Sunday, October 9, 2022



Ford has had the top-selling pickup on the market for over four decades with its F-Series, and now it has taken a big step to ensure it is in position to keep that title with the introduction of its all-electric Lightning F150.

Not the first EV truck on the market — that honor would go to the R1T from Rivian, a startup company founded in 2009 and headquartered in California — the 2022 Ford Lightning has the power of the F-150 reputation behind it and comes with a more appealing price tag than the handful of its present competitors.

That isn’t to say it’s cheap, because it’s not. The XLT model that is an upgrade from the base Pro trim and figures to be its best-seller starts at $59,474 before any fees like destination and delivery are added on.

That’s a pretty good jump from the starting MSRP for the Pro trim’s $46,974, and if you want the extended-range battery that increases driving range to 320 miles over the 240 miles of the standard-range battery, the starting point for the 2022 Ford Lightning XLT High/Extended Range model is $80,974.

In addition to the longer-lasting battery, XLT High/Extended Range models also get the XLT 312A High Package that includes such features as adaptive cruise control,, Intelligent Access, a heated steering wheel, a 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a power tailgate, 20-inch wheels, and the upgraded 9.6 kW Pro Power Onboard system that acts as mobile generator with 11 outlets (10 120V plus a 240V in the bed).

Other trims available on the 2022 Ford Lighting are Lariat, which this review is based on, and top of the line Platinum. The Lariat starts at $74,474 with the standard-range battery and $85,974 with the extended range. The extended-range battery is standard for the Platinum model that starts at $96,974.

Ford has stuck the formula that makes its F-Series so popular among buyers. with a couple of tweaks. Most obvious on the Lariat-trimmed Lightning is the 15-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash for operation of a plethora of tech features.

Those features include SYNC4A with enhanced voice recognition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wi-fi hotspot, navigation, a 360-degree camera, Bluetooth phone, and Bang&Olufsen premium sound system with 8 speakers. 

The 2022 Ford Lightning is available only with a four-door crew cab that is spacious and comfortable. I used to joke that if you have only enough money to buy a house or a car, buy the car because you can sleep in your car but you can’t drive your house. With rear legroom of 43.6 inches of legroom in the back, the Lightning is a vehicle that has plenty of space for that.

There also is a large storage compartment at the front where the engine sits in the gasoline-power F-150. It’s efficient use of what otherwise would be wasted space. It has a 5.5-foot cargo box.

The Lariat version of the 2022 Ford Lightning gets leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat and power passenger seat with power lumbar, power tailgate with a retractable step, a max tow package that boosts towing capacity to 10,000 pounds, power adjustable steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and a storage bin that features a flat area to do paperwork

All that is nice, but, of course, what makes a Lightning a Lightning is the all-electric powertrain. With two electric motors driving the all-wheel-wheel system, the standard-range battery delivers 452 horsepower and peak torque of 770 pound-feet. The extended range battery ups those numbers to 580/775, respectively.

Max towing with the standard battery is 5,000 pounds without the Max Trailer Tow Package, 7,700 pounds with that Package. With the extended-range batter, the Lariat’s towing capacity is 7,000 pounds without the Trailer Tow Package, 10,000 with it. Ford lists a max of 8,500 pounds for the Platinum with the Tow Package.

One caveat here: the Lightning may be able to tow a significant load, but not very far without a recharge. range is sliced significantly when towing, as some Internet sites have demonstrated via videos.

Oh, yes. About charging times. Ford claims a 150kW Level 3 charger can provide from 15-to-80 percent power in 44 minutes with a standard battery while the extended range does it in 41 minutes. With a Ford Charge Station, times vary from 10 to 13 hours to get a standard battery to 100 percent and 8 to 19 hours for the extended range, depending on which of three versions is being used.
What I liked about the 2022 Ford Lightning: The Supercrew cabin is spacious and well-done. It’s also easy to get into thanks to the grab handles and running boards that are standard on all but the Pro trim. The instant torque response provides quick throttle response. The trunk space in the front. The numerous outlets would be very useful if the power at your home is down for an extended time. (Hello there, Ian.)

What I didn’t like about the 2022 Ford Lightning: Not surprisingly, Ford has filled up the Lightning with lots of tech features, but there is a bit of a steep learning curve to their operation. The large touchscreen can be overwhelming when searching to find the correct mode.

Would I buy the 2022 Ford Lighting? I’m still waiting to be able to charge an EV at the corner gas station and in the same time it takes to fill up the tank of my gas vehicle so probably not. Definitely would not if I had to tow a load a long distance. But if long-distance towing is not among your priorities, the Lightning has a lot going for it.

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