Brand new and tried and true – the new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning does everything you expect a pick-up to do but is all-electric. The Lightning is extremely capable, whether you want a work truck or family vehicle. The all-electric version of the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is a game changer for making electric vehicles more mainstream.
Base Price: $90,874
As Tested: $93,509
Mileage: 73 MPGe city/60 MPGe highway/66 MPGe combined
The F-150 Lightning was introduced for the 2022 model year. It comes in four trims: Pro, XLT, Lariat and Platinum. Starting prices range from $39,974 to $90,874, which are higher than the regular F-150. It’s only available as a crew cab with room for five passengers. Four-wheel-drive is standard on the Lightning.
Two battery packs are available. The 98-kWh Standard Range battery pack has a range of 230 miles. The 131-kWh Extended Range boosts the range to 320 miles on the three lower trims and 300 miles on the Platinum.
All trims have a bed that’s 5-foot-7 with a payload rating of 2,235 pounds for Standard Range models and 1,800 pounds for Extended Range models. You can get a variety of accessories, depending on what you haul. There’s also a frunk (front trunk) with 14.1 cubic feet of storage. This is large enough for a couple of small suitcases, a few bags of groceries, or a couple of golf bags. The frunk has a drain so you could also fill it with ice for your tailgate (or frunkgate!).
The F-150 Lightning is powered by two electric motors – one for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels. Total output is a robust 452 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque – the most torque ever in an F-150 – in Standard Range models. Horsepower jumps to 580 in Extended Range models. Those numbers are impressive on paper, beating some swanky sports cars, and provide, well, lightning-like acceleration!
Ford says you’ll go from zero to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds (in the Extended Range model). This is one way you can tell that you’re not behind the wheel of a traditional F-150. Otherwise, the Lightning handles much like the regular F-150 with refined driving dynamics and a smooth, comfortable ride. The Lightning corners will with little body lean. Steering and brakes are responsive. You can adjust braking for a more regular feel or engage one-pedal driving. Visibility is good all the way around. The F-150 Lightning is just easy and pleasant to drive whether you’re cruising down the freeway or driving on busy city streets.
Towing capability is not as good as the traditional F-150 but still respectable. The Standard Range can tow up to 5,000 pounds and the Extended Range can handle up to 7,700 pounds. With the Max Trailer Tow package, these rise to 7,700 and 10,000 pounds.
Charging with a Level 1 charge on a regular 120-volt household plug will give you up to a couple miles per hour. Obviously, this isn’t practical for most drivers. A Level 2 charger (240-volt outlet or a public charger) is better and can provide a full charge in about eight to 19 hours. With a Level 3 DC fast charging station, you get about 40 to 50 miles of range in only about 10 minutes, or about an 80% charge in less than an hour.
A cool and useful feature of the Lightning is that you can capture the energy for other uses. For example, you can power tools, equipment, camping gear, electronics, devices and almost anything else that has a 120-volt or 240-volt socket. Ford says there’s enough juice to power your house for three days!
Fuel efficiency is similar to other electric pickups, such as the Rivian R1T, but not as good as other electric vehicles. EPA ratings for my tester are 73 MPGe city and 60 MPGe highway with a combined rating of 66 MPGe.
The cabin is attractive and quiet, since there’s no engine noise. Fit and finish are good, although not quite as upscale as you might expect in the upper trims as there are some hard plastics. Adults in both rows enjoy good head- and legroom. Seats are comfortable and supportive.
Standard features include remote keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, vinyl upholstery, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, 12-inch touchscreen, navigation, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, several USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi hot spot, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
Available features include proximity keyless entry, surround-view camera system, cloth and leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with massage functions, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, infotainment system with 15.5-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, HD Radio, eight-speaker audio system, 18-speaker audio system, wireless device charging, ambient lighting, and a moonroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.
Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control with lane centering, BlueCruise (Ford’s partially automated/hands-free highway driving feature that controls steering, acceleration and braking on certain sections of divided highways), road sign recognition, front parking sensors, and hands-free parking assist.
Two infotainment systems are offered. The Pro and XLT trims get a 12-inch touchscreen with a landscape/horizontal orientation, while the Lariat and Platinum trims get a 15.5-inch touchscreen with a tablet-like portrait/vertical orientation. Either way, the system looks great with sharp graphics and responds quickly to touch and voice commands. The smaller set-up has convenient physical controls for audio and climate settings. The larger screen incorporates those functions on the touchscreen.
Refined driving dynamics
About as capable as the traditional F-150
Attractive, comfortable and roomy interior
Lots of standard and available features and tech
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Price can quickly climb on upper trims
Not available in as many configurations as the traditional F-150
My tester starts at $90,874. The Max Recline driver and passenger seats are $345. The Toughbed Spray-in bedliner is $595. Destination fee is $1,695 bringing the grand total to $93,509.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is similar to its gas- or diesel-powered counterpart, and that’s a good thing as Ford has done a great job in electrifying America’s most popular pickup. This truck does everything you’d want an F-150 to do, except with a smaller carbon footprint. While the F-150 Lightning can’t tow as much and isn’t available in as many configurations as its traditional siblings, it’s one of the best pickups you can buy and will be a game-changer in the world of electric vehicles.