The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning rolls out to dealerships in the spring, and ahead of the start of deliveries Ford has given some insight into the rigorous testing the electric pickup truck had to undergo before its development program could be signed off.
One of the toughest tests was the cold-weather test. Electric vehicles are notorious for losing range when the thermometer drops to extremely cold temperatures, so to guarantee the F-150 Lightning is up to the challenge, Ford tested prototypes in -30 degree temperatures during an Alaskan winter, specifically at a restricted military base.
The cold-weather test also enabled the engineers to test the truck's performance on slippery surfaces like ice and snow. This way they could fine tune how the powertrain adjusts power delivery in low traction and in low temperatures. Those adjustments are made within milliseconds, giving the vehicle a very different feel to F-150s with internal-combustion power, according to Ford.
“The responses are extremely quick and the dual motors make it as if you have two engines pumping out power in one vehicle,” Nick Harris, powertrain engineer for the F-150 Lightning, said in a statement.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning cold-weather testing in Alaska
A dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain is standard in the F-150 Lightning, though buyers will be able to choose between 426- and 563-hp outputs, and between batteries with estimated ranges of 230 and 300 miles. The truck also comes with an electronic-locking rear differential and various drive modes.
This isn't the only extreme test the F-150 Lightning had to endure. Back in 2020, Ford demonstrated a prototype pulling 10 double-decker train cars loaded with 42 F-150s. The combined weight was about 1.25 million pounds, and the prototype made it look effortless.
As mentioned above, deliveries start this spring. Current reservations number over 200,000 units and as a result Ford had to double its original product target to 150,000 units per year. Production is being handled exclusively at Ford's Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
Pricing for the 2022 F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974.