After its announcement in 2019, the Ford F-150 Lightning is finally ready to hit the road this coming spring. Like the standard F-150, it’s based on, the Lightning has all the ingredients to make it the best-selling all-electric pickup truck in the U.S. At its launch, Ford teased a feature that allows customers to power their homes directly from the truck in case of emergencies, giving them a level of independence not yet seen in the segment.
As expected, a lot more details have come to light,revealing how useful it is if the need arises. Dubbed “Intelligent Backup Power”, the system requires other Ford accessories like the home integration system that includes a power inverter, transfer switch, and a dark start battery. When equipped with the larger 131 kWh battery, the F-150 can power the average American home for an estimated 3 days with full usage. If required, the power can last up to 10 days with electricity rationing and mild usage, which can be a lifesaver if the grid goes dark at uncertain times. The F-150 Lightning tops out at 9.6 kW according to ford, which is more than enough for the average consumer.
Ford is going a step further by partnering with Sunrun, the company that does installations for both the Charge Station Pro and Home Integration System. Buyers of the extended range model get the charging system without any additional expense, while the Home Integration System will cost extra. Ford will further improve the Intelligent Power system for daily usage to keep electricity charges low whenever required.
With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at the two systems on offer.
Ford Intelligent Backup Power
This system requires the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro to be installed at your home to work, offering power up to 9.6 kW. Using both the Charge Station Pro and home integration system, the F-150 will be able to automatically power the home during power outages and switch back to charging mode when the power is restored, allowing seamless integration and power. Both the standard and extended range F-150 Lightning models are capable of this feature when connected at home through the Ford Charge Station Pro system.
Sunrun will also provide rooftop solar panels if required, allowing bi-directional power flow with renewable solar energy through the home integration system.
The Home Integration System will be available through Sunrun this spring.
Pro Power Onboard
Unlike the Intelligent Backup Power system, Pro Power Onboard doesn’t require any additional expenses like the home integration system. Owners can use up to 11 power outlets on the truck to power a variety of power tools and equipment. The 120/240-volt power outlets are available at several locations throughout the truck for powering equipment easily. According to Ford, these outlets can power saws, compressors, drills, and even TVs, stereos, and refrigerators, making the F-150 Lightning an ideal companion for camping and off-site job locations. Like the intelligent backup power system, the system caps out at 9.6 kW with the Pro power Onboard system that also features 10 120V outlets and one 240V outlet. The standard Pro Power Onboard system is capped at 2.4 kW and only provides eight 120V outlets.
Coming back to the F-150 Lightning, it is expected to start reaching showrooms in the spring with a starting price of $42,000. According to Ford, a fully loaded F-150 Lightning will cost up to $90,000, while the popular XLT trim is expected to start at $55,000.
Since the F-150 Lightning was unveiled, several other competitors have entered the segment, including the GMC Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T.
Unlike most of its competitors, the F-150 Lightning gets a standard design with three different configurations for the front grille. Both the front and rear fascias also get a lightbar that connects the two conventional lights, helping it stand out from the regular F-150.
The F-150 Lightning is available only as a SuperCrew model with a 5.5-foot box. It’s also slightly taller than a similarly specced standard F-150, while the rest of the dimensions remain the same. The interiors are also similar to the standard model with a few exceptions like the larger infotainment display and the addition of a frunk for even more storage. The infotainment display tops out at 15-inches on the higher trims, running the latest Sync 4 infotainment system while the Platinum trim also gets an 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The addition of BlueCruise technology with the F-150 Lightning will also offer over-the-air updates, continually updating and improving the truck. Ford also includes a range of driver assistance features as standard including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and more. Even a semi-autonomous driving mode will be on offer when the F-150 Lightning goes on sale.
The standard range model gets a 98 kWh battery pack, lending it a range of 230 miles on a single charge. Performance is also more than adequate with all-wheel-drive included as standard on all models and power figures of 426 hp with the standard battery. Upgrading to the extended-range 131 kWh battery pack will bump figures up to 563 hp. Both configurations make 775 lb-ft of torque, lending the F-150 Lightning an impressive towing capacity of 10,000 pounds with the bigger battery while the standard range battery is limited to 7700 pounds.
Because of its electric drivetrain, the Lightning gets an independent rear suspension setup, thus it handles better than the standard F-150.
The F-150 Lightning also boasts of DC fast charging, allowing it to charge from 15 percent to 80 percent in just 44 minutes. It can also be charged at home with a regular 110 or 220-volt power outlet. With the 150-kW DC fast charger, just 10 minutes of charging can add 54 miles to the range, making it ideal for quick top-ups on the move.
Since most new customers are skeptical about making the jump to all-electric models, Ford also includes an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on the electric vehicle components including the battery.
Overall, the new F-150 Lightning is a step in the right direction for Ford, and given how popular the standard model is, we can expect the F-150 Lightning to top the all-electric sales charts in the coming years despite the rising competition.