2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Quick Review – America’s Best-Selling Truck is Now All-Electric

By John Faulkner Clean Fleet Report

Ford says the all-new, all-electric 2022 F-150 Lighting is “the truck of the future.” If so, then the future looks bright in many ways. Ford plans to lead in vehicle electrification by committing $50 billion globally to electrifying its cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks through 2025. The first was the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, next was the 2022 E-Transit cargo van, and now the enticing 2022 F-150 Lightning.

It is one thing to build a new vehicle, but developing one offering so many different appealing technologies and features will draw buyers with broad interests and lifestyles. These buyers will have one thing in common: feeling the joy that comes from driving an all-electric pickup. Ford says 75-percent of F-150 Lightning buyers will be new to the brand, while 80-percent are new to owning an EV.

Silent Running

Clean Fleet Report recently had the opportunity to drive the F-150 Lightning at a media event in San Antonio, Texas. We spent time on the highway, driving the curves of the Texas Hill Country, and an off-road course that replicated the type of terrain on which the Lightning most commonly would be used.

We first tackled highway driving, which was smooth, with the horsepower and torque easily allowing for merging and getting up to the flow of traffic. We activated Ford’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control and the Blue Cruise Hands-free Driving technology to experience driving in traffic at highway speeds between 65 and 75 mph.

No matter how many times we use a hands-free driving system, it takes some getting used to, and in the case of Blue Cruise, there was a short and easy learning curve. There were no surprises with staying in lanes, slowing, accelerating or trusting the Lightning to go down the road with our hands not on the steering wheel.

The ride was calm with minimal wind noise from the mirrors or the 275/50 Hankook DynaPro AT2 tires on 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with Ebony Black painted pockets. Many times all-terrain tires can be loud or rough on the highway, but not in this case, which was appreciated as the road noise during our all-electric driving was kept to a minimum.

Next was driving through the Texas Hill Country at speeds between 30 and 50 mph on gently winding rural roads. Rural driving past sheep, goats, cattle and even an armadillo, set the scene for how many people will use their F-150 Lighting.

The handling, for the 6,171-pound Lightning, felt flat with no harsh body roll, helped in part by the low center of gravity as the batteries are placed below the passenger cabin. We did notice a tendency to push when cornering, even at the posted speed limit, but never felt out of control and it was easily remedied by slowing.

We towed a 5,500-pound horse trailer for about 10 miles and, since the Lightning Platinum we were in has a tow rating of 8,500 pounds, we had to repeatedly look in the side mirrors or turn on the rearview trailer camera to make sure we were still towing a trailer. The Tow Package comes with trailer backup and trailer hitch assist, trailer reverse guidance, trailer brake controller, a smart hitch, onboard scales, trailer camera and a smart trailer tow connection.

Between the highway and country driving, owners will put the Lightning to the test of Ford’s motto of “Built Ford Tough.” Being on-and-off the accelerator, and utilizing the one pedal driving feature, where the Lightning’s speed can be controlled using the accelerator which reduces the need to use the brake pedal, we got a very respectable 2.7 miles per kilowatt.

Our final test was the off-road course at the Singing Water Vineyard in Comfort, Texas, which had steep rocky sections, water crossings, deep ruts, and just enough sharp rocks to where using the front view camera was a must. The locking rear differential made the difference a few times to get us out of tough spots. The Lightning is off-road capable for everything just shy of serious rock crawling.

Concept To Production

Ford early on knew the wrong way to develop their first-ever electric pickup truck was to do it with preconceived ideas on what consumers wanted, or would buy. So off they went to Texas (which is truck crazy) and California (which is EV crazy) to ask truck owners a wide range of questions about trucks. Not electric trucks, but trucks.

Ford held focus groups with cardboard cut-outs depicting design features to test acceptance. With a truck being a truck regardless of the brand, there had to be something very unique about these slabs of cardboard. One excited the focus groups: the “frunk.”

When Ford showed a front trunk, where a gasoline or diesel engine should be, this caught the interest of the attendees. They became enthusiastic about this new-found storage compartment even before knowing there would not be a conventional engine.

Since Ford expected the frunk would be a popular selling feature (as the Mustang Mach-E has one), they had to engineer a way to include it in a space that usually is crammed (ever looked under the hood of a truck?) with an engine, wires, cooling radiators and other vital mechanical components.

Not only did Ford cleverly design a 14.1 cubic foot frunk, but they loaded it with convenience features. The push-button power operated frunk has a drain so it can be an ice chest, four 120-volt outlets, LED lights, and a 400-pound weight capacity. This is only one example of the innovations Ford developed on the Lighting.

Power Anything, Anywhere

Ford has done more with the F-150 Lightning than merely make it a powerful, emission-free truck; it is also a power source. With a full battery the Lightning can power a house for up-to three days (10 days if conserving electricity), or run a job site, or a campsite.

Charging at home is straightforward and easy to do. The F-150 Lightning can charge at any time, any day, 24/7, but also has the ability to only charge at the time of day with the lowest electric rates, which usually is overnight. But that is electricity going into the Lightning, but what about going out?

When on a job or campsite, it is as simple as plugging into an outlet like at home. The outlets on the dash, rear of the center console, in the truck bed and in the frunk, can run electric construction equipment or a cappuccino machine when glamping.

A warning comes on when the battery is at 30-percent charge so you have enough battery life to get to a charging station. Where the F-150 Lighting can be a life saver will be in the case of a power outage. The Lighting can store 9.6kW of electricity to power a home, office or store. A home usually uses 2.6kW daily, so up to three days of emergency power is available – or more if not all appliances are used, giving the electric utility time to restore power.

The Ford Intelligent Backup Power seamlessly turns the Lightning into an external power source when using the Pro Power Onboard system and purchasing and installing the SunRun Home Integration System. When plugged in and the power goes out, the system automatically reverses the electrical flow and begins powering the house. This smart system then returns to charging the Lightning when the power is restored. This works if your power comes from the utility company or solar panels, which can be provided through a program Ford has with SunRun.

Technology

The F-150 Lightning is available with the updated and improved advanced driver assist technology (ADAS) with features that help make driving safer and more confident. These include automatic emergency braking, blind spot and active lane control monitoring, post impact braking, evasive steering assist plus adaptive cruise control.

Here is an overview of the system for the Mustang Mach-E, which is the same as on the Lightning: FordPass Connect is standard, offering a 4G LTE Wi-Fi that can handle mobile devices and allows for over-the-air software updates. This is also where electric charging can be managed, including charging and payment, through the FordPass Charging Network, the largest such network in North America.

Ford’s proprietary 15.5-inch vertical touchscreen handles the next generation SYNC® 4 connectivity system that includes AM/FM/SiriusXM®, wireless Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation. If you get the Lightning Platinum model, the optional 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen Premium audio system sounded great.

F-150 Lightning Specifications

Standard Range Battery

  • 4×4 with a single-speed transmission
  • Dual electric motors
  • 98 kilowatt-hour (kWh), liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery
  • 452 horsepower (hp)
  • 775 pound-feet of torque (lb.-ft.)
  • 0 – 60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • Driving Range: Pro, XLT, Lariat: 230 miles
  • Payload: 2,235 pounds
  • Maximum Tow Rating: 7,700 pounds

Extended Range Battery

  • 4×4 with a single-speed transmission
  • Dual electric motors
  • 131 kWh, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery
  • 580 hp
  • Driving Range: Lariat: 320 miles; Pro, XLT, Platinum: 300 miles
  • Payload: 1,952 pounds
  • Maximum Tow Rating: Pro, XLT, Lariat: 10,000 pounds. Platinum: 8,500 pounds

Charging

The most convenient and expected place to charge will be at home using the Ford Mobile Charger that is included with the purchase of a Lighting. When on the road, charging is a seamless transaction through the BlueOval Charge Network.

Using the FordPass app, Lightning owners have access to more than 20,500 charging stations, in North America, through providers such as ChargePoint, EVgo and Electrify America. No payment is required at the time of charging as long as there is a balance on the account. Ford has made entry to ownership even better by including 250kW of free charging at these locations.

Standard-Range Battery

DC Fast-Charging

  • 150 kWh
  • 10 minutes: 41 miles
  • 44 minutes: 15 – 80%

Level 2

  • 80 Amp
  • 1 hour: 19 miles
  • 10 hours: 15 – 100%
  • 48 Amp
  • 1 hour: 19 miles
  • 10 hours: 15 – 100%
  • 32 Amp/240W Mobile Charger (provided with the Lightning)
  • 1 hour: 14 miles
  • 14 hours: 15 – 100%

Extended-Range Battery

DC Fast-Charging

  • 150 kW
  • 10 minutes: 54 miles
  • 41 minutes: 15 – 80%

Level 2

  • 80 Amp
  • 1 hour: 30 miles
  • 8 hours: 15 – 100%
  • 48 Amp
  • 1 hour: 20 miles
  • 13 hours: 15 – 100%
  • 32 Amp/240W Mobile Charger (provided with the Lightning)
  • 1 hour: 13 miles
  • 19 hours: 15 – 100%

Pricing

The 2022 Ford Lightning comes in four trim levels, with the choice of a Standard Range or Extended Range battery. These prices are before any options and do not include the destination charge. You may qualify for federal and individual state tax incentives. Please speak with your tax professional or go to a government website for more information.

[Ed note: The following prices were updated on Aug. 9, 2022]

  • Lightning Pro $46,974
  • Lightning XLT $59,474
  • Lightning XLT High $68,474
  • Lightning XLT High / Extended Range $80,974
  • Lightning Lariat $74,474
  • Lightning Lariat Extended Range $85,974
  • Lightning Platinum Extended Range $96,874

Observations: 2022 Ford F-150 Lighting

Ford stopped taking reservations for the F-150 Lightning when they hit the 200,000 mark. They are confident this is only a small number of customers who will be excited about owning the all-new, all-electric Lightning. And we agree.

There are many features and technologies not covered in this review, which was intended to give an overview and a taste of what the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is all about. If you are in the market for a very capable, modern truck and electric power fits your driving lifestyle, then contact your local Ford dealer. We hope you will be as impressed with the Lightning as we were.


Story Update

Ed: Ford issued a press release with updated Lighting prices (see above) and additional product information on Aug. 9, 2022:

The order banks for the Lightning were reopened at the time of the release. Starting in fall 2022, Ford expects to increase the standard range battery, available on Pro, XLT and Lariat trims, to a targeted EPA-estimated range of 240 miles – up from 230 miles.

Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is a newly available technology that Ford says automatically controls steering, throttle and brake inputs to make hitching trailers easier. Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is included in the Tow Technology Package, with is available on Pro, XLT and Lariat trims, and standard on certain Lariat trims and the Platinum.


For the latest product information visit Ford.com

For more reviews by the author visit Clean Fleet Report

John Faulkner is Road Test Editor at Clean Fleet Report. He has more than 30 years of experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles. He is a journalist member of the Motor Press Guild.

F-150 Lightning press fleet vehicles provided by Ford Motor Company. Prices and vehicle information applies to U.S. market models, not including destination, taxes, license, etc. All product information, including prices, features, and specifications, is subject to change without notice.

Photos (as noted) © 2022 John Faulkner. Additional photos (as noted) courtesy of Ford

Story © 2022 Clean Fleet Report – This review is reposted with permission on CarNichiWa.com