Ford unveils F-150 Lightning, its first electric pickup truck
US-based auto giant Ford Motor's commitment to electric vehicles seems very serious. So much so that they have turned their best-selling vehicle into a fully electric model with the F-150 Lightning. The electric pickup truck is a first for the carmaker, which also unveiled its EV strategy for days ahead.
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Ford promises that the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck will not only be affordable, but also packed with connected technology and will offer a driving experience hard to forget. The carmaker's decision to transform its best-selling model for more than 40 years into an all-electric vehicle is a significant move amid US President Joe Biden's push for electric mobility. Biden himself test drove the F-150 Lightning at the Ford test tracks and had said, "This sucker's quick."
"For Ford and the American auto industry alike, the F-150 Lightning represents a watershed moment as we move toward a zero-emission digitally connected future," said Bill Ford, CEO of Ford Motor Company.
Though electric vehicles only make up for just 2 per cent of overall vehicle sales in US, Ford F-150 Lightning hopes to improve the share with its aggressive pricing. Ford has kept a very competitive 39,974 dollars (roughly converted to less than ₹30 lakh) as the starting price for the electric pickup truck to attract customers.
The design is very similar to the gasoline version, but the headlights are new. According to Ford, it did not try to fix what was not broken. Jasen Turnbull, marketing manager for Ford F-150 Lightning, said, "Anything that we did, we maintained that goal of, 'It needs to be a truck first, and then we're using electrification to amplify the drive experience and capabilities."
One of the unique features in the Ford F-150 Lightning is the 'frunk' or boot space under the hood. That is thanks to the missing internal combustion engine. It opens up around 400 litres of space for luggage, besides other conventional storage areas around the vehicle.
Inside, a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch infotainment display are available. The more equipped versions will be able to carry the 15.5-inch vertical screen with the SYNC4A system.
The F-150 Lightning will come with dual electric motors, one on each axle, and will achieve 563 horsepower and a staggering 1,050 Nm of peak torque, making it the most powerful F-150 available. In terms of acceleration, the F-150 Lightning can go from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just four seconds.
The Lithium-Ion battery pack is estimated in a range between 115 and 150 kWh. Ford claims that with a super fast DC charger the F-150 Lightning can replenish around 87 kms of charge in just 10 minutes, charging the battery from 15 to 80% in just 41 minutes.
The towing capacity of the F-150 Lightning, an important characteristic in pickup trucks, is 4,535 kgs.
The sale of the Ford F-150 Lightning will begin in the United States in the spring of next year, it is designed to compete with GMC, Tesla and Rivian.