I come from an extended line of F-150s. One in every of my earliest vehicular reminiscences is bouncing round at the back of a crimson, late-90s step-side that my grandpa trucked round his cattle ranch within the Sierra Nevadas. That truck finally gave technique to a silver 2004 mannequin that acquired handed all the way 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 just a few 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. Although he did shell out for extras like an extra-large tank (“in order that I would not must 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 searching. He banged his F-150s up so usually that he had a devoted bumper man named Mort.
The brand new F-150 Lightning Platinum—a totally electrified truck with an enormous touchscreen, heated and cooled seats, and a panoramic sunroof—could be unfamiliar to my grandpa. It feels, seems, and smells extra like a German luxurious automotive than the canine hair and dirt 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 autos Papa and I owned and liked. The F-150 Lightning does every thing 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 relentless long-hauler who tows a journey trailer usually, that is most likely essentially the most succesful automobile for any state of affairs you may 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 a long time 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. Moreover the truth that the brand new F-150 Lighting Platinum with towing package deal that I examined does 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, the brand new Lighting and Ye Olde Lightning don’t have anything in widespread.
My evaluate 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 automotive in the USA since 1981), my crew cab evaluate 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 digital camera. Like many EVs, it presents one-pedal driving that permits you to by no means contact the brakes, and it could 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, supplied you look out the entrance window. To do that, it has sensors that have a look at your eyes and be sure to’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 an identical, however the F-150 Lightning has a large entrance trunk the place its engine must be. The “frunk” of this factor can match, Ford claims, three units of ordinary golf golf equipment. Mentioned frunk additionally contains 4 120-volt energy shops and two USB shops (one USB-C, one USB-A), which implies you’ll be able to plug in your units 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 shops, in addition to a 220-volt outlet above it. Sure, you need to use the Lightning together with your full-size dryer, sizzling tub, and even cost one other electrical automotive off of it, with the flexibility to inform it when to cease so you may have sufficient vary to drive dwelling. That is each epic and superior. The hybrid truck may 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. Customary 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 large 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 loads cheaper while you begin pricing out whole-home turbines, their upkeep, and the price of gasoline.