While electric vehicles keep getting more and more impressive, this one might have the biggest impact on the market yet. The full-size pickup market is the largest segment in the country, making up more than a quarter of all sales in Canada. The leader of the segment is the Ford F-150, which has been the top-selling truck here for decades and the top-selling vehicle in general for the past 11 years. Now the fully electric version is here in the form of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, which has more power, more torque, and more flexibility than any F-150 ever.
Torque is key when it comes to the electric pickup truck, and the Lightning will offer loads of it. All versions will get 775 lb-ft, which is more than an HD diesel pickup of just a generation ago. The standard-range truck will offer a targeted 426 hp while the extended range battery will have 563 hp, both offering four-wheel drive with one motor up front and a second in the rear.
Range is important too, and the F-150 Lightning impresses with a 370-km estimate from the standard battery and 483 km expected for the long-range model. The former will charge at 11.3 kW using its onboard charger, while the extended range will pull up to 19.2 kW, the most possible under the standard for Level 2 plugs. Level 3 charging at 150 kW can boost the truck from a 15 to 80 per cent charge in 44 minutes for the standard range and 41 for extended range model, which can also support 80A home charging to top up from 15 to 100 per cent in as little as eight hours.
A handy feature for EV buyers planning to use their truck for hauling, Ford's range calculator compensates for the weight of cargo in the truck including passengers, as well as for a trailer on the bumper. It will even gauge the terrain and weather to give an accurate estimate. Drivers also won't have to guess weights, as the F-150 Lightning uses optional Onboard Scales (part of a tow tech package) to accurately measure a truck's heft using onboard sensors.
The payload for the Ford F-150 Lightning is up to 2,000 lbs, which is close enough to the V8 and 3.5L EcoBoost versions of the standard F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 that most people won't notice (the Lightning comes solely as SuperCrew cab and 5.5-foot bed). Towing tops out at 10,000 lbs, which is lower than the highest available gas F-150 tow rating (14,000 lbs), but not far off of how most trucks are actually specced out.
Helping you hold more cargo is the front trunk or "frunk" that sits where the engine would otherwise be. It's a 400L enclosed, locking, and sealed cargo bay as big as the trunk of a midsize car that has power open/close, multiple levels of cargo floor for different items, room for two sets of golf clubs, and has four power outlets and two USB ports. The space is watertight with a drain so you can use it as a giant cooler or hose it out after hauling dirty gear. The 400-lb payload of the frunk is included in the 2,000 lbs overall capacity.
A total of 9.6 kW of electrical power is offered through 11 total power outlets, enough to run a large workplace or the coolest campsite ever, with smart power management features that will give you a notification if you drop below one-third of the total range remaining, or even be set up to stop power completely if your range gets close to the distance to the nearest charging station. Using the automaker's available 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home connection (the one that lets it charge in 10 hours at home), the F-150 Lightning can power an average home for up to three days (at 30kWh/day), kicking in automatically like a home generator. Ford says down the road, Ford Intelligent Power will be able to power your home during peak high-cost hours and charge overnight to help save on the power bill and ease grid pressures.
The body of the Lightning is the same as the regular F-150, with the exception of the nose and the rear lighting, and while that's far from the bold styling of other EV pickups, Ford has a good reason. Using the same cab and bed means that all of the regular F-150 accessories will work on the electric model. Ford has added more lights to the zone lighting system, making it more usable after dark, and parts like the hood and running boards are more sculpted to improve the truck's aerodynamics.
Ford has upgraded the frame to handle the large battery pack and has also added an independent rear suspension for the first time on an F-150. The new suspension should improve handling and ride. The new suspension works better with a rear-mounted electric motor, and Ford says the truck has gone through all of the same durability testing as the conventional F-150. Underbody protection and skid plates protect the battery and motors when you're taking it off-road, and the battery is in a waterproof casing.
Using the same cab means the interior is largely the same as the conventional F-150, and that means features like Ford's Interior Work Surface fold-out table and Max Recline seats that fold back to give you a place to nap will still be offered. Ford's Sync 4A system will run on a massive 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen (optional, 12.0-inch with a landscape orientation is standard) and there is a 12.0-inch digital dash that changes information based on drive mode and makes other contextual changes including a power meter gauge to help gamify achieving the longest range possible.
Ford's BlueCruise hands-free driving assistant will be offered on the Lariat trim and standard on the Platinum, and the trailering tech package (optional on XLT and Lariat, standard on Platinum) will come with a new version of Pro Trailer Hitch Assist that can reverse the truck to the hitch hands-free. All you need to do is put the truck in the right box on the infotainment screen and change from drive to reverse and it will line up the ball and tongue.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is set to go on sale next spring, though reservations are open now for $100. Pricing will start in Canada at $68,000. That's a sharp increase over the U.S. MSRP, but Ford points out that Canadian trucks will come with more standard features including zone lighting, 20-inch wheels, Intelligent Access, heated front seats, 9.6 kW power (2.4 kW standard in the U.S.), and additional driver assistance features including adaptive cruise with lane centring and connected navigation. The trucks will be offered in XLT, Lariat, and Platinum grades with the Extended-Range battery standard on Platinum and optional on the other two.