Ford Lightning: The Best Electric Truck?

Apr 19, 2023


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A new generation of cars has arrived with electric vehicles (EVs). No longer are they just sedans and light-duty vehicles. Now, you can go to a dealership and drive home in an electric truck. Currently, the market for electric trucks is small, with the Ford Lightning being one of the top options. Is it worth buying? Read this guide for everything you need to know about the blue oval’s EV pickup truck. 

What Is the Ford Lightning?

EVs have quickly gained steam in the past few years. Experts project the EV market will generate over $450 billion in revenue in 2023. By 2027, that number should skyrocket to over $850 billion. Manufacturers, consumers and investors see the benefits of going green with EVs, so it will only be a matter of time before every car you see on the lot is electric — even the trucks. Ford is one of the first automakers to produce an electric truck with the Lightning. 

The Ford Lightning is a spin-off of the F-150 that the automaker has produced since the late 1940s. The truck dates back to 2019 when Ford announced at the Detroit Auto Show that it would design an electric light pickup truck. The famous blue oval company announced the truck officially in 2021 and started producing it in 2022. The first trucks went on the road late last year and marked the beginning of a new era in EV production. 

Will Ford Switch to EV Production Only?

Most automakers have developed plans to produce EVs exclusively. Ford’s domestic rival, General Motors (GM), announced it would stop producing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035 and make their facilities carbon-neutral by 2040. Ford is taking a slightly different approach. 

Ford hasn’t committed fully to EV production. For now, it plans to maintain ICE car production with the Mustang, F-150 and other leading models. Though, the Dearborn-based manufacturer has made significant investments in EVs to pair with its gas-powered production. In the last couple of years, Ford has announced over $15 billion in EV investment to keep up with GM, Tesla and rival manufacturers. Right now, the investments are paying off with the Ford Lightning.  

What Trims Does the Ford Lightning Come in?

Like many vehicles, the Ford Lightning has different trims buyers can choose from based on their preferences. Each tier has a different set of features and varies in price. The Lightning’s trims come in these three variations:

  • Pro: The pro is your base version of the Lightning. The starting price is about $56,000. Getting a pro trim means you’ll get all-wheel drive and 426 horsepower under the hood.
  • XLT: The next step is the XLT. This truck starts with a standard-range battery of 240 miles, but you can pay to extend the range to around 320 miles. The Lightning XLT features Ford’s Co-Pilot360 software to assist your cruise control, lane centering and other automation-related features. The XLT starts at around $63,000.
  • Lariat: The lariat provides comfort and practicality for its owners with heated and ventilated seats. This third tier of Lightning trucks starts around $75,000 and is ideal for those who want a power tailgate and fixed running board. You can also utilize remote capabilities by unlocking the vehicle with your phone.
  • Platinum: The platinum leaves nothing on the table, as it’s a fully-loaded electric truck. This trim starts at around $97,000 with a range of nearly 300 miles on a full charge. The horsepower is admirable at 563, north of what you used to see in NASCAR with the 550-horsepower packages. Getting the platinum trim means you get Ford’s BlueCruise, the blue oval’s version of giving your hands-free steering on the highway.

What Are the Ford Lightning Specs?

The Ford Lightning won’t feel much different than driving the other 150 models. It will be much quieter because EVs only run on a battery, not an engine. In fact, some municipalities have required EVs to create simulated sounds on the streets to increase safety for pedestrians and animals. 

As seen in the platinum trim, the Lightning can seriously put the pedal to the metal with horsepower. Each truck has two batteries installed because of the energy required to power the big rig. Every trim comes with 775 feet of torque, the force needed to rotate around an axis. 

To charge the truck, you can use a 110 or 220-volt charger, also known as level 1 and level 2 chargers. The level 2 charger is preferable, but you can use DC fast chargers if you can find one. Ford says you only need about 45 minutes for a DC charger to take your lightning from 15% to 80%. 

What Is The Lightning’s Towing Capacity?

You probably want to do truck things if you’re driving a truck. Hauling a trailer, RV or another mechanism is the fun part about owning a truck, so the towing capacity is critical for many owners. Put it in perspective and recall the standard F-150 comes with a maximum towing capacity of 14,000 pounds. 

The maximum towing capacity of the Ford Lightning is about 10,000 pounds, so a slight decrease from the ICE trucks. To get the 10,000-pound limit, you’ll need a model with an extended range. If you get the default battery, your capacity goes down to around 7,700 pounds, with a maximum payload of 2,000. 

How Does It Compare to Other Electric Trucks?

Ford’s Lightning isn’t the only truck on the market, but it is the first one from Ford or any of the most popular manufacturers. The blue oval giant beat its rivals like Chevrolet and General Motors to the punch. Other trucks on the market include:

  • Rivian R1T: Rivian is a lesser-known manufacturer than Ford, but it’s quickly rising in the EV market with its R1T truck. The model has up to 835 horsepower, eclipsing some of the fastest sports and stock cars on the planet. The max towing capacity eclipses Ford at 11,000 pounds. The disadvantage comes with the price because it starts at $73,000 with a fully-loaded price of $98,000.
  • GMC Hummer EV: Remember the 2000s when all the cool kids wanted Hummers? These vehicles were gas guzzlers, but the electric version can throw the inefficiency out the window. It’s technically a truck but functions like an off-road SUV. The Hummer EV starts at $87,000 for the base model and climbs to over $107,000 with the EV3x. Its acceleration is ideal, going from zero to 60 in 3.3 seconds. The towing capacity leaves room for desire at about 7,500 pounds.

Final Verdict

The 2020s will be exciting as more automakers enter the electric truck game. Chevrolet’s Silverado will debut in the fall of 2023, ready for the 2024 year of trucks. For now, there are a handful of electric trucks like the Ford Lightning. 

Compared to the Rivian and the Hummer, the Lightning is the best choice for the average consumer. The $56,000 base model is much more affordable than exceeding $75,000 or $100,000 for the Rivian or Hummer models. The R1T may have the best performance, but the Lightning is the best based on price and solid performance. 

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.