It wasn’t that long ago that Ford announced a new all-electric pickup truck called the F-150 Lightning. The Tesla Cybertruck announcement preceded the Lightning’s, and many people liked the unique design and specs. However, there were also a contingent that did not, who commented they would prefer a more conventional look. Enter the Lightning, which is an electrified, well-established design with an electric build. The Ford F-series trucks have been selling really, really well for decades, so it makes sense to simply adapt an F-150, a vehicle millions have purchased, to the EV platform.
Fortunately for us, Nick Schmidt, who just got the first of the new Lightnings, shared some of his first impressions. (He also owns a Tesla, works as a CTO at Blueprint Powerand is familiar with CleanTechnica.)
Why did you choose to purchase the F-150 Lightning? Did you consider a Rivian or the Cybertruck?
We considered all three and put a reservation down on the CT also. The Rivian was too small upon looking at it, so it was down to the F-150 or CT. Whichever came out first; I would buy. My wife, at the end, preferred the looks of the F-150, so it worked out for the best.
Which Lightning trim/version did you get, what is its stated range, and will you be able to receive the federal EV tax credit?
Platinum Trim. The stated range is 300 miles. I will get the federal credit.
Did the vehicle come with a home charger or did you need to purchase that separately?
It comes with one at this trim, but they are not in stock yet. I luckily also have a Tesla model 3, so we have the NEMA 14-50 in the garage and will just use the mobile charger they include for now.
What is your previous experience with electric vehicles?
We have had a Tesla Model 3 LR performance edition since 2019.
How many round trip miles was your road trip to Mackinac Island?
Were you able to find a public charger along the way?
I blogged about it a few days ago. The charging experience is not great with Ford vs Tesla. On the way home, we found an Electrify America station that was much better.
What will you use your Lightning for mostly?
We live on a farm in rural Michigan, so I will be hauling wood and other things and towing our Airstream during camping season. We use our trucks as tools here, so it will not be limited to commuting or getting groceries.
What do you most like about it the most so far, and the least?
After today, the towing experience is terrific. The instant torque is a game-changer for hauling things. The charging network and Ford Sync software would be the least enjoyed by my wife and me.
Online, there has been some talk of dealer markup for EVs because the demand is high, and more generally some dealerships are also marking up new ICE vehicles for other reasons such as the current high inflation. Did you experience dealer markup for your Lightning?
We have a fantastic dealership in town, Richardson, they had no makeup on the truck, and I doubt they would ever do something like that. We are a small community and take care of everyone. I also saw those posts, and the thought never crossed my mind that they would do something similar.
Do you also have a home solar power system you can use to provide some of the electricity you will use to charge your EV?
We have 22kw of solar on our roof and two Powerwalls in the basement. We will use some of that to charge, of course. The family being all on EV was part of the investment decision around our microgrid. Our company, Blueprint Power, specializes in grid and market participation for behind-the-meter assets and flexibility. Seeing the value of that optimization at work made doing it at home a no-brainer.
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