The Ford F-150 Lightning is – beyond any other electric vehicle – the model that will convince your everyman to go electric. Not through its looks especially, as it doesn’t look that different to a regular F-150 (in fact that’s part of its appeal), but through its eco sensibilities and cost savings.
I’ll be honest, I’ve always wanted to own a truck. I love big cars and there’s something special about the sheer size of American trucks – especially growing up in England. But when it comes to the crunch, it’s difficult to justify a truck. I don’t live in the countryside, I’m not a tradesman, I have no real need for a large open truck bed and I don’t own a boat that would require the towing power these vehicles offer. And unless you buy a lid for that bed, you’re lacking any real safe storage space.
There’s also the environmental impact of a truck. Because if you’re going to get one, you need at least a 5-liter engine for it to really shift. That’s a lot of gas and a lot of emissions every time you take it to the grocery store. But all of these arguments go out the window when you consider an electric truck.
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As an electric vehicle, the Ford F-150 Lighting doesn’t produce emissions and the cost to recharge it is minimal, so that extra weight is negligible. Yes, it depends where you’re getting your electricity from but that’s another discussion.
The torque from the electric engine also means that the F-150 Lightning is fast – it will do 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which is quicker than the supped-up Raptor model. And with independent rear suspension, it rides better too.
As for that storage space, the lack of that big V8 up front gives space for the new Mega Power Frunk – a trunk space, with power outlets and 400 pounds of storage. This will fit two sets of golf clubs, a good week’s shopping or a couple of suitcases. You can even fill it with ice for a tailgate, as it’s completely waterproof too. Having the truck bed is just a bonus for moving bulky items, or with a lockable cover, it’s a giant trunk.
In so many ways, this is a family-friendly vehicle. It’s a super cab, so it has four doors and two rows of seats and inside it has all the latest gadgets you’d expect from an electric vehicle. There’s a 15-inch touchscreen display, hands-free driving on selected “Blue routes” across the US, smartphone key access and over-the-air updates to continuously improve the functionality.
And then there’s the price. Rather than being a premium for this electric model, the Ford F-150 Lightning starts from $39,974 which is less than all but the standard XL and XLT Super Cab gas models. Though, if you go the top Platinum model, the price can rocket up to $90k.
So, while I may not need a truck, I can see very little reason why anyone would not choose an electric truck such as the Ford F-150 Lightning over another identikit SUV. Just save me the biggest parking space.