2022 Ford F-150 Lightning arrives for $39,974, aims for work instead of party tricks

Get ready to ride the Lightning because America’s best-selling vehicle has just gone electric.

On Wednesday the electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck was unveiled with a starting price of $39,974, up to 300 miles of range, 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, four-wheel-drive, and most importantly, worksite capabilities instead of cool GIF-worthy features when it arrives in dealers in the summer of 2022.

When it launches in early 2022 every F-150 Lightning will be four-wheel drive. Four trim levels will be available including a commercial-oriented work truck, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. The base price of $39,974 is for the work truck while XLT models will cost $52,974. Lightnings will only be built with 5-foot-5-inch bed and full four-door crew cab configurations. Regular cab, short bed dreams like the first two gas-fueled generations of the Lightning are toast.

Two electric motors, one on each axle, are powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 426 hp or 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque depending on the battery pack. Trucks with the standard-range battery have an EPA-rated range target of 230 miles. The extended-range battery ups the EPA-rated range target to 300 miles. A rear-wheel drive model will arrive at a later date and will likely increase the range.

Lightnings will feature dual onboard chargers. Ford said the truck will be capable of gaining 54 miles of range in 10 minutes and recharging from 15% to 80% in about 41 minutes on a 150-kw fast charger. The peak charge rate will be over 150 kw, but Ford won’t say what it is, yet. Ford said it’ll offer an 80-amp charging station—a higher-power setup than other home chargers—as standard equipment to enable Lightning’s with the extended-range battery to recharge from 15% to 100% in about eight hours. On a Level 2 240-volt mobile charger the Lightning will need 19 hours to take its battery from 15% to 100%, and that drops to 14 hours with the standard-range battery.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

While Ford isn’t disclosing the two battery sizes, yet, it packages all the cells in one pack under the cab between the frame rails. Unlike nearly every other electric pickup truck coming to market that rides on a sled-like chassis, the Lightning uses a modified frame from the gas-powered F-150. The frame’s cross members have been moved and shaped differently to allow the pack to be as wide as needed. The pack has its own exoskeleton and looks like one large, flat rectangle shoved into the floor of the F-150’s cab—although the extended-range pack adds a higher portion at the rear.

No tri- or quad-motor configuration will be offered, but Ford said the Lightning is quicker than the Raptor and will do 0-60 mph in the mid-4-second range with the extended-range battery. The off-road-oriented Raptor with 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbo V-6 runs 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and the 2021 model should be even quicker. Like the standard F-150 the Lightning will feature four drive modes including Normal, Sport, Off Road, and Tow/Haul.

For better packaging and comfort the Lighting rides on an independent rear suspension, a design cribbed from the 2021 Raptor’s parts bin without the off-road oriented shocks and tuning.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Meant to work and play, the Lightning will be able to carry up to 2,000 pounds of payload with the 18-inch wheels and standard-range battery. With the extended-range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package, XLT and Lariat models will be rated to tow up to 10,000 pounds. Ford’s latest towing technology will be ready to help, including Onboard Scales, and the hands-free driver assist feature to help while backing up or hitching trailers. Lightnings will feature a lockable, drainable, water resistant front trunk with 14.1 cubic feet of storage space that’s rated to carry up to 400 pounds.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford turned the 2021 F-150 into a rolling generator with the hybrid model, and the electric Lightning takes things a step further with the ability to send up to 9.6 kw of power to whatever needs juice. That’s enough electricity to easily power an entire house. Base work trucks will come standard with 2.4-kw output ratings with the ability to option for more. Nicer Lariat and Platinum models come standard with the 9.6-kw output—via a 2.4-kw outlet in the frunk and 7.2-kw outlets in the cab and bed.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

A quick glance at the Lightning and one will think it’s just an F-150, because that’s what it looks like. Small, but key, design details are all that have changed including a full-width LED daytime running light across the front end, full-width LED taillight in the rear (Lariat and Platinum models), unique head and tailights, wheel designs, and a closed-off grille.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Inside it’s the F-150 everyone knows and loves, including the 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster, folding gear selector on the center console, and fold-flat center armrest that creates a hard, flat working surface. What’s new is a 15.5-inch vertically-oriented touchscreen infotainment system that looks ripped out of the Mustang Mach-E for Lariat and Platinum models (which will surely find its way into the gas-powered 2022 F-150s). The XLT models make do with a 12.0-inch touchscreen.

Every F-150 Lightning will come standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts, and lane-keep assist. Adaptive cruise control and BlueCruise, Ford’s Level-2 hands-free driver assist system, will be available.

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