The F-150 Lightning Is A Big Deal

Short Version
Ford’s new F-150 Lightning is the first EV pickup likely to appeal to traditional owners of pickups. Offering serious benefits over the ICE model for a small difference in price, the otherwise familiar version of the iconic F-150 makes the transition to EV easy for the consumer. Together with the competing offerings that will inevitably come from GM and Chrysler, EV pickups will soon be the norm in what otherwise would have been the last major holdout market.

The Detail
Ford recently announced the 2022 F-150 Lightning pickup truck. A guy named Joe Biden stopped by for the reveal, and they let him take it for a spin. High profile vehicle launches are nothing new, but we think this one carries special significance.

A new demographic for EVs
North American pickup sales run around 3 million units per year. Prior to the Lightning, there really wasn’t an EV for these drivers. Teslarati might beg to differ, but it’s difficult to imagine trading in a Silverado, Ram, or F-150 for a new Cybertruck. It’s probably fair to suggest that even Tesla doesn’t expect to capture fans of traditional pickups with its intentionally radical design.

The F-150 is the iconic pickup
Ford’s flagship pickup is not only the top selling pickup in North America, it’s the top selling model of vehicle period. The F-series has been on top for over 4 decades, and Ford wants to maintain its position by ensuring that existing customers feel at home with the Lightning. It looks and feels like an authentic F-150. There isn’t much to distinguish between the EV and ICE vehicles until you are close enough to notice that the fuel door is ‘in the wrong place’.

A pickup with pickup
0-60 shouldn’t be a factor in your choice of pickup truck, right? That’s why you won’t care when a Lightning pulls away from your standard F-150 and has gained a full truck length on you within 3 seconds, right?

Giant power pack
The Lightning adds real practical value because you can tap into its big reservoir of electrical energy. It comes with several standard electrical outlets, plus a 240V supply for big loads. You can draw enough juice from the truck to power a typical home for days during blackouts (and this is an option with the proper home wiring). Workers can power their electric tools and chargers on a job site all day.

Compelling cost
Before subsidies, the base F-150 Lightning in the US is around $10,000 more than a base F-150. Factoring in likely qualification for a $7,500 subsidy brings the difference down to $2,500. Subtract off a few years of fuel bills and oil changes, and the Lightning easily becomes a much cheaper vehicle to own than its legacy counterpart.

The competition will follow
Ford’s entry into EV pickups means there are no more excuses for GM and Chrysler. Assuming they don’t want to be forced out of these markets entirely, we will soon see competitive EV offerings of Silverados (Silv-E-rado?), Chevrolets (Chev-E?), and Rams (hmm). This is the final domino for light vehicles, after which the entire small vehicle market moves irreversibly away from dinosaurs.

Automakers everywhere are already coming to grips with this reality, and research into internal combustion technology has all but halted. Now it’s a question of how to make the transition to 100% electric.expect to capture fans of traditional pickups with its intentionally radical design.