Overview: The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning in the Electric Truck Arena

The Electric Revolution in Pickup Trucks

Full-size pickup trucks hold a special place in the American automotive market, much like the universal appeal of a Taylor Swift concert. The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning marks a notable landmark in this part by introducing an all-electric version of the United States’ best-selling F-series pickups.

It joins a growing list of electric trucks, including the Rivian R1T, GMC Hummer EV SUT, and the upcoming Chevy Silverado EV, signaling a shift from traditional V-8 engines to powerful electric powertrains that offer up to 580 horsepower. Its dual-motor all-wheel-drive system is unique to the Lightning, with the Extended Range model boasting an EPA-estimated driving range of up to 320 miles. However, the electric F-150 faces challenges in maintaining driving range while towing.

Pros

  • It outpaces the 700-hp F-150 Raptor R to 60 mph, setting a new benchmark for electric truck performance.
  • The interior offers ample room and numerous storage solutions, maintaining the practicality and comfort the F-150 series is known for.
  • It retains the classic design cues of the traditional gas-powered F-150, blending familiarity with the innovation of electric power.

Cons

  • The starting price has seen a jump of over $10,000 in less than a year, making it a pricier proposition for potential buyers.
  • Despite its high price tag, the Platinum model’s interior fails to meet the expectations set by its cost, lacking the luxury one might anticipate.
  • In testing, it managed only 100 miles while towing, a significant decrease from its unladen range, indicating a compromise in utility under load.

Pricing and Which Model to Choose for the 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning

The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning offers a range of trim levels, with prices starting from $57,090 and extending up to $100,090. Here’s a quick overview of the available trims and their starting prices:

  • Pro: Starting at $57,090
  • XLT: Starting at $67,090
  • Flash Extended Range: Starting at $75,590
  • Lariat Extended Range: Starting at $81,590
  • Platinum Extended Range: Starting at $87,090
  • Platinum Black Extended Range: Starting at $100,090

The introduction of the new Flash trim level is particularly noteworthy. Positioned as a mid-range option, the Flash trim combines many desirable features at a relatively accessible price point.

It includes the extended-range battery as a standard feature, ensuring longer distances can be covered on a single charge. Additionally, it is equipped with a larger 15.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, enhancing the user interface and connectivity experience.

Another highlight of the Flash model is the inclusion of Ford’s Blue Cruise hands-free driving system. This advanced driver-assistance feature adds a layer of convenience and safety, allowing for hands-free driving capabilities under certain conditions.

EV Motor, Power, and Performance in the F-150 Lightning

EV Motor, Power, and Performance in the F-150 Lightning

Dual Electric Motors and All-Wheel Drive Configuration

The F-150 Lightning arranges a new ideal for electric trucks by incorporating two electric motors paired with all-wheel drive across all its models. This configuration ensures robust performance and traction in various driving conditions.

Power Output Variations by Battery Type

  • Standard-Range Battery: With this setup, the combined output of the motors is 452 horsepower, delivering strong acceleration and capability.
  • Extended-Range Battery: Opting for the larger battery increases the horsepower to an impressive 580, making the Lightning even more powerful while maintaining a peak torque of 775 pound-feet for both battery types. This torque figure is notable for providing immediate power delivery from a standstill.

Performance Metrics

The F-150 Lightning’s performance is striking, especially considering its size and weight. Testing of the Lightning Platinum model revealed a 0 to 60 mph acceleration period of just 4.0 seconds, with a quarter-mile dash completed in 12.7 moments at a speed of 107 mph. These figures show Lightning’s capability to deliver rapid acceleration that rivals sports cars.

Ride Quality and Handling

Outside its acceleration, the F-150 Lightning impresses with its ride and handling:

  • Refined Road Manners: Despite its quick performance, the Lightning retains the fine driving experience synonymous with the F-150 brand.
  • Enhanced Stability: The electric model benefits from a lower middle of gravity, which helps reduce body roll and improve stability during cornering.
  • Independent Rear Suspension: A significant improvement over the traditional solid rear axle, the independent rear suspension in the Lightning contributes to a smoother ride and better handling, making it more agreeable than even the standard gas-powered F-150 models.

Towing and Payload Capacity of the F-150 Lightning

Towing and Payload Capacity of the F-150 Lightning

Towing Capacity: Extended vs. Standard Range

  • Extended-Range Battery Models: These versions of the F-150 Lightning are the champions of towing, boasting a maximum capacity of up to 10,000 pounds. This makes them suitable for hauling large trailers, boats, or campers.
  • Standard-Range Battery Models: More modest in towing capability, these models can still handle a respectable load, with a towing capacity limited to 7,700 pounds. This is adequate for typical towing needs like smaller trailers or boats.

Payload Capacity: Balancing Weight and Battery Size

  • Standard-Range Models: Offering a payload capacity of up to 2,000 pounds, the Standard-Range variant of the F-150 Lightning can carry a significant amount of cargo or gear in its bed, making it highly versatile for various tasks.
  • Extended-Range Models: With a slightly lower payload capacity of 1,800 pounds, the Extended-Range models trade some carrying ability for additional driving range. This still provides ample capacity for many hauling needs, from tools and equipment to recreational gear.

Real-World Towing Impact on Range

During a practical towing test with a 6,100-pound double-axle camping trailer, the observed range of an F-150 Lightning Platinum model equipped with the Extended-Range battery was significantly affected.

At a cruising speed of 70 mph, the range dropped to around 100 miles, substantially decreasing from the EPA-estimated range without a load. This highlights the impact of towing on electric vehicle range, an important consideration for potential buyers planning to use their trucks for frequent or long-distance towing.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life of the F-150 Lightning

Driving Range: Standard vs. Extended Battery

  • Standard 98.0-kWh Battery: Equipped with the smaller battery, the F-150 Lightning is estimated by Ford to deliver a driving range of 230 miles per charge, catering to daily commuting and short trips.
  • Extended 131.0-kWh Battery: Opting for the larger battery pack significantly increases the vehicle’s driving range to an impressive 320 miles, ideal for longer journeys without frequent charging stops.

Real-World Range Performance

  • Highway Range Test: In a controlled test conducted at 75 mph, the F-150 Lightning Platinum model, presumably with the Extended-Range battery, achieved a real-world range of 230 miles, aligning with the estimated range for the Standard battery option under highway conditions.

Charging Options and Times

  • At-Home Charging: The F-150 Lightning supports convenient at-home charging using standard 110-volt and more powerful 220-volt outlets, offering flexibility for overnight charging or quicker top-ups.
  • Public DC Fast-Charging: The Lightning can also take advantage of public DC fast-charging stations for those on the go. Ford indicates the truck can be charged from 15 percent to 80 percent power in about 44 minutes, significantly reducing downtime during longer trips.

Backup Power Capability

  • Mobile Power Generator: Beyond its transportation capabilities, Ford has ingeniously designed the F-150 Lightning to function as a mobile power generator. In case of a power outage, a fully charged F-150 Lightning can supply up to three days of electricity for an average household, showcasing its versatility beyond mere transportation.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe

EPA Ratings for Extended vs. Standard Range

  • Extended-Range Efficiency: As rated by the EPA, the F-150 Lightning with the Extended-Range battery achieves up to 78 MPGe in the municipality and 63 MPGe on the roadway.
  • Standard-Range Efficiency: Models equipped with the Standard-Range battery are slightly less efficient, with ratings of 76 MPGe in the city and 61 MPGe on the road.

Observed Efficiency

  • Real-World Performance: During testing, a Lightning Platinum model demonstrated an observed efficiency of 54 MPGe, lower than the EPA’s ratings. This highlights the potential variance in efficiency based on driving conditions and habits.

For further details on the F-150 Lightning’s fuel economy, visiting the EPA’s website is recommended.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Cabin Design and Features

  • Familiar yet Modern Interior: The interior of the F-150 Lightning closely mirrors that of its gasoline-powered counterpart but introduces some distinct enhancements, such as an oversized infotainment display, enhancing the truck’s modernity and user experience.
  • Crew Cab Configuration: The Lightning is known just as a workforce cab with a 5.5-foot bed, showing generous space for passengers and cargo alike.

Innovative Use of Space

  • Front Trunk Utility: One of the Lightning’s unique features is its large front trunk or “frunk.” This space, which would traditionally house an internal combustion engine, provides additional cargo capacity, capable of carrying up to 400 pounds. This innovative use of space adds a new level of versatility to the truck, offering secure, enclosed storage perfect for a wide range of items.

The F-150 Lightning’s blend of familiar F-150 comfort with electric vehicle innovation creates a compelling package for those interested in an electric truck that does not compromise utility or interior quality.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Standard and Upgraded Displays

  • Standard System: All F-150 Lightning models have a 12.0-inch touchscreen featuring Ford’s latest Sync 4 software. This ensures a responsive and user-friendly interface for all your infotainment needs.
  • Larger Display for Higher Trims: The Lariat and Platinum models elevate the experience with a 15.5-inch touchscreen, offering more screen real estate for navigation, media, and vehicle settings.

Connectivity Features

  • Comprehensive Connectivity: Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard, enabling seamless smartphone integration. In-dash navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot are standard, keeping you connected and on track during your journeys.

Audio Systems

  • Bang & Olufsen Partnership: Thanks to Ford’s collaboration with Bang & Olufsen, two premium stereo systems are available:
    • An eight-speaker system for the Lariat trim.
    • An 18-speaker setup in the Platinum model provides an immersive audio experience.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

NHTSA Rating

  • Top Marks: The F-150 Lightning has received a five-star general safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), indicating excellent crash-test performance.

Standard and Optional Safety Technologies

  • Driver Assistance: A suite of standard features includes automatic crisis braking with pedestrian detection and lane-departure alerting with lane-keeping assist. Additionally, adaptive cruise control with a hands-free driving mode is available, enhancing safety and convenience on the road.

Visiting the NHTSA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites is recommended for detailed crash-test results.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Comprehensive Coverage

  • Essential and Powertrain: The F-150 Lightning’s warranty includes a 3-year/36,000-mile restricted guarantee and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, providing peace of mind for new owners.
  • EV-Specific Warranty: An 8-year/100,000-mile warranty specifically covers battery components, aligning with industry standards for electric vehicle warranties.

Maintenance

No Complimentary Maintenance: Unlike some competitors, the F-150 Lightning does not offer complimentary scheduled maintenance as part of its warranty package.

FAQs

Q: What is the starting price of the 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning?

A: While the starting price has increased by over $10,000 in less than a year, exact figures may vary based on trim levels and optional features. The most basic model starts around the mid-$50,000s, but for the most accurate and current pricing, it’s best to check directly with Ford or a local dealer.

Q: How does the F-150 Lightning’s acceleration compare to the F-150 Raptor R?

A: The F-150 Lightning boasts quicker acceleration to 60 mph than the 700-hp F-150 Raptor R, highlighting its impressive electric powertrain performance.

Q: Can the F-150 Lightning be used for towing, and what is its range?

A: Yes, the F-150 Lightning is capable of towing. However, its range is significantly affected when towing heavy loads, with tests showing a range of just 100 miles at highway speeds with a 6,100-pound trailer.

Q: What are the key features of the F-150 Lightning’s interior?

A: The Lightning features a spacious cabin with ample storage and maintains the familiar design of the gas-powered F-150. Higher trims, such as the Platinum, offer luxury features. However, some may find the interior needs to justify the higher price tag fully.

Conclusion

The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning represents a significant step forward in electrifying the iconic F-Series trucks, combining traditional F-150 virtues with electric vehicle innovation. Its quick acceleration, spacious and practical cabin, and familiar design appeal to long-time F-150 fans and new adopters of electric vehicles.

However, potential buyers should know about the price increase, the interior quality in higher trims like the Platinum, and the limited towing range. Despite these considerations, the F-150 Lightning stands out as a powerful, versatile electric truck that pushes the limitations of what electric vehicles can do, making it a compelling option for those looking to transition to electric mobility without compromising on power and utility.

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