Ford F-150 Lightning — CleanTechnica Review

Members of CleanTechnica‘s YouTube team recently spent some time with the Ford F-150 Lightning and produced a 10-minute review on YouTube. You can view that below, but I’ll also pull out some highlights for a text review here. Watch the video, read my summary of the highlights, and/or chime in down in the comments with your own thoughts about the F-150 Lightning!

The first thing which cannot be ignored is that the Ford F-150 is one of the most popular passenger vehicles in the world (sometimes #1 in the world) and that creating an electric version of the F-150 presents and electric option to millions of buyers who probably didn’t feel like they had a good option before. Also, as anyone who drives EVs knows, the Lightning is significantly better than a conventional Ford F-150 in various ways. There’s no beating an electric powertrain for instant torque, drive quality, and clean driving.

Ford F-150 Lightning — Cool Design Elements

Right at the beginning of the video, when focused on the tailgate of the F-150, Tyler and Brandan show that there’s an American flag with a lightning symbol on the side of it as an interesting little marker. I think that’s probably an effective design element for attracting even more interest from large portions of the truck-buying world who like to put the flag on their cars, trucks, and clothing. Clever move, Ford.

Sticking to design elements for now, the headlight and taillight design is wicked looking — not too dramatic, but futuristic and cool. Brandan and Tyler also liked the look and feel of the diamond-textured grille. I’m not a big fan of it, but I also don’t dislike it — just see it as a neutral element. The aero wheels on the truck are clearly designed for aerodynamic benefits, but they also look pretty cool and a little more like conventional rims than many aero rims (like the ones on my Tesla Model 3). The LIGHTNING badging on the truck helps to show off that it is indeed the all-electric version of the F-150, indicating that Ford is happy to boast about its foray into electric pickups. It’s a nice element with a cool lightning symbol incorporated into the T that puts a clear but somewhat subtle stamp on the back side of the truck. “I think it’s one of our favorite small design elements of the truck,” Tyler says. And I agree. But this is all about aesthetic taste at this point.

Ford F-150 Lightning Range

“The F-150 Lightning is available in four trims with two battery options to select from,” the CleanTechnica YouTube team states. “You can choose a 98 kWh standard battery that offers 230 miles of range, or you can go for the bigger battery pack, which is 131 kWh that offers 320 miles of range. And that’s known as the extended range battery pack.” We did not have the truck for long enough or have enough uses for it in order to extensively check out how the 320 miles of rated range the Lariat extended range trim has on its Monroney sticker works out in the real world, but it didn’t seem as though matching the rating would be an issue.

Ford F-150 Lightning Premium Features

Brandan indicates that the Lariat’s premium B&O sound system “just sounds incredible.” He also highlights a ton of rear-seat storage area that comes underneath the seats, with the ability to easily lift those seat cushions up in order to access that storage area. “It just offers a lot of practicality,” Brandan says.

Next, he highlights “by far one of the most unique features of the F-150 Lightning” — a work station that you can fold down after stowing away the shifter. cool! I could find that very handy while working in the afternoon pickup line at my daughters’ school. There’s even an electricity outlet right there on the dash if you need to plug in your computer or tablet.

While practicality may be a key feature of any F-150, the Lariat also offers a lot of luxury. Brandan highlights that all of the seats can be heated or cooled, that they are leather trimmed, and that the front seats are 10-way powered with memory. Meanwhile, the twin-paneled moonroof “brings in a lot of natural light.”

Ford F-150 Lightning Software

The Ford F-150 Lightning also comes with over-the-air software updates and a large touchscreen. That said, Brandan and Tyler were not thrilled with the UI design of the touchscreen. “We feel like it’s slightly cluttered and really hope that with the over-the-air software updates Ford will release, that will improve the UI design of the software.”

On the outside of the truck, there is a keypad that allows you to lock and unlock the truck via a passcode. You can even leave the key fob inside the truck if you wish and lock and unlock the truck via that keypad.

Ford F-150 Lightning Mega Power Frunk

The Ford F-150 Lightning Mega Power Frunk is “one big party trick,” according to our reviewers — and basically everyone else who has seen it. “The Mega Power Frunk offers 14.1 cu ft of space.” That’s a lot!

There’s also a divider and drain plug on the bottom of the frunk, providing an easy way to include things like ice, cold drinks, and whatever else you might want to store in a waterproof under-storage compartment.

“You can also fit one full-size Tyler in the Mega Power Frunk as well” … Tyler notes.

The Mega Power Frunk includes 4 normal electricity power outlets as well as USB-C and USB-A outlets.

Ford F-150 Lightning Bed & Tailgate

The truck also comes with a fully powered tailgate. The bed of the truck provides 52.8 cu ft of space. There’s a built-in ruler in the trunk bed (nice!) and easy places to stick your phone while working.

Further, there are onboard scales you can use to check payload weight (max ~1900 lb). You can view the figure on the touchscreen or the Ford mobile app. Also note that the Lightning can tow up to 10,000 lb.

Last but certainly not least in the trunk bed, there’s an onboard generator and electricity outlets for plugging in power tools, electronics, or electric bikes. There are actually 10 outlets onboard the F-150 Lighting, even a 240V outlet! One extra cool thing about that: you can actually use the F-150 Lightning to charge another electric car or truck if you want (or need) to do that. If you are a two-car or three-car family that likes to go camping or at least off the beaten track a lot, the F-150 Lightning is a perfect companion to another EV. Brandan and Tyler demonstrated that this feature works by charging their Tesla Model 3 with the F-150 Lightning at a rate of 7 kW.

Overall, we’re big fans of the Ford F-150 Lightning. I think we have to give it 5 out of 5 lightning bolts.


 

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