Ford F-150 Lightning Could Unleash Global EV Breakthrough

The most important new electric car is not sold with us…

September 23, 2022 Ford has electrified its famous pickup, the F-150. This can have major consequences worldwide.

The best-selling new car of 2022 in our country is the Peugeot 208, with just under 6,700 registrations to date. In the United States, it is the Ford F-150 that leads the sales statistics for the 45th year in a row. In total, about 40 million (!) copies of the workhorse have already been sold.

The fact that a fully electric variant of this model will appear is special for several reasons. The F-150 is a stereotypical American commercial vehicle of 2 meters wide and almost 6 meters long: to be able to propel such a giant purely on electricity, you need a lot of battery cells. They are therefore included: up to 131 kWh of batteries are hidden under the occupants. It is the largest battery pack from a passenger car to date.

Little traditional

The buyer group of the F-150 is very diverse, but also quite traditional. Ford is sticking its neck out by electrifying the beloved workhorse. The manufacturer has deliberately chosen an existing body for the F-150 Lightning, so that only the powertrain is foreign to their customer base. An additional advantage is that the fully electric variant can be produced and sold cheaply: in America the price list starts at 40,000 dollars. That is only 10 grand more than the simplest petrol version.

The F-150 may be the American Peugeot 208; it is mainly used as a company car. With a significantly lower payload and towing weight compared to the fuel version, the Lightning initially seems of little interest to workmen. Incidentally, there is still 900 kilograms of stuff in the cargo box. The Ford also knows how to handle a trailer up to 4,500 kilograms. But the trump card of the Lightning lies precisely in the functionalities reserved solely for this fully electric variant.

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From thick wood..?

The electric motors on the front and rear axles together produce 580 hp and no less than 1,050 Nm of torque. The Lightning sprints from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.4 seconds: faster than any F-150. Where previously the engine was hiding, you will now find an extra trunk. With a capacity of 400 liters, this so-called ‘frunk’ is just as large as the regular luggage compartment of a Ford Focus. In addition, you can also use the electric pickup’s immense battery pack to return power. In total, the special F-150 has six USB points, eleven regular sockets and ten 120V sockets on board. Enough to cut thick wood planks even in remote locations.

The Lightning will not be carried in Europe, which is not to say that you will never encounter the pickup. Via the gray import you can still get one here, although in the case of the test car driven by us, that quickly becomes a burden: count on a price tag of one and a half tons. The Ford is especially expensive because of the amount of batteries present. On paper, this will get you about 500 kilometers away. All those battery cells have an impact on the weight of the Lightning: that is just under 3 tons. You have to be careful who or what you take with you, because above 3,500 kilograms you can only drive a Ford in the Netherlands… with a truck driver’s license!

In the Netherlands, the role of this F-150 will be marginal, but the technology used will soon find its way to the new, fully electric Transit Custom: a Ford commercial vehicle that is sold here. In America, only a tenth of the existing buyers group needs to change tack to start a revolution. This typical American pick-up has the potential to permanently change the automotive world.

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