While Tesla and newcomers like the Rivian have dominated electric vehicle news lately, it’s time for America’s best-selling pickup to shine. We’re talking about the F-150 Lightning, Ford’s all-electric truck.
Ford has taken a familiar, safe approach to design rather than going as futuristic as the Tesla Cybertruck, but the truck is still packed with luxury features. The F-150 Lightning can go over 300 miles on a single charge and pack 775 foot-lbs of torque. That’s more than any previous F-150.
The Lightning can go from 0 to 60 in just over four seconds, carry over 2,200 pounds in the rear, or pull in over 10,000 pounds. It has all the essentials of a modern electric car, but it’s also a truck with it Real world features That truck owners want and need. We’re talking hitch assist, onboard scales to read the load, or powering power tools from AC outlets in the bed.
If you’ve just bought a new F-150 Lightning, are on a long pre-order list, or are considering buying one instead of waiting for a Silverado E, here are some of the best F-150 Lightning features.
Mega Power Frank (Front Box)
Yes, Ford calls the front box a “Mega Power Frunk,” and for good reason. With no engine up front, the hood opens to a trunk that has 400 liters of space or enough to hold two golf bags, camping gear, suitcases, and more. It’s a huge storage space for all your gear without exposing it to the outside elements in the trunk of the truck.
According to Ford, the bed can safely hold upwards of 400 pounds of equipment, bags, or tools. Plus, the box has four built-in AC wall outlets and two USB ports to keep things running. And if you’re worried about theft, there are built-in locks to ensure everything stays secure.
The Frunk is lined with an all-weather floor mat and a drain hole, and has built-in grocery hooks, belt attachment points, LED lighting, and more. Basically, you could have a tailgate tip in the front or back. So, connect an electric grill or power tools and do what they do best.
Pro Trailer Backup Assist
Electric cars are fast and fun, but many truck owners also need usability features. With Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, installing and backing up a trailer will be the easiest part of your camping trip and the least frustrating when you’re trying to haul something. That’s because the truck will do it for you.
Ford promises that its smart truck will use all of its onboard cameras for vision, then automatically control the steering wheel, throttle, brakes, and more to make hooking up or backing up a trailer easy. You turn a dart in any direction and how sharp a turn you want while backing up to put your boat in the water, and the system will do the rest. You will look like a pro.
The company also added a new smart link feature where the truck can measure the weight of the trailer tongue and help owners distribute the weight. Additionally, since electric vehicles are supercomputers, these features can receive updates and improvements over time.
Two-way charging is perhaps one of the most exciting features of the Ford F-150 Lightning. It’s something we’re starting to see in more electric vehicles, and that’s because it allows you to take advantage of the battery power inside your truck.
With bi-directional charging and what Ford calls “Pro Power Onboard,” owners can use a massive 9.6kW battery inside the truck to charge another electric vehicle. Instead of just receiving energy, it can send it as well.
This large battery will allow you to power many electronic devices, including power tools, camping equipment, compressors, TV, refrigerator, lights and more. In fact, there are 11 standard 120/240V AC outlets throughout the truck. I wish my garage had many outlets.
AC outlets in the trunk can get to just under 3 kW of battery, while those in the trunk of the truck have more power for larger tasks.
F-150 Lightning can power your home
The Lightning’s bi-directional charging is great for powering gadgets or charging another EV, but there’s another massive advantage. The F-150 Lightning can power your home in an emergency or power outage and works as a silent generator. The company calls this Ford Intelligent Backup Power.
Not only that, but the system you would need at home to accept all that battery power would be more affordable than expected. The base truck model doesn’t come with the Ford Charge Station Pro, which you’ll need, but the more expensive rims do.
With huge battery cells inside the truck and two-way charging, once the owner installs the 80-amp Charge Station Pro and the entire system, the vehicle can easily power your home.
Once the power goes out, the system will automatically disconnect it from the network, and you’ll be able to access the F-150 Lightning’s large battery. For example, the average home uses about 25 kWh of energy per day, which means the F-150 Lightning and its 98 kWh battery can power your entire home anywhere from 3 to 10 days. Obviously, the less you use large devices, the longer they stay lit.
For those unaware, hands-free and autonomous driving modes are all popular right now. And while many vehicles have lane assistance and things like that, hands-free navigation is quickly becoming a major feature. Tesla is still busy making the fully self-driving option a reality, but it’s not the only one.
The Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are the first electric vehicles capable of using Ford’s BlueCruise technology. When owners choose the Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0, they can enjoy hands-free driving experiences. Unfortunately, this work is still in progress and is only available in specific roads, regions or states, but this will expand over time.
With BlueCruise, the F-150 Lightning uses advanced camera and radar technology to make driving easier. This includes lane assist, different speeds, and even choppy traffic. The truck can recognize fast street signs to make sure you comply with traffic laws. And like Tesla and other electric vehicles, Ford will continue to improve and update this technology over time. Like your smartphone, the F-150 Lightning can get software updates and developments.
The truck also benefits from Ford’s new Sync 4A infotainment system. This will provide entertainment, navigation, Android Auto, CarPlay and more on the large 15.5-inch touchscreen display.
Onboard scales for payload weight
The Ford F-150 Lightning’s next feature is one that regular people in trucks will love. Ford knows that truck owners want to move things in bed, whether it’s toys, gadgets, or a home renovation project. The F-150 Lightning truck has built-in payload weight management scales, which can help you balance the weight more evenly and ensure the truck is not overloaded.
Like we said earlier, the F-150 Lightning can carry upwards of 2,200 pounds of rocks, dirt, or whatever you need in the trunk of a truck. This added weight means you’ll likely get less driving range from a full battery. Then the onboard scale system uses a smart range system to detect the extra weight and adjust the expected driving range as you go.
You can move a lot of stuff in the back of the truck while you still have a good idea of when you’ll need to stop to recharge.
Use your phone as a key
And last but not least, we wanted to mention another useful feature of the F-150 Lightning. This is the “phone as key” mode that the company recently introduced on a few other vehicles. If you have the FordPass app, you don’t even need a power key to get into the truck.
As long as your phone is in your pocket and connected, the car recognizes this and will unlock it automatically. Just imagine you walk into your Ford F-150 and open the door without fumbling in your pockets. You can start the car immediately, then get navigation instructions and more with Android Auto or Wireless CarPlay without having to take out your phone or key. Everything is fast, easy and smooth.
These are just a few of the many exciting and useful features of the all-electric Ford F-150. Then, just like Tesla, we expect the company to update and expand features or functionality over time.
The F-150 Lightning is a new truck that can do so much more. The company has already implemented pre-orders and reservations for 2022. However, Ford is committed to expanding production as quickly as possible to meet the growing demand for its new vehicle.
Unfortunately, if you haven’t already pre-ordered one, you’ll likely have to wait until 2023 before you get your hands on one, but it’s worth the wait.