Ford last week took the wraps off the 2022 F-150 Lighting, and while the battery-electric pickup truck offers plenty of on-road performance, Ford has also made great efforts to ensure it's also a great work truck.
The base model, the F-150 Lightning Pro, is the one most ideally suited for worksites. It's priced from a very reasonable $39,974 and for this you get 426 hp and a monster 775 lb-ft of torque, plus enough battery capacity for an EPA-estimated 230 miles of range. Spend $49,974 and you can get a version with 563 hp and the same 775 lb-ft, as well as an estiamted 300 miles of range.
Straight out of the box you're looking at 2,000 pounds of payload and 5,000 pounds of towing. An available tow package will up the max towing figure to 7,700 pounds. For serious towing, the 563-hp F-150 Lightning Pro with the tow package will haul up to 10,000 pounds. Ford’s latest towing technology will be ready to help, including Onboard Scales, and the hands-free driver assist feature to help while backing up or hitching trailers.
A dual-motor four-wheel-drive system comes standard, and just the one body is available: a four-door crew cab with a five-foot-five-inch bed. The bed is ready for easy upfitting as the dimensions and mounting points are the same as the regular F-150. There's also the water-tight front trunk (frunk) which has 14.1 cubic feet of storage and four 120-volt outlets and two USB ports as standard. Two more power outlets can be added in the cabin and an additional two can be added in the bed. The two standard outlets deliver 2.4 kilowatts, and adding the others brings the total output to 9.6 kw.
To ensure workers aren't stranded, Ford is making charging flexible. The F-150 Lightning Pro comes standard with a 32-amp Ford Mobile Charger—a 120/240-volt AC charger that's really only suitable for full-day charging. To speed things up, there's an available 48-amp Ford Connected Charge Station wallbox that runs on 240 volts. With this, charging from 15-80% requires 10 hours with the 230-mile battery and 13 hours with the 300-mile battery. Above this is an 80-amp, 240-volt Ford Charge Station Pro wallbox designed as a standard item for the 300-mile battery that can see the 15-80% charge completed in 8 hours. Finally, for those in a real hurry, using a high-speed DC charging station can deliver a 15-80% charge of 44 minutes for the 230-mile battery and 41 minutes for the 300-mile battery.
In-built Ford EV Telematics makes fleet management easy. It shares vehicle data over a cloud so fleet managers can track vehicle health, status and range, log and pay for public charging use, or reimburse employees for home charging. There are also systems to help the driver maximize range by remotely pre-conditioning the cabin climate while the vehicle is still plugged in, and when on the road provide driver efficiancy coaching, as well as factoring in terrain, weather, and cargo and trailer load when calculating remaining charge.
Perhaps one of the most compelling points for commercial buyers is expected lower maintainence costs. Ford estaimtes that F-150 Lightning Pro scheduled maintenance costs can be reduced by 40% over eight years and 100,000 miles compared with an F-150 equipped with a 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-4. There's also the potential to further save due to the cost differential between off-peak home charging and filling up at a gas station.
The F-150 Lightning Pro reaches dealers in the summer of 2022. Other models in the range include the more premium XLT, Lariat, and Platinum, and we've still got our fingers crossed for a proper performance street truck joining that list.