How cool is this? When Hurricane Whoever comes a callin’ and knocks out the power, forget about lighting the candles. Just plug-in your new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning to the house.
Seems the Lightning’s humongous battery pack can power an average-size home for around three days, and up to 10 days with a little bit of power rationing.
Even for less stormy electrical demands, like a day at the beach, the Lightning can juice an XXL-sized cooler, industrial-grade fans, air pumps for paddle boards and a small fleet of electric bikes and scooters. All courtesy of its eight 120-volt outlets.
After a week whirring around in a mid-range Lightning Lariat, I’ve decided that this is, without doubt, the new, must-have, peace-of-mind home accessory.
Why is this new electric Ford so important? The F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle period, for the past 45 years. We love F-150s for work or play. And the beauty of this new all-electric Lightning is that it comes with the familiar looks of a regular F-150, coupled with some pretty amazing technology.
And the folks at Ford see the Lightning as a way of converting die-hard gas F-150 owners to the zero-emission social responsibility of electric. And are prepared to make it happen even if it means less profit.
So for an entry-level Lightning Pro, you’d pay just $41,669, including a $1,695 destination fee. But don’t forget Uncle Sam gives you a $7,500 tax credit. So $34,000 and change.
Most buyers will likely want the less commercial-grade XLT that starts at $54,669. The big appeal here is that you get a choice between the standard-range battery, or the home-powering, extended-range version.
Our super-dooper, leather-lined Lariat, with a 15.5-inch vertical touch-screen, power tailgate and twin-panel glass roof, kicks off at $69,169 or $79,169 with the extended range battery.
For lovers of luxury, the flagship Platinum kicks off at a heady $92,569, but includes the big battery, along with Nirvana leather, Bang & Olufsen sound, and 22-inch alloys.
That’s the good news. Less good is that Ford has received an astonishing 200,000-plus reservations for the Lightning, forcing them to close the order books for 2022.
Why the overwhelming demand? Just take a five-minute test drive – thankfully Ford is making dealers keep demo models – and, as we say in Merrie Olde England, you’ll be totally ‘gob-smacked’.
Not only is it insanely fast, but with the batteries low down, it handles great, it’s quieter than the inside of a bank vault, and is astonishingly versatile and practical.
Did I mention the ‘frunk’? Pop the hood and in the space that would normally be filled by a honking, gas-guzzling V6 or V8, there’s, well, nothing apart from a huge, empty load space.
According to Ford, this cavernous,14.1 cubic-foot cargo box can swallow a 400-pound load. To put that into context, it equates to eight 50-pound bags of cement. Throw in a mattress and who needs an Airbnb?
For now, all Lightnings come only as a four-door Crew Cab with short cargo box. They have an electric motor up front and one at the back to give four-wheel drive, and offer that choice of regular 98kWh battery pack, or 131kWh extended range version.
As for range, Ford claims 230 miles with the regular battery, or up to 320 miles with the extended. Plug it into a DC fast charger, and the Lightning can snatch 54 miles of electro-range in 10 minutes.
For guaranteed amusement, and guaranteed disbelief from any first-time passengers, just stomp on the ‘gas’ from standstill. The acceleration, courtesy of 775 pound-feet of torque, is Tom Cruise off a carrier in Top Gun, a rock out of a catapult, or clown out of a Ringling Brothers circus cannon. Just insane.
Everything about this all-electric truck is nothing less than astonishing. For me it was a revelation in the way it delivers on its promise.
As for powering the house in an outage? Priceless.