The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is an all-electric version of the iconic F-150 pickup truck. It is a revolutionary vehicle that combines the power and versatility of a traditional truck with the eco-friendliness and efficiency of electric technology. The F-150 Lightning is designed to meet the needs of those who want a reliable, powerful vehicle for work and play, while also being conscious of their impact on the environment. This truck represents a major shift in the automotive industry, as more and more manufacturers are turning to electric vehicles to meet the demands of modern consumers.
It was with a lot of excitement that I took the wheel of an F-150 Lightning 4X4 Supercrew XLT trim. The XLT and Lariat versions are offered with two battery formats, the Platinum livery is the best equipped and inherits, as standard, the long-life battery. There is a fourth version, the Pro, but it is reserved for fleets. No choice of configurations with the F-150 Lightning, you have to live with the four-door crew cab and the short 5.5-foot box, so the short wheelbase, which puts a damper on practicality and meeting your needs.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning hasn't changed from the 20222 model year. The only non-significant changes are primarily related to the pricing of the F-150 Lightning family of trims. The base model, the Pro, has seen a price increase of $12,000, while the higher-end trims, such as the Platinum, XLT, and Lariat, have also experienced price hikes ranging from $6,000 to $7,000. According to a representative from Ford to Card and Driver, these price changes are due to a variety of factors, including supply-chain constraints, rising material costs, and market demand. As a result, the F-150 Lightning may be out of reach for some potential buyers who were interested in its all-electric power and versatility.
Despite the price increase, the XLT trim, which Torque News is reviewing here, remains a desirable option for those looking for a well-equipped F-150 Lightning. The Extended-Range battery pack is available for an additional $10,000, making it a worthwhile investment for those planning to drive long distances or use the truck for towing. However, adding this battery to the XLT requires also purchasing the expensive 312A High package, which includes a range of desirable features such as adaptive cruise control, Pro-Power Onboard generator, heated front seats and steering wheel, in-dash navigation, and more.
While the F-150 Lightning's price increase may make it less accessible for some buyers, those who are able to invest in the XLT trim with the Extended-Range battery and 312A High package will likely find that they are getting a top-of-the-line all-electric truck with a wealth of features and capabilities.
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning's Exterior Design
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning has a style that quickly sets it apart from other trucks on the road. Ford has added distinctive features to ensure that the Lightning is easily recognizable, such as the separate optical units and the addition of a white light strip that crosses the front grille. A red light strip on the back completes the modern look. The grille is closed, which is a common feature of electric vehicles, and the 20- or 22-inch rims, depending on the version, have an exclusive design. However, Ford has also made sure not to deviate too much from the classic F-150 design to please traditionalists.
In addition to its striking design, the F-150 Lightning also offers practical features that are unique to an electric truck. The Lightning has the same body, tailgate, and layout as its gas-powered counterpart, but it also includes a front trunk, also known as frunk in Tesla and Lucid, which adds an extra 400 liters of cargo volume. This is a useful feature for hauling groceries or other items out of the weather, eliminating the need for a tonneau cover. The hood opening is motorized.
Additionally, all models benefit from the Pro Power Onboard system, which supplies two 120-volt electrical outlets on board, four more in the body, and four additional outlets in the front trunk. This system allows for easy connection of equipment and tools, making the Lightning a practical choice for work or play. Finally, the powerful LEDs used throughout the exterior of the vehicle light up the area around the truck, making it easy to see in the dark, even in remote locations.
The Interior and The Big Screen
Moving to the interior, the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning boasts a modern and sleek dashboard design that is typical of electric vehicles. The dashboard is stripped-down, and everything is controlled through a 15.5-inch touchscreen display, which is mounted vertically in the center console. The touchscreen provides easy access to all of the vehicle's functions, including climate control, audio, and navigation. The XLT version comes with a smaller 12-inch touchscreen display that is mounted horizontally. The touchscreen includes a rotary control that is integrated into the bottom of the screen for volume control and other functions like heated seats.
Inside, the F-150 Lightning offers plenty of room for all passengers, with excellent visibility all around. The lowering of the body line has improved lateral visibility, which is an excellent addition. The materials and assembly quality are good, but not up to the level expected for a vehicle with a price tag of over $100,000.
In the back, as with the classic F-150, space is more limited than in a Chevrolet Silverado or even a Ram 1500. Door clearance remains adequate, and the seat high enough for good comfort. Overall, the quality of the assembly is good, even if the plastics are of average quality, at most.
However, the quality is a marked improvement over previous F-150 models. The gear lever for the Lightning is designed to be classic and feels like a gasoline-powered model, which some may appreciate, while others may prefer something more unique to electric vehicles. The lever can be stored in the console when the vehicle is stationary, and the console's cover can be folded down to create a flat work surface, which is a useful feature for those who use their vehicle for work purposes.
Overall, the interior of the F-150 Lightning offers a modern and practical design that is well-suited for a vehicle that is designed for both work and play. The touchscreen display is easy to use and offers a wealth of information, and the quality of materials and assembly is good, if not outstanding. The classic design of the gear lever is a personal preference, but the ability to fold down the center console to create a work surface is an excellent addition for those who use their vehicle for work purposes.
F-150 Lightning's Motors and Batteries
The Ford F-150 Lightning offers two electric motors that are both powerful and efficient. The first motor provides power to the rear wheels while the second motor assists in power delivery to all four wheels. This system results in instant acceleration and strong towing capabilities. The motors are also engineered for high durability and reliability, requiring minimal maintenance over their lifespan.
In addition to the two motor options, the F-150 Lightning also offers a range of drive modes that allow for customization of the driving experience. For example, "Off-Road" mode provides optimized traction control and hill descent control, while "Tow/Haul" mode adjusts throttle response and transmission shift points for towing heavy loads. There is also a "One-Pedal Drive" mode that enables the driver to control both acceleration and deceleration using only the accelerator pedal.
The F-150 Lightning's battery system is designed to be robust and reliable, and it comes with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The batteries are also optimized for fast charging, with the ability to recharge from 15 to 80 percent in just 41 minutes using a DC fast charger. Additionally, the F-150 Lightning comes with an array of advanced charging technologies that allow for flexible and convenient charging options, including mobile charging via Ford's Charge Station Pro and Intelligent Backup Power that can power your home in the event of an outage.
Overall, the F-150 Lightning's impressive motor and battery technologies make it a top choice for those looking for a powerful and efficient electric pickup truck.
Range and MPGe
The Ford F-150 Lightning boasts an impressive driving range, with the smaller 98.0-kWh battery providing a range of 230 miles per charge and the larger 131.0-kWh battery pack offering up to 320 miles. The F-150 Lightning can be charged at home using 110- and 220-volt outlets, but it can also be charged at public DC fast-charging stations. Ford claims that the truck can charge from 15 percent to 80 percent of battery capacity in just 44 minutes, making it a convenient option for those on the go.
Additionally, the F-150 Lightning can serve as a backup generator, supplying up to three days of electricity for the average household in the event of a power outage.
When it comes to fuel economy and real-world MPGe, the F-150 Lightning Extended-Range models have been rated by the EPA for up to 78 MPGe city and 63 MPGe highway, with the Standard-Range models being slightly less efficient at 76 MPGe city and 61 MPGe highway.
For more information on the F-150 Lightning's fuel economy, it's recommended to visit the EPA's website.
Also, a few words about the acceleration. The F-150 is known for its impressive power and acceleration, and this is evident when driving the version with long autonomy and the most powerful engine. As the driver presses down on the accelerator, they are immediately thrust back into their seat, much like the experience of driving a sports car. This level of acceleration is particularly surprising for a vehicle of this size and weight, and even passengers are likely to be impressed. The power is distributed evenly across all four wheels, which contributes to the vehicle's excellent poise on the road.
The F-150's power and acceleration make it a top choice for those who need a versatile and powerful vehicle.
I didn't tow anything with this electric truck, but F-150 Lightning's maximum towing capacity is 4,545 kilos (10,000 pounds). But Samuel Lessard of RPMWeb towed a trailer with a van on it weighing 6,000 lbs. He says "power has never been lacking, on the contrary; the low-end torque of the two electric motors makes the job very easy. The Ford's weight is also an asset, since it remains very stable on the road, even with a trailer in the back."
Samuel also writes that with this load, he obtained a consumption of 46 kilowatt hours per 60 miles over a distance of 60 miles, on the highway and secondary road. "The autonomy would therefore have been 285 kilometers, a decrease of 35%. At all times, the autonomy displayed on the dashboard is quickly adjusted according to consumption, but also according to the parameters entered in the infotainment in relation to the towed load, so that you can plan a stop, if necessary," he writes.
Great EV Truck
Despite the even higher price tag in 2023, this first electric truck shows how great full-size trucks are to be electrified. With the Ford F-150 Lightning, power is not lacking, as is user-friendliness, comfort, silence, luxury and technology. This truck proves it fulfills the majority of its promises with flying colors.
The truck under test nevertheless deserves a bit of maturation before being recommended. My neighbor, who is an ICE F-150 owner, today told me that he will buy it when the second generation of Lightning comes to market. I always like to wait for the second generation when giving recommendations. But this is a great truck. It provides a very pleasant driving experience with superb power.
To appeal to a loyal and often conservative clientele, this F-150 Lightning does everything to look like a regular pickup truck. And this is not the greatest of its qualities. It might even help save the planet in terms of ecology. This energy transition in the pickup truck sector is, by far, the one that will have the most impact in North America. As long as the industry accelerates the pace (by increasing the rate of production) and that the truck buyers adopt it.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.