Outdoor

This electric Ford is ready for climate change

The Ford F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in the US, which is why the new electric F-150 Lightning, which debuted Wednesday night, is so significant. Not only does this help normal American drivers make the transition to zero-emission transport, but in the event of a breakdown in the Texan infrastructure, the Lightning can supply a house with electricity for up to ten days.

And I mean normal Americans. Ford’s F-150 has been the most popular vehicle in the United States for 44 years. Equipped with a crew cabin, 5.5-foot bed, and four-wheel drive, the F-150 starts at $ 42,500 with internal combustion. The electric lightning bolt will only come in this four-wheel drive body style. It starts at $ 41,669. That figure includes the mandatory target fee of $ 1,695, but doesn’t include any federal or state-level EV incentives.

Ford officials refer to this base model as “commercially oriented,” indicating that it is aimed at contractors and operators of fleets with large vehicles, but individuals can still purchase it. The truck will have an electric motor on each axle, making a total of 426 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque. According to Ford, it should have a range of 230 miles under real-world conditions.

This cut-away illustration shows the mechanical arrangement of the Lightning housing. An electric motor is located centrally on each axis. The large battery, which alone weighs 1,800 pounds, fits in the space between the axles and the frame rails. (Photo: Ford)

Most drivers buying this truck for themselves opt for the Plus XLT trim level, which increases the price of the Blitz to $ 54,669, about $ 8,500 more than a comparable internal combustion F-150. This also applies to the destination, but without tax incentives for the federal or state governments.

Currently, EVs sold by automakers who have manufactured 200,000 or fewer EVs receive a tax credit of $ 7,500. The Biden administration is proposing an extension of these loans in its US employment plan as part of a $ 174 billion investment in order to “win the EV market”. Ford hasn’t sold 200,000 electric vehicles yet, so there will be a tax credit on initial sales of the F-150 Lightning regardless of whether Biden’s plan is legally signed or not. This brings the cost of the commercial Lightning down to $ 34,169 and the XLT model to $ 47,169.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZE4_YXGBiI

President Biden visited Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan facility, which will produce the Lightning on Tuesday, to promote its employment plan. After taking the electric vehicle for a spin, he shouted to the news cameras, “This fool is fast.”

The Lightning will also be available with an extended range battery that is 300 miles long under normal driving conditions. Extended range trucks will also have more powerful engines for a total of 563 horsepower. All Lightning trucks have the same 775 pound-feet of torque – the highest ever packed into an F-150.

Extended range lightning is also the fastest F-150, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. In comparison, the less powerful F-150 Raptor takes 5.2 seconds to reach this speed.

Connected to a charger, the Lightning automatically detects if your house is losing power and supplies your devices with power. With an average consumption of 30 kilowatt hours per day, the extended range model can fully supply your house with electricity for three days. According to Ford, the number can be increased to up to ten days if you only have power to essential items like your refrigerator.

Day after day, the F-150 Lightning also helps you lower the energy prices for your home. Connected to this charger, it can act as a large home battery that charges itself overnight (when energy prices are lowest) and then provides power for your home all day at peak times (when energy is more expensive). The Lightning can deliver up to 9.6 kilowatts of electricity.

Optional versions of the Lightning have a 15-inch screen on the dashboard that can be used to access functions such as controlling the power supply at home. Optional versions of the Lightning have a 15-inch screen on the dashboard that can be used to access functions such as controlling the power supply at home. (Photo: Ford)

Other novel features of the electric vehicle are the independent rear suspension. In combination with the underfloor battery, which lowers the truck’s center of gravity, this suspension improves driving behavior and handling. The battery is waterproof and heavily armored. There is also a large storage space under the hood of the truck, which is equipped with several waterproof sockets and a drain plug. This lockable “Frunk” can hold up to 400 pounds of cargo, expanding the use of lightning.

The Lightning also comes with a scale on each axle that measures the weight you pull or pull. The truck takes these numbers into account in its range calculations and helps you to draw a route between charging stations accordingly. Ford’s network of charging stations is the largest network available and currently has 63,000 plugs nationwide. That number will continue to grow.

At 6,500 pounds, the Lightning weighs about 1,000 pounds more than comparable F-150s with internal combustion. This takes a bite of the weight you can drag or drag. The maximum payload drops from 2,238 pounds on the gas truck to 2,000 pounds on the Lightning. Towing capacity is reduced from an optional 11,300 pounds on the regular F-150 to 10,000 pounds on all extended range Lightnings. The Lightning introduces a new autonomous hitch connection mode to the F-150 series – the truck automatically returns to alignment with the trailer. All you have to do is get out and hook up the ball and receiver, chains and harness.

Off-road, the Lightning shouldn’t have any problems keeping up with combustion vehicles. All-terrain tires and a rear limited-slip differential will be available, and all versions of the Lightning will include all-wheel drive. It is currently unclear how power is split between the front and rear engines, or how electronic traction management solutions work. However, Ford pioneered off-road electronic traction technology for internal combustion vehicles. So there is no reason to believe that the Lightning will not continue this innovation.

The The “frunk” of the lightning bolt offers watertight, lockable storage and several sockets for charging or controlling tools and other devices. (Photo: Ford)

Blitz sales will begin in May 2022, and Ford is now accepting $ 100 deposits for the new vehicle. The price of the F-150 Lightning is well below the $ 112,500 GMC Hummer EV, which will go into production this fall. The Ford’s price tag is on par with the claimed $ 40,000 starting price for the Tesla Cybertruck, which Elon Musk says will go into production later this year. The Lightning will also be significantly cheaper than the Rivian R1T, which the company says will start at around $ 70,000 and could reach its first customers as early as next month.

Compared to the other upcoming electric pickups, the Lightning offers another unique feature: apart from a gentler aerodynamics and some fancy LED headlights, it looks exactly like a normal F-150, i.e. a normal pickup. And that’s important because this will be the product that will make electric vehicles a normal part of American life.

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