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  • REVIEW: All-Electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum Delivers Power, Capability and Luxury

    REVIEW: All-Electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum Delivers Power, Capability and Luxury

    This week I bring you a very special pickup, the all-new Ford Lightning, a completely electric truck, and the first time Ford has built an electric version of the best-selling vehicle in America.

    Performance


    Let’s talk about what powers it:  two electric motors draw power from a battery pack that produces 580-horses and an incredible 775-pound feet of torque.  It is important to note my review truck has the extended range battery, which is a $10,000 upgrade.  The standard battery isn’t as powerful and does not have as much range as this one.  The battery has a range of 300-miles, takes you from 0-to-60 in just 4.5 seconds, and it has a top speed of 110-miles per hour.

    On the subject of range, this truck is supposed to have 300-miles, but fully charged, it shows closer to 315-miles.  After a few days, checking the projected range, it appears it will get about 280-miles in range, which is closer than any other EV I’ve had and to be fair, it’s been hot in Texas and I’ve run the A/C really hard.  I also did some fast starts when filming, so the range is likely achievable with normal driving.

    Exterior


    I love that the Lightning looks just like all other F-150s, except for the grill, which is closed, but not obvious.  Other than the unique 22” wheels and the Lightning  emblems on the sides of this truck, it just looks like any other F-150 except for the massive LED light bars in front and back that I think is a cool touch and something everybody remarks about.

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    Interior


    This is the top-of-the-line Platinum edition, and it is loaded and has a spectacular interior.  White with black trimmed seats are extremely comfortable and the front seats are heated, cooled, and they will massage you. Both front seats will recline to fully flat for those quick naps you need.  There is a 12” digital gauge display that is configurable and prominently displays your range, speed, and other pertinent information, including a menu.  This is all controlled from the steering wheel.

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    The focal area of the interior is a massive 15-and-a-half-inch screen that is mounted vertically, much like a large iPad.  From there you can enter the apps for drive modes, access, towing, smart hitch, onboard scales, lighting, the Pro Power system, parking assist, Intelligent backup power, seat settings, and you can put it in valet mode.  There is a large, round volume knob at the bottom which to me looks a little strange, but it certainly is easy to operate.

    The screen also runs the B&O sound system, navigation, BlueTooth, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and an exceptional 360-degree review camera system.

    The center console houses the gear shifter, has a wireless phone charger, USB and USC ports, a 12-volt and 110-power outlet just to the right, and a couple of cup holders.  A push of a button will make the gear shifter fold down, then from the backside of the massive center console, you can flip it forward to make a really slick work station for a laptop or a nice picnic table to eat on.

    The back seat is massive and has storage underneath it to hide valuables.  It folds up to create a huge load floor, and it has air-conditioning vents, heated seats, more power ports, and a fold down armrest with cupholders.  Back seat passengers will be very comfortable.

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    This Platinum Edition comes extremely loaded with a panoramic moonroof, power mirrors with side spotlights, power tilt wheel, power sliding rear window, adaptive cruise control, trailer towing package, keyless entry pad, forward sensing system, running boards, and active park assist.

    Cool Features


    The F-150 Lightning has some cool features I must point out.  The first is the frunk, the front trunk.  It opens with a button on the key fob or on the dash, and features a drainable ice chest and has 14 cubic-feet of cargo area.  It is entirely waterproof. 

    The tailgate is power and you can raise or lower it from the key fob or also on the dash. Usually trucks just lower the tailgate, not raise them.  The tailgate itself has a measuring tool and cutouts for putting drinks, your cell phone, etc, and it has the Ford slide out step to get into the bed.

    Inside the bed and the frunk are power outlets to plug in tools or whatever else is needed.  The bed outlets have a 240-volt plug-in that will allow you to run lights to your home in the event of a power outage.  Ford says it will run an entire house for up to 3 days.

    ford-onboard-scales-carproAnother neat feature is the onboard scales.  You can put 2000 pounds of cargo in the bed and from the main screen on the dash, it will show you exactly how much weight you have OR the tongue weight of your trailer to make sure you are not overloading your truck.

    My review truck also has Blue Cruise, Ford’s self-driving technology.  This feature allows you to operate your vehicle hands-free while you are monitored by a driver-facing camera to make sure you’re keeping your eyes on the road while driving on prequalified sections of divided highways called Hands-Free Blue Zones that make up over 130,000 miles of North American roads.  If you are not on an approved road, the system will not engage.

    Ride and Drive


    Although electric, this is a very capable truck that will tow 10,000 pounds, although the effect on battery range is unknown to me, but I do address this below.  I can tell you this, the acceleration of this truck is insane and it drives and rides like a dream, thanks primarily to a new independent rear suspension system on the Lightning.

    One issue I usually notice with EVs is interior quietness, since there is no engine noise to drown out the exterior sounds, but this is not an issue with the Lightning, it is whisper quiet.

    Charging


    Charging time is pretty quick with a 150-kilowatt charger, which are available in many places or can be installed at home.  Public charging is free for two years and you can get to an 80% charge in just 41 minutes.

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    What You'll Pay


    MSRP on this loaded pickup is $94,304 before the $7500 federal tax credit and any state incentives that may apply.  You can actually get a nicely equipped XLT Lightning for about $72,000 before incentives.

    In summary, this truck won’t work for everyone, but it is impressive and has some amazing features like I’ve never seen before.  Best of all, never visiting a gas station again is a strong motivator, especially with current gas prices.

    My Extended Review


    Gas vs. Electric Pricing


    All electric vehicles cost more money than gas vehicles.  I set out to see just how much more this all-electric truck was, so I configured this exact truck online, only with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.  The gas version topped out at $80,790 while the electric version came in at $94,304 MSRP.

    I used the assumption for both trucks at 15,000 miles per year and used $4.50 per gallon of gasoline and used the EPA EcoBoost rating of 20-miles per gallon combined city and highway driving.  The gas version would use 750 gallons of gas in a year, which would cost $3,375.

    I included into the cost of the electric Lightning a $1000 home charger, electricity costs of $450 per year at .12 cents per kilowatt hour, and I added in $100 per month in additional insurance costs, which seems to be the norm.

    The bottom line when comparing the Lightning to the same gas truck is it will take 5-years and 8 months to break even on the additional total cost of the electric version.  The only thing I did not calculate were the costs of oil changes on the gas version.

    You’ll start saving money on the all-electric truck in just shy of six years and if you plan to keep it longer than that, you’ll be money ahead.

    1-Pedal Driving


    On the drive modes page, you can turn on 1-pedal driving.  I know a lot of people don’t use it and find it annoying, but I actually like it and have used it all week.  In short, this feature allows you to drive with just the accelerator pedal.  As soon as you let off the gas pedal, the truck starts to slow down and will come to a full stop without touching the brake pedal.  While the vehicle is slowing down, the electric motor acts as a generator, converting kinetic energy from the vehicle's forward motion into electricity. This electricity recharges the battery while the vehicle is braking.

    Using this feature takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s terrific and other than emergency stops, you’ll likely never hit the brake pedal again AND you can extend your battery range.

    Charging Times


    As I told you earlier, with the right charger you can get an 80% charge in 41 minutes, but what if you don’t have that charger?  Sure, you can just plug the Lightning into a 110-volt outlet like I am doing this week.  The question is, how long does it take to charge just using a regular power outlet?

    Thanks to the spectacular FordPass app I downloaded on my phone, I can get all sorts of information.  This app is a must if you have a Lightning or other Ford electric vehicle.  Right this moment, it is Friday July 1st at 12:19 Central time.  According to my app, I am currently at 65% charged, and have 203 miles of range.  To get to a 100% charge, which is 312 miles according to the app, I’ll need to leave the Lightning plugged-in non-stop until Monday morning at 6:47 AM.  Yes, to pick up just 109 miles of range, it needs to charge over 66 hours.

    It is easy to see why the home charger is a necessity if you want the Lightning.

    Trailer Towing Effect On Range


    I was not able to tow anything with my review Lightning this week, and was asked numerous times how towing would affect the battery range.  A website called www.Electrek.co tested the Lightning by pulling a 23-foot Airstream travel trailer that weighed in at about 6,000 pounds.

    Their conclusion was that when towing, the battery range dropped roughly by 50%.  This is about what I expected.  So, you can expect to need to charge when towing about every 150 miles and if towing the full 10,000-pound limit, range would fall by more than half.  This prospect presents another issue…using a charger while towing a trailer, since most chargers are single parking places in parking lots, which would leave the trailer sticking way out behind the truck.

    My conclusion:  The Lightning would only be an effective tow vehicle for short distances, and not something you would want to use on a cross country trip.

    Last week, I did a news segment with the CBS DFW crew on gas versus electric vehicles, take a look here.

     

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    1. What I Liked Most: The power, the great ride and handling.
    2. What I would change: Like all EVs, more range is needed. 
    3. MSRP: Base price $90,874, as equipped $94,304.
    4. Fuel Economy: Rated at 78 City MPGe/63 highway MPGe/70 Combined MPGe.
    5. Odometer reading when tested:  2,400 miles.
    6. Weight: Approximately 7,000 pounds.
    7. Spare tire: Full-sized.
    8. Length-Width-Height: 232.7” long/80” wide with mirrors folded in/78.3” high.
    9. Fuel Tank Capacity:  N/A.  Charging port on driver’s side front fender.
    10. Towing Capacity:  10,000 pounds.
    11. Official Color:  Star White.
    12. 2022 F-150 Lightning in a few words: The future is here today, depending on how much driving you do.
    13. Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance, 8-year/100,000 miles on electric components.
    14. Final Assembly Location: Rogue Assembly Plant, Dearborn, MI.
    15. Manufacturer's website:  Ford
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