I come from an extended line of F-150s. One in all my earliest vehicular recollections is bouncing round behind a pink, late-90s step-side that my grandpa trucked round his cattle ranch within the Sierra Nevadas. That truck ultimately gave option to a silver 2004 mannequin that bought handed right down to me in 2014, then a blue-green 2015 mannequin that I inherited when Gammy and Papa (as I nonetheless name them) offered the ranch a number of years later. And I have been driving them arduous across the Pacific Northwest ever since.
For myself and Papa Corridor, now in his mid-eighties, vehicles are instruments. Even though he did shell out for extras like an extra-large tank (“in order that I would not need to pay for gasoline in California”), they had been for hauling firewood, towing trailers, and driving a collection of black and brown labs to go duck looking. He banged his F-150s up so typically that he had a devoted bumper man named Mort.
The brand new F-150 Lightning Platinum—a completely electrified truck with an enormous touchscreen, heated and cooled seats, and a panoramic sunroof—could be unfamiliar to my grandpa. It feels, appears, and smells extra like a German luxurious automobile than the canine hair and mud any of our F150s ever did.
And but, after really utilizing it to haul a trailer throughout city, my two muddy canines from after the park, and a pair a whole bunch of kilos of apples to a cider press, I’ve come to see my future. These vehicles aren’t posh facsimiles of the tough and tumble automobiles Papa and I owned and beloved. The F-150 Lightning does all the pieces I’ve requested it to do, in just about all instances higher than gasoline fashions.
Until you’re a renter with out entry to a charging port, or a continuing long-hauler who tows a journey trailer typically, that is in all probability essentially the most succesful automobile for any state of affairs you will ever face. For many who can swing the upfront value, it is the Leatherman of vehicles.
Grease-Much less Lightning
This is not the primary F-150 Lightning. A pair many years in the past, Ford made a super-fast gasoline model of the F-150, nonetheless considerably slower than this newer electrified model, with the identical title. In addition to the truth that the brand new F-150 Lighting Platinum with towing bundle that I examined does 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, the brand new Lighting and Ye Olde Lightning don’t have anything in frequent.
My evaluation truck (the $92,000 Platinum trim) compares pretty on to a high-end hybrid F-150 Restricted with all of the trimmings (about $83,000). Just like the gasoline truck of us know and purchase in droves (for these unaware, the F-150 has been the best-selling automobile in america since 1981), my crew cab evaluation unit arrived with a large array of different bells and whistles that you just’d anticipate from any premium truck in 2023.
It has heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise management, a large sunroof, and a 360-degree digicam. Like many EVs, it presents one-pedal driving that lets you by no means contact the brakes, and it will probably steer for you on many roads. Ford’s Blue Cruise performance goes as far as letting you’re taking your palms off the wheel throughout segments on main highways, offered you look out the entrance window. To do that, it has sensors that have a look at your eyes and be sure you’re watching. Sure, it feels as nuts to drive with no palms because it sounds.
The interiors between gasoline and electrical vehicles are close to similar, however the F-150 Lightning has a large entrance trunk the place its engine ought to be. The “frunk” of this factor can match, Ford claims, three units of normal golf golf equipment. Stated frunk additionally contains 4 120-volt energy retailers and two USB retailers (one USB-C, one USB-A), which implies you possibly can plug in your gadgets when you journey, or cost up your laptop computer or instruments on the best way between job websites (or fields on a ranch).
The rear of the truck has 4 extra 120-volt energy retailers, in addition to a 220-volt outlet above it. Sure, you need to use the Lightning along with your full-size dryer, sizzling tub, and even cost one other electrical automobile off of it, with the flexibility to inform it when to cease so you’ve sufficient vary to drive residence. That is each epic and superior. The hybrid truck may also do that within the Restricted trim, however energy technology caps out at 7.2 kWh of energy in comparison with the Lightning’s 131 kWh. Commonplace gasoline fashions may be outfitted with 2.0 kWh or 2.4 kWh, relying on trim and engine.
On the Lightning, there may be additionally an choice to let the huge 131-kWh battery of extended-range vehicles (versus the 98-kWh battery from standard-range fashions) act like a generator to your home, so long as you buy a $1,300 wall charger from Ford. That charger and the extended-range battery sound so much cheaper whenever you begin pricing out whole-home mills, their upkeep, and the price of gasoline.