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Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Specs Revealed

The Ford F-150 Lightning will be available with two battery sizes and four trim levels. Here’s more.

If a vehicle has an infernal combustion engine, the first thing people want to know is how many cubic inches? Manufacturers tout that information prominently on the exterior. Bigger is always better, so 3.0 is more desirable that 2.0. Models with bigger engines are more expensive, even if the difference in the cost of manufacturing a larger engine may be slight. People are willing to pay more for a bigger engine, so pay they do.

When it comes to electric vehicles, battery size is all important. A car with a robust 85 kWh battery is inherently more valuable than one with a wimpy 50 kWh battery. Even if the owner doesn’t need that larger battery, most people are happy to pay for the biggest battery they can get.

Pickup trucks are a special breed. They are big and boxy, with rugged frames and suspensions. They are meant to tow stuff and haul stuff. For marketing reasons, they often have the aerodynamic efficiency of an airplane hangar. It takes a lot of power to move them down the road, and therefore they need bigger batteries than passenger vehicles need to get the job done — whatever the job is.

Image courtesy of Ford.

We know that the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck will come in two flavors. The entry level Pro is designed to meet the needs of contractors and fleet operators, people who use their trucks for working, not for taking the kiddies to soccer practice. Ford said during a livestream press event last week the Pro will come with a 98 kWh (usable) batter only and an EPA range rating of 230 miles. The awesome full size frunk will be standard on all models.

It will also be equipped with the 2.4 kW version of Ford’s ProPower Onboard system that allows the truck’s battery to power tools and lights in remote locations. A higher power 9.6 kW system is available as an extra cost option. A 12″ touchscreen is standard with no upgrade available. The price, including destination charges, is expected to be around $42,000, according to Ford.

XLT, Lariat, And Platinum Models

Screenshot from Ford livestream.

For those who want something more than a work truck, Ford will offer three optional trim levels, starting with the XLT, which used to be the top-of-the-line designation years ago but is now just a half step above the entry level Pro. It will come with a 98 kWh battery, but a larger 131 kWh (usable) battery will be an option. Like the Pro, it is limited to a 12″ touchscreen and comes with the 2.4 kW ProPower Onboard system, upgradable to 9.6 kW. Range is estimated by the EPA at 300 miles.

Next up is the Lariat, which comes standard with the smaller battery but offers the larger battery as an option. It features the 9.6 kW ProPower Onboard system and a 15.5″ touchscreen running Ford’s upgraded Sync 4A system. The top of the line Platinum is only available with the 131 kWh (usable) battery, 15.5″ inch touchscreen, and 9.6 kW ProPower Onboard system. It will come with larger 22″ wheels and tires that will look terrific in the parking lot at at the country club but reduce range to 280 miles. Tick all the boxes on the order sheet and a fully loaded Platinum F-150 Lightning will lighten your wallet by nearly $80,000.

Image courtesy of Ford

Keeping Up With Demand

Ford has been astonished by the number of people who say they want one of their new all-electric beauties. It has doubled its production plans and then doubled them again. It is building an all-new factory in Tennessee to build them. Ford hasn’t build a new from-the-ground-up factory in the US in many a year. Ford will begin taking actual orders for the F-150 Lightning in January, with deliveries expected to begin in the middle of 2022.

All the talk of range will be irrelevant to most drivers. The typical truck travels less than 50 miles a day. Owners will simply use their F-150 Lightnings to do their daily chores, plug them in overnight every 2 to 3 days, and enjoy the power available with a touch of the toe on the exhilarator. After a while, it will occur to them that they haven’t visited a gas station in months, and they will forget all about the fears and doubts they had before they started driving electric.

 
 
 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we heed his advice.

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