Ford has unveiled the F-150 Lightning at an extravagant event in Michigan, with the first electric version of the world’s biggest selling ute offering some truly astonishing numbers which should allay some fears about relying on EVs for work and play in the future.
The name harks back to the SVT Lightning from the 1990s, put together by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team performance offshoot.
In entry level guise, the new F-150 Lightning offers 318kW and whopping 1051Nm of torque, good for a 370km range, 2300kg tow limit and 910kg payload.
The Lightning can be had with a trailering package which lifts the tow rating to 3500kg, or those still not tempted can opt for the Extended Battery option which boosts power to 420kW, range to 480km and tow capability to 4500kg.
Oh, and it will also offer a 0-60mph (96km/h) time of just 4.4 seconds.
An extra benefit is the “frunk” cargo space (froot in Australia, presumably) at the front of the vehicle, which can take 181kg and offers 400 litres of room — more than the boots space of many small hatchbacks and SUVs.
It will begin rolling off production lines next year.
But what’s impressive is the price our American friends can secure the pick-up for.
It has a recommended retail price of $US39,974 ($52,000) — but in some states, various subsidies will see the sticker price drop to as low as $US26,974 ($35,000) — which is around $2000 less than the entry level petrol version.
Needless to say, this shapes as a major boost for potential sales and it will be an interesting case study in gauging consumer demand for EVs once purchase price is on an even keel with internal combustion engined cars.
Unfortunately, this is the part where we mention there is almost zero chance of Ford making this in right hand drive, thus making an Australian arrival dependant on converting an imported model at a vastly inflated price.
Given the lack of Federal Government action in regards to subsidies, incentives and other EV support in Australia, it will likely be some time before we too can enjoy price parity between electric and traditionally powered vehicles.
Many will remember Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claims EVs would “end the weekend” in the lead up to the last election.
Locally, there’s a lot still needing to happen before they become accepted everyday normalities, however vehicles such as the F150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T and Hummer EV pick-ups show we at least won’t be losing the weekend in the future by any means.