2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Is A Useful Pickup Truck… Kind Of

After spending per week with the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning in a spot the place vehicles are literally wanted, we discovered that it’s certainly a superb truck. Provided you do not have to go too far, at the very least.

At A Look

  • Only vaguely associated to the remainder of the F-150 lineup
  • Range estimates aren’t even a margin when dragging or dragging
  • Can actually energy your house – for days
  • Good use case for a lot of truck patrons

The Ford Lightning is among the first full-production electrical pickups. As a part of the F-150 sequence, the best-selling pickup in North America, it is just visually associated to the opposite F-150 choices bought. Most of the underpinnings of the F-150 Lightning are largely unrelated to its namesake siblings. Because the F-150 Lightning is heavier than its gasoline siblings (by a large margin, about 2,000 lb / 907 kg), it can not use the identical chassis.

Instead, a chassis extra much like the Super Duty (heavy obligation) vehicles is used, however tailored to the wants of a battery electrical truck with out hoses or pipes working entrance to again. Instead of a driveshaft tunnel and area for a gas tank and exhaust traces, the Lightning has a big sq. battery block that runs between the axles for a lot of its size.

The entrance trunk (aka frunk) of the Ford F-150 Lightning is bigger than the trunk in lots of sedans

Aaron Terpen / New Atlas

The physique of the 2023 F-150 Lightning is much like the remainder of the F-150 line, with many aluminum plates being from the identical dies. Most of the bodywork variations between the usual F-150 and the Lightning are delicate. Headlights, taillights, badging, the situation of the “fuel port” door and different particulars are the one discernible variations.

Not so apparent, however crucial of the Lightning’s options is the extraordinarily handy trunk (“frunk”). It is the dimensions of the trunk of most full-size sedans and has a practical loading peak. It is doubtlessly essentially the most helpful a part of the entire truck for most individuals.

Inside the Lightning, the seats and many of the controls will even be very acquainted to F-150 homeowners and followers. The seats are snug (after which some), the supplies are a mixture of good and sturdy, and there are many plugs, storage areas, and many others. The Lightning comes as a crew cab solely, with giant rear seats that may accommodate three full grownup adults with out a lot strain.

Mechanically, the F-150 Lightning can be very completely different from its siblings. One of two very giant battery choices supplies energy to electrical motors on every axle (the F-150 Lightning comes commonplace with all-wheel drive). One of these choices comes within the type of a 98kWh battery pack that gives a variety of round 386km, whereas the opposite is a 131kWh pack that must be good for round 483km. However, these vary numbers are extremely variable, and figuring out what the precise vary shall be with this truck is an advanced affair.

We drove a 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning with the bigger battery pack and within the higher trim level. Driving round city in simply quick stints at over 45 mph (72.4 kph) meant we had been nicely on our strategy to attaining one thing akin to the claimed 300-mile vary. However, as soon as on the freeway or motorway, these larger speeds meant a lot much less vary. After all, giant automobiles transfer giant quantities of air, so the additional velocity was on the expense of about 20% of the truck’s anticipated vary.

All this assuming that there was no load on the truck in any respect. Nothing within the cargo field, no trailer hooked up and no additional folks within the automobile. Adding any of these issues lowers the vary much more. Sometimes drastic.

Towing the Ford F-150 Lightning loses about two-thirds of the truck's reach
Towing the Ford F-150 Lightning loses about two-thirds of the truck’s attain


Towing with nearly any kind of trailer bigger than what you’d put behind your compact automobile killed many of the vary. Like most others who examined the F-150 Lightning when towing, we discovered that just about 70% of the vary was misplaced when towing at freeway speeds got here into the image. Three hundred miles changed into 100 in a short time. An absence of entry to DC fast-charging and the additional time to attend for that cost to reach – assuming you’ll be able to afford the pockets that fast-charging typically entails – would imply towing this truck nearly is ineffective.

Carrying cargo was not significantly better. The extra closely the F-150 Lightning is loaded, the more severe the mileage turns into – all the way down to about half of its whole vary when it’s nearly absolutely loaded (a couple of ton or 2,235 lb / 1,013 kg). That means in case you’re hauling tenting gear, lumber for a brand new shed, bales of hay, or anything essential, you may be capable of drive as much as 150 miles earlier than that you must hit that charger.

By comparability, a regular turbocharged 3.5L F-150 will nonetheless recover from 200 miles per tank underneath comparable load. And refueling takes about 5 minutes, versus 45 in case you quick cost. Someone towing their boat to the lake in a Lightning is more likely to push the mileage limits, whereas there is no concern with the petrol mannequin.

However, one benefit of the Ford Lightning’s battery is its use in an emergency. Ford estimates that the 100 kWh battery can energy the typical American family for about three days within the occasion of an influence outage. One hundred kilowatt hours is greater than thrice the typical every day house consumption (29 kWh) within the US. The Ford F-150 Hybrid also can energy a house, however not at full scale.

Another benefit of the Ford F-150 Lightning is the ability era for the workshop. Similar to the F-150 Hybrid we reviewed not too way back, the vary of bed-mounted plugs also can concurrently energy instruments, lights and extra.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning matches a particular area of interest of truck patrons… a comparatively giant area of interest in lots of city and suburban areas. These are truck homeowners who largely use their pickups as a glorified sedan to move themselves and typically different folks. Truck homeowners for whom the extra utility of the truck, particularly towing and towing, are gadgets for infrequent use and never for normal use.

The Ford F-150 Lightning cargo bed has a standard short cargo bed length of approximately 5.5 feet (1.7 m)
The Ford F-150 Lightning cargo mattress has a regular quick cargo mattress size of roughly 5.5 toes (1.7 m)

Aaron Terpen / New Atlas

For attending to and from work daily and going to the ironmongery store or large field each two or three weeks, the Lightning is a superb choice. However, to go additional or do extra, it is in all probability higher to go for the F-150 Hybrid as a substitute.

Product web page: 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

Source: newatlas.com

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