Ford unveils the F-150 Lightning, its all-electric pickup truck that will start under $40,000 – TechCrunch

The Ford F-150, the worthwhile cornerstone of the U.S. automaker’s enterprise, now has an all-electric sibling.

Ford unveiled Wednesday the F-150 Lightning, an all-electric pickup truck that is a important piece of the firm’s $22 billion funding into electrification. The automobile is certainly one of a trifecta of Ford EV debuts and launches in the previous 12 months. And it’s probably the most significant by way of the backside line. The Ford F-150 Lightning, which will be constructed at the automaker’s Rouge manufacturing facility in Dearborn, Michigan, follows the introduction of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E and the E-Transit, a configurable all-electric cargo van centered on industrial prospects.

Ford had a difficult gig with the F-150 Lightning. The truck would wish every thing that has made its gas-powered counterpart the best-selling automobile in North America in addition to new advantages that come from going electrical. That means torque, efficiency, towing functionality and the normal structure has to fulfill the wants of its prospects, a lot of whom use it for industrial functions. The automobile specs counsel that Ford has delivered on the torque and energy, whereas retaining the identical cab and mattress dimensions as its fuel counterpart.

That final element is notable as a result of by retaining the identical dimensions, it is ready to accommodate the 1000’s of F-150 truck equipment that exist right now. If Ford has any hope of changing its present buyer base, selections like this one matter.

Will it convert or will the F-150 Lightning entice a complete new group of shoppers? It’s a query that gained’t be answered till it involves market in spring 2022.

The Lightning will be a success for Ford, in response to analysts like govt analyst Karl Brauer.

“Ford went well beyond installing a battery pack in a traditional F-150,” Brauer stated. “The automaker’s comprehensive approach to the Lightning’s design, performance, and advanced features would make it a desirable truck with a traditional engine. The electric powertrain, and the instant torque and increased cargo and towing capacity that come with it, along with the ability to seamlessly power a house for multiple days, are additional benefits beyond the Lightning’s sleek styling, rapid acceleration, and high-tech amenities. It’s obvious Ford recognizes both the opportunity and risk presented by the shift toward electric vehicles, and the automaker has clearly committed to keeping the F-150 viable in a battery-powered world.”

Nuts and bolts

The F-150 Lightning will be supplied in 4 trims, which incorporates the base, XLT, Lariat and Platinum sequence, and two battery choices. The truck, which has an aluminum alloy physique, is powered by two in-board electrical motors, comes normal with four-wheel drive, and has an unbiased rear suspension. Ford is barely releasing two costs at the second. The base model will be priced at $39,974 earlier than any federal or state tax credit, whereas the mid-series XLT mannequin will start at $52,974.

The total size of the standard-range battery mannequin (specs from different trims are but to be revealed) is 232.7 inches, one inch longer than the gas-powered F-150. The Lightning’s wheelbase is actually the identical, with simply one-tenth of an inch separating it from its combustion engine and hybrid cousins.

One notable distinction between the electrical and fuel 4×4 variations of the F-150 is the floor clearance. The Lightning has floor clearance of 8.9 inches in comparison with 9.4 in the unique F-150. That half-inch loss is probably brought on by the steel skid plates that are supposed to shield the battery and inboard motors from the terrain.

The normal battery vary truck delivers a focused 426 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque. The F-150 Lightning geared up with the extended-range battery helps push the horsepower to 563 (or 420 kW) and has the identical torque, which Ford says is the most of any F-150 ever.

The automobile’s battery has a focused vary of 230 miles in the normal and pops as much as 300 miles in the prolonged model. One query stays: how will the vary be affected by towing a ship or trailer?

Ford doesn’t present that information, and till the EPA provides its estimated vary and other people start towing vehicles, boats and snowmobiles, it won’t clear.

Ford does level to 2 options meant to assist drivers perceive simply how far they will journey earlier than charging. The first is named “onboard scales,” which makes use of sensors on the truck to estimate payload so drivers know the weight of what they’re hauling. Now, payload — the weight a truck can carry — is totally different from towing capability, which is the weight it may tow. But “onboard scales” work alongside yet one more characteristic referred to as “intelligent range,” which takes into consideration towing data, payload, climate and extra, in response to Ford.

Ford isn’t backing away from payload and towing capability. Ford notes that the new body on the truck makes use of the strongest metal ever put in an F-150 body and helps a most 2,000-pound payload and as much as 10,000-pound towing capability.

Inside the Lightning

Just like the newly refreshed gas-powered F-150, the Lightning is crammed with linked automotive tech and superior driving help options. The greater stage trims of the Lightning — the Lariat and Platinum variations — will include Ford’s Sync 4A infotainment system that can help over-the-air software program updates. That means the system rollout upgrades to the automobile, equivalent to including or enhancing driver help options and retaining maps updated. SYNC 4 will supply third-party apps by its AppLink system, together with Waze and a model of Amazon’s Alexa referred to as Ford+Alexa.

The Sync 4A system, which will characteristic pure voice management and actual time mapping, will be displayed on a 15.5-inch touchscreen that appears so much like what’s inside the new Mustang Mach-E electrical crossover. In entrance of the driver is a 12-inch instrument cluster that will be custom-made. This digital cluster will additionally relay essential information to the driver on how the battery is working, the regenerative braking and the superior driver help system capabilities.


Image Credits: Ford

“It really is the smartest F-150 we’ve ever made,” stated Darren Palmer, normal supervisor of battery electrical automobiles at Ford Motor Company. “F-150 Lightning offers an immersive touch screen,
giving our customers all the info they want in an instant — a real-time view of where they’re going, what they’re hauling or how much real-world range they’ve got banked. And with Ford
Power-Up software updates, the experience is only going to get better.”

The F-150 Lightning will additionally supply Blue Cruise, the automaker’s new hands-free driving characteristic, which will even be obtainable on the 2021 F-150 pickup truck and sure 2021 Mustang Mach-E fashions by a software program replace later this 12 months. That hands-free functionality — which makes use of cameras, radar sensors and software program to offer a mixture of adaptive cruise management, lane centering and speed-sign recognition — has undergone some 500,000 miles of improvement testing, Ford emphasised in an announcement in April. The system additionally has an in-cabin digicam that screens eye gaze and head place to assist guarantee the driver’s eyes stay on the highway.

The hands-free system will be obtainable on automobiles geared up with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Technology and will solely work on sure sections of divided highways. The system, which will be rolled out through software program updates later this 12 months, will initially be obtainable on greater than 100,000 miles of highways in North America.

Charging and energy

Charging is in fact important to driving any electrical automobile. But it isn’t nearly having the skill to plug in. Communicating how, when and the place is the crux. Ford stated prospects will obtain a
notification if their truck’s battery falls under one-third of its whole vary. The clever vary, which as famous above takes into consideration towing data, payload, climate, can be communicated to the driver. The accompanying FordMove app additionally provides prospects information on charging places. Inside the automobile, a driver can use the infotainment system to establish and navigate to charging stations.

The truck additionally has onboard energy supply, which in the normal trim affords 2.4 kilowatts of energy whereas Lariat and Platinum sequence come normal with 9.6 kilowatts of energy — a mixture of as much as 2.4 kilowatts obtainable by the truck’s so-called “mega power frunk” and as much as 7.2 kilowatts by retailers in the cab and mattress.

Ford additionally touted its 9.6 kW of again up energy, which it says can present power to a house throughout a blackout for 3 days and as many as 10 with rationing. 

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