In the United States, the most common car is going electric. The F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of Ford's iconic pickup truck coming out in 2022, has been announced, and it's reasonably priced for an EV. The base model, which has a range of 230 miles, starts at $39,974, while the extended range version, which has a range of around 300 miles, starts in the mid-$50,000s.
The price places it on par with Tesla's Cybertruck and well below more luxury-oriented alternatives such as Rivian's R1T or GM's exorbitant GMC Hummer pickup. And, since Ford's cars are now qualifying for the entire $7,500 federal tax credit, early consumers will slash the price even more.
It's particularly breathtaking because all F-150 Lightning models come with Ford's four-door "SuperCrew" truck, which starts at $36,650 for the gas version. The base model Lightning is much less expensive than the electric F-150 it replaces. To date, most electric cars have been more expensive than gas-powered rivals, but Ford is the nearest to bucking the trend. Ford has already begun taking $100 reservations.
Aside from selection, there are a few compromises in that base model, but nothing that seems prohibitive. Although price isn't anything for electric cars, it is a significant stumbling block for many consumers. The price of the F-150 Lightning increases as more features and ranges are introduced. Still, based on what Ford announced Wednesday night, the company seems able to persuade a large range of consumers to choose electric while purchasing their next F-150, regardless of their budget.
Many willing to make the switch will find a truck brimming with utility features, including those that Ford has already offered on the gas-powered model (such as a fold-out center console work surface) and the hybrid variant (such as a fold-out center console work surface) (like the onboard charger). It employs a few unusual techniques that may cause buyers who are wary of selection or price to reconsider their decision. Except for a revised grille with a striking continuous light strip, the exterior style is nearly indistinguishable from its internal combustion equivalents.
There are two battery options for the F-150 Lightning. According to the manufacturer, the standard range battery should have a range of around 230 miles. In comparison, the extended range battery should have a range of around 300 miles (though neither spec has been officially rated by the Environmental Protection Agency yet).
While many people may like to do traditional truck stuff with the F-150 Lightning that is naturally more energy-intensive, such as towing, hauling, or off-roading, each of those setups should be good for most everyday driving scenarios. To assuage those fears, Ford claims the truck's tech will be able to provide real-time range forecasts, something it's already focusing on in the Mustang Mach-E. This app considers atmospheric and traffic conditions and the weight of any payload or towing weight using an onboard scale.
Of all the electric pickups released so far, the F-150 Lightning is by far the most recognizable. And Ford is betting big that this undemanding boxy style - mocked by Elon Musk during the 2019 Cybertruck unveiling - will pay off.
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