The carmaker introduced the Lightning, an electric variant of its well-known Ford F-150 Electric, at a grand presentation on Wednesday evening in Dearborn, Michigan. According to research commissioned by Ford, the F-Series trucks, which include the F-150, are the best-selling vehicle line in the country and regularly bring in around $42 billion in revenue annually, which is more than double what McDonald’s made the previous year.
Ford Motor has launched a significant new front in the fight to control the rapidly expanding electric car industry, and it is relying on one of the most potent commercial franchises in the world. The biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and one of the biggest sources worldwide comes from vehicles and trucks’ tailpipe pollution. But if the Lightning doesn’t fare well, it may indicate that the switch to electric vehicles will happen much more slowly than President Biden and other experts have predicted.
It was one of the most eagerly awaited new car debuts, drawing parallels to Ford’s Model T, the first mass-produced automobile. Ford has a lot riding on the success of the new car. If Ford can increase demand for the F-150 Lightning, it may hasten the transition to electric cars, which experts say is necessary for the globe to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
An Analysis Of The Ford F-150 Electric Components
Body of Ford F-15 Electric
Let’s examine the aluminum body of the F-150 Electric. It’s obvious that it is amazingly like a conventional gasoline F-150, and that’s because it does. Component sharing was a crucial enabler that let Ford produce the Lightning so rapidly and at a low cost (the truck begins at roughly $40,000 with the regular battery and $50,000 with the extended range battery, which is dirt cheap for an EV its size). The most common components between the Lightning and the ordinary F-150 are the cab, bed, and doors.
The Frunk of Ford F-15 Electric
The main point is that the body’s main structural bits—including the hydroformed rails under the hood—are shared between the gas F-150 and the all-electric Lightning. The Lightning’s hood and front fascia are different from those on the standard truck, and there are several other styling distinctions that Ford added to its first-ever full-size EV truck. These are those items.
So, you see what I mean: As you can see in the image above, the Lightning utilizes a conventional F-150 body but reskins it. It also leverages the space left by the removal of a massive internal combustion engine to construct what the business terms the “Mega Power Frunk,” a storage compartment with an outrageous 400-liter, 400-pound capacity. It’s fantastic.
The Cooling System of Ford F-15 Electric
I’ll confess that I didn’t get a chance to speak with Ford’s engineers about Lightning’s cooling system, so I won’t go into great detail about it here. Also beneath the frunk, as shown above, was a plate-style heat exchanger and a host of other hoses and pipes. I will remark that I adored what I observed in the lower front cooling aperture of the vehicle:
Take a look at the heat exchanger that is almost flat-mounted up front. Because of how it is configured, there is a reasonable amount of cooling capacity (the heat exchanger isn’t that small) yet also less aerodynamic drag because air doesn’t just rush into the engine compartment and bounce about like crazy.
The Battery of Ford F-15 Electric
Comparing it to this middle portion of the frame on the gas-powered F-150, let’s focus on the frame’s center section, especially the one that houses the battery. Ford made it quite apparent that in order to safeguard the battery from side impact collisions, its team severely stiffened the rails in this wheelbase area. The fully-boxed frame is really substantial, and I believe it. The liquid-cooled battery pack has enough pouch cells for a useful capacity of 131 kWh in extended-range variants or 92 kWh in standard-range models.
Battery Life, Charging, and Range
Ford claims that the bigger 131.0-kWh battery pack increases the driving range to 320 miles from the smaller 98.0-kWh battery’s claimed range of 230 miles. Our own range test at 75 mph on the interstate yielded 230 miles for the Lightning Platinum. Customers will be able to charge their F-150 Lightning at home using 110- and 220-volt outlets, but the truck can also be charged at public DC fast-charging stations; according to Ford, this may take 44 minutes to charge the battery from 15 to 80 percent of its capacity. The F-150 Lightning was also designed by Ford to function as a backup generator, and Ford claims that a fully charged vehicle can provide up to three days of power for the typical family in the United States.