I come from a protracted line of F-150s. Considered one of my earliest vehicular reminiscences is bouncing round at the back of a purple, late-90s step-side that my grandpa trucked round his cattle ranch within the Sierra Nevadas. That truck finally gave technique to a silver 2004 mannequin that acquired handed all the way down to me in 2014, then a blue-green 2015 mannequin that I inherited when Gammy and Papa (as I nonetheless name them) offered the ranch just a few years later. And I have been driving them exhausting across the Pacific Northwest ever since.
For myself and Papa Corridor, now in his mid-eighties, vans are instruments. Even supposing he did shell out for extras like an extra-large tank (“in order that I would not need to pay for fuel in California”), they had been for hauling firewood, towing trailers, and driving a collection of black and brown labs to go duck searching. He banged his F-150s up so usually that he had a devoted bumper man named Mort.
The brand new F-150 Lightning Platinum—a completely electrified truck with a large touchscreen, heated and cooled seats, and a panoramic sunroof—could be unfamiliar to my grandpa. It feels, appears, and smells extra like a German luxurious automobile than the canine hair and dirt any of our F150s ever did.
And but, after truly utilizing it to haul a trailer throughout city, my two muddy canine from after the park, and a pair a whole bunch of kilos of apples to a cider press, I’ve come to see my future. These vans aren’t posh facsimiles of the tough and tumble automobiles Papa and I owned and liked. The F-150 Lightning does the whole lot I’ve requested it to do, in just about all instances higher than fuel fashions.
Until you’re a renter with out entry to a charging port, or a relentless long-hauler who tows a journey trailer usually, that is in all probability probably the most succesful automobile for any scenario you will ever face. For many who can swing the upfront price, it is the Leatherman of vehicles.
Grease-Much less Lightning
This is not the primary F-150 Lightning. A pair many years in the past, Ford made a super-fast gas version of the F-150, nonetheless considerably slower than this newer electrified model, with the identical title. In addition to the truth that the brand new F-150 Lighting Platinum with towing bundle that I examined does 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, the brand new Lighting and Ye Olde Lightning don’t have anything in widespread.
My overview truck (the $92,000 Platinum trim) compares pretty on to a high-end hybrid F-150 Restricted with all of the trimmings (about $83,000). Just like the fuel truck of us know and purchase in droves (for these unaware, the F-150 has been the best-selling automobile in the USA since 1981), my crew cab overview unit arrived with a large array of different bells and whistles that you simply’d count on from any premium truck in 2023.
It has heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise management, a large sunroof, and a 360-degree digital camera. Like many EVs, it affords one-pedal driving that means that you can by no means contact the brakes, and it will probably steer for you on many roads. Ford’s Blue Cruise performance goes as far as letting you are taking your fingers off the wheel throughout segments on main highways, offered you look out the entrance window. To do that, it has sensors that take a look at your eyes and ensure you’re watching. Sure, it feels as nuts to drive with no fingers because it sounds.
The interiors between fuel and electrical vans are close to similar, however the F-150 Lightning has a large entrance trunk the place its engine needs to be. The “frunk” of this factor can match, Ford claims, three units of normal golf golf equipment. Mentioned frunk additionally consists of 4 120-volt energy retailers and two USB retailers (one USB-C, one USB-A), which implies you may plug in your units whilst you journey, or cost up your laptop computer or instruments on the best way between job websites (or fields on a ranch).
The rear of the truck has 4 extra 120-volt energy retailers, in addition to a 220-volt outlet above it. Sure, you should use the Lightning along with your full-size dryer, sizzling tub, and even cost one other electrical automobile off of it, with the power to inform it when to cease so you may have sufficient vary to drive residence. That is each epic and superior. The hybrid truck may do that within the Restricted trim, however energy era caps out at 7.2 kWh of energy in comparison with the Lightning’s 131 kWh. Normal fuel fashions might be geared up with 2.0 kWh or 2.4 kWh, relying on trim and engine.
On the Lightning, there may be additionally an choice to let the large 131-kWh battery of extended-range vans (versus the 98-kWh battery from standard-range fashions) act like a generator to your home, so long as you buy a $1,300 wall charger from Ford. That charger and the extended-range battery sound lots cheaper while you begin pricing out whole-home generators, their upkeep, and the price of fuel.