2022 Ford F-150 Lightning: Full-size EV pickup
If you're looking for a new truck and want to save gas, Ford has you covered with three remarkable 2022 and 2023 models. They include two hybrids and the impressive all-electric F-150 Lightning, the subject of this review.
The smallest and least expensive truck is the compact Maverick that comes standard with a 2.5-liter hybrid engine that is EPA rated at 42 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the highway. Although it only has a 4.5-foot bed, that is large enough for most chores. It is only available with front-wheel-drive, but can tow up to 2,000 pounds starts at about $22,000. Although turbocharged and all-wheel-drive versions are offered, the hybrid is hands down the most economical truck in the country.
If you need more, the full-size F-150 is now available with a hybrid drivetrain that includes a turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 coupled with an electric motor with a 1.5-kWh battery pack. It offers a combined output of 430 horsepower and 570 foot-pounds of torque, which is 30 hp and 70 lb-ft more than the regular 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost motor equipped F-150. Despite the additional power, the hybrid version gets better mileage, with an EPA rating of 24/25. The F-150 Hybrid has a maximum payload capacity of 2,120 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 12,700 pounds. It starts at about $46,000.
And if you're ready and able to go all-electric, the new Lighting starts at around $52,000 — not that much more than the hybrid, before incentives — but is still a genuine F-150, which has traditionally been the best selling full-size truck in the country. The standard batteries yield 452 hp and 775 lb-ft. The extended range batteries offers 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to make it as fast as the midsize Ford Mustang EV GT. It comes standard with all-wheel-drive provided by dual electric motors mounted front and rear.
Depending on the trim and battery options, the Lightning's total driving range on a full charge will be 230 to 320 miles. Most buyers are expected to select the extended range option, which will deliver 300 to 320 miles, depending on the trim level. The F-150 Lightning accepts DC Fast Charging, which allows you to charge from 15% to 80% of capacity in 41 minutes. With Level 2 charging, which is what I have at home, takes 13 hours, which means overnight charging every few days when driven normally.
An option package allows the F-150 Lighting to power a job site — or your home — in case of a power outage with extension cords from multiple onboard outlets. An available adaptor can also be used to recharge other EVs, at least enough to get them to available charging stations.
My tester was the top-of the-line Platinum Supercrew version, with starts at around $92,000 before incentives but came with practically every option, including a full leather interior, panoramic sunroof, unique alloy wheel, a tow package, load of tech and more. It was a revelation to drive, with enough instantly available torque for rapid starts despite its size and incredible handling. The batteries are mounted under the floor, giving it a low center of gravity, and the rear-mounted electric motor allows for an independent suspension that smooths out any road imperfections.
And of course the F-150 Lightning is incredibly quiet because it is all electric. The lack of engine and transmission noise will likely surprise anyone used to the rough and tumble truck world. But the Lightning is the real deal, capable of towing up to 10,000 pounds, although that reduces its range. Like all EVs, planning ahead is helpful for longer and unusual trips.
A word about incentives. All new EVs qualify for Oregon rebates of up to $5,000. The new $7,500 federal rebates for trucks are limited to those costing $80,000 or less. That means the lower trim levels of the Lightning without the extended range batteries should qualify, but check with your dealer before counting on it.
I've long said that what the world needs is inexpensive EVs with enough range for a couple of days of normal driving. But I'd be proud to have the 2023 Ford F-150 plugged into my Level 2 charger. It is a serious full-size truck that easily exceeds the hype.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
Base price: $51,974 (Pro)
Price as tested: $92,874 (Platinum)
Type: Full size half-ton pickup
Engine: Dual electric motors (530 hp, 775 lbs-ft; 580 hp, 775 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive
EPA estimated range: 230-320 miles
Overall length: 232.7 inches
Curb weight: 6,015 pounds
Final assembly: Dearborn, Michigan
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