the consumers to switch to electric-powered vehicles.

Lightning feats

For many years, the Detroit automaker has not failed to increase the popularity of its pickup trucks and other vehicles in its lineup with fuel-powered engines. According to Car and Driver, the F-Series have been the best-selling vehicle in America since 1981.

Pickup trucks are known for having large wheels and beefy tires. The F-150 Lightning has 18-inch wheels up to 22-inches (depending on the trim level). You can also put other accessories and Overlanding gear such as hardcore mud tires, tonneau covers, etc.

Ford released the information based on the final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. The Lightning has a higher electric range of up to 320 miles than another all-electric pickup truck, such as the 2022 Rivian R1T with 314 miles.

The F-150 Lightning gives 230 miles of travel when equipped with a standard battery. But buyers can choose a larger extended battery to increase the driving range by up to 320 miles. The R1T has a larger battery pack, but it is 20 miles shorter than the F-150 Lightning. Ford’s F-150 all-electric version has a lower range than the Hummer, but both have a combined city and highway rating of 70 MPGe.

You can also get an extended battery for the F-150 Lightning that develops 580-horsepower (lately adjusted from 563 hp) and a torque of 775 lb.-ft. It beats the fuel-powered F-150 Raptor by 2-hp (and a ton of torque), making the all-electric version the most powerful model in the lineup with just a standard-range setup.

In a MotorTrend article, it was mentioned that Ford’s all-electric pickup will be the fastest F-150 ever built. It has dual motors, standard all-wheel drive, and an independent rear suspension (IRS). It replaced the traditional leaf springs and rear axle, as it is the first time the full-size pickup has a new suspension type.

Electric pickup market domination

Compared to other vehicles, pickup trucks provide large profit margins. They account for about 20 percent of vehicles sold in the United States.

According to Edmunds, an auto intelligence firm, the electric truck market will be crucial for investors to watch in the coming years. Truck makers are still in the early transition stage of electrification from the long period of using internal combustion engines. They will still have to prove the domination of electric trucks as they are still largely unproven because of the limited sales and inventories.

Car and Driver mentioned that the F-150 Lightning would not be alone in the electric truck market in 2022. The R1T was the first electric truck to make it to production, which shaped the competitive EV truck market. GMC will soon offer more of the electric version of Hummer.

The roster of EV startups hyped up their electric pickups and saw that as a massive opportunity to entice many truck buyers. However, they have failed to accomplish producing vehicles on a large scale.

Ford Motor has years of experience and numerous facilities up its sleeve to produce more vehicles on a larger scale. Intending to continue dominating the truck market, the automaker has boosted its Lightning production from the primary target of 40,000 to 150,000 units in the next year.

According to Ford’s CEO Jim Farley, the company plans to scale production faster than its competitors. They will manufacture the electric pickup at a plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The automaker will start serial production of the F-150 Lightning soon, while the deliveries begin in the spring.

The electrification brings additional benefits to modern pickup trucks, including instantaneous torque and increased storage where the engine would traditionally be through the front trunk (or what others called “frunk”). Furthermore, it removes the burden of filling up on gasoline or diesel. Fuel prices continue to increase, and it can help you save money by using alternatives such as driving an electric vehicle.

Future of F-150s

The Lightning drives like an F-150 should, which is not bad. It shares some of its design with the standard gas-powered sibling. The Lightning lives up to the name “F-150” in form and function. It pays homage to the traditional pickup people know but with newer and more modern EV accessibilities.

Ford has increasingly transformed pickup trucks from bare-bones work trucks to luxurious and comfortable vehicles that let you drive smoothly on and off-road.

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