Ford hasn’t kept the upcoming F-150 Lightning a secret, evidenced by the company’s million-pound towing stunt from 2019. But by the time the 2023 F-150 Lightning reaches the market, it won’t be the only option in the all-electric pickup truck market. GMC’s Hummer EV SUT is close to its launch, and rival trucks from Tesla and upstart Rivian may also beat Ford to the punch. None of those trucks, however, have the power of the F-150 name behind them, and the electric version of America’s favorite truck will surely be an impressive piece when it goes on sale sometime in mid-2022.
What’s New for 2023?
Even though it may share underpinnings with the current gasoline-powered F-150, the F-150 Lightning will be an all-new model for the Ford truck lineup. We expect the truck to offer all-wheel drive as standard and boast big towing-capacity numbers. We’ll update this story with more information closer to the F-150 Lightning’s on-sale date. Interested viewers can watch the official debut of the F-150 Lightning on May 19th via Ford’s YouTube channel.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
It’s unclear right now if the F-150 Lightning will follow the gasoline-powered F-150’s model nomenclature or debut with a set of trims all its own. We think it’d be a better idea to lean into the current truck’s traditions, so we’re hoping for names like Lariat and King Ranch to carry over to the electrified version. It’s unlikely that base-level XL and value-oriented XLT models will make the cut due to the likely high price of the electric powertrain, but at this point we can’t be sure. Expect a starting price of around $70,000 with loaded models going into the six-figure range.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Ford hasn’t released many details about the F-150 Lightning’s powertrain so far, but it has said it will feature dual electric motors—presumably one for each axle, making the truck all-wheel drive. Horsepower ratings are unknown, but the F-150 Lightning is likely to be one of the more powerful F-150 models available when it goes on sale. Performance should be quite brisk, but we’ll have to wait until we can strap our test gear on to find out exactly how quick the new truck will be. Ford has also submitted patents for a removable range extender motor disguised as one of those aftermarket, bed-mounted tool boxes. The motor would kick in to recharge the battery in the event there’s no charging station nearby.
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Towing and Payload Capacity
Towing capacity is sure to be nothing short of heroic. Ford staged an event in July 2019 to prove that its prototype could tow a 1,000,000-pound section of train cars loaded with F-150s. Official capacity will likely be quite a bit lower than that, and it’s unclear yet how Ford intends to retain the truck’s electric driving range when pulling a heavy trailer.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
We don’t have details on the F-150 Lightning’s driving range or charging system yet, but we are hoping for big battery packs capable of at least 300 miles of range per charge. Unlike smaller electric cars, the F-150 Lightning should be large enough to accommodate ample battery cells for such a range. We expect buyers will be able to charge their F-150 Lightnings at home via 110- and 220-volt outlets; Ford will also likely make DC fast charging capability at least an option, if not a standard feature.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has not released fuel economy ratings for the F-150 Lightning. The truck is still in development and those estimates are usually released close to when a new vehicle goes on sale. When we get the chance, we’ll subject the F-150 Lightning to our 75-mph highway fuel economy test and update this story with results. For more information about the F-150 Lightning’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While we’ve seen a teaser photo of the F-150 Lightning’s front fascia, we haven’t been given a peek inside. However, we expect the F-150 Lightning to offer much the same accommodations as the regular gasoline-powered model. A crew-cab body style is likely, but we aren’t sure yet if Ford will offer the F-150 Lightning in Regular (two-door) or SuperCab (rear half-doors) configurations. Ford could take a high-tech route with the cabin of the F-150 Lightning, too, moving to an all-digital control panel and digital gauge display layout that’s popular among EVs such as the Tesla Model X SUV, the Rivian R1T pickup truck, and the Lucid Air sedan.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Touchscreen infotainment with Ford’s latest Sync 4 software is a given, but we have no idea if it will live on a traditional 8.0- or 12.0-inch display like it does in the current F-150 pickup or if it will grow to a massive size like what we see in Tesla vehicles. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and SiriusXM satellite radio are expected to be standard; in-dash navigation may be optional, and we think Ford will leverage its partnership with Bang & Olufsen to deliver an optional premium stereo system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of driver-assistance features is also expected to be standard, with more high-tech ones being offered as options. For more information about the F-150 Lightning’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Ford’s basic warranty package will likely need to grow to offer a battery warranty, which we expect will mirror rivals in the electric-vehicle marketplace at eight years or 100,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Battery components warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance