Marques Brownlee of YouTube tech channel MKBHD was one of the first to be given extensive access to Ford’s upcoming F-150 Lightning. The technology guru — who unashamedly admits to not being a “truck guy” — is impressed with the EV truck, sharing his hands-on experience while also predicting that it’ll be a serious challenger to the Tesla Cybertruck.
Fresh from its reveal earlier this month, the F-150 Lightning is Ford’s first EV truck. Based on their most popular pick-up (and America’s most popular vehicle), Ford announced that prices would start at $39,974 for the commercial variant before the federal $7,500 EV tax credit. In addition, the blue oval will offer other versions, including the XLT that can be purchased from $52,974 and the flagship F-150 Lightning Platinum that starts at $90,474.
At first glance, the electric F-150 looks almost identical to its combustion engine cousins, with a few subtle modifications, such as the redesigned front lights that feature a DRL bar that spans across the face of the vehicle. This single bar-like design can be seen at the back as well. Pair that with some blue and black badging (in case you haven’t figured out that it’s electric already), and what you get is a familiar design with a touch of modernization.
The F-150 Lightning will be available in two configurations. The base model gives you around 230 miles (368 km) of range, while the extended battery version will give you around 300 miles (480 km). These figures may not seem all that impressive, but Marques does, however, highlight why range may be better in the real world. The figures quoted are EPA estimates that factor in a 1000 lb (453 kg) load. The test truck Brownlee was given quoted 367 miles (587 km) range at around 80% charge, without any cargo. After a few calculations, Brownlee concludes that the long-range model may be capable of close to 460 miles (736 km) if it was empty—figures that haven’t been confirmed yet, of course.
Brownlee walks us through the Platinum trim, highlighting some cool features around the truck, including a smart system that will adjust range by figuring out how much cargo you are carrying and strategically placed power outlets that remove the hassle of carrying generators around for your power tools.
While an abundance of power outlets and storage capabilities might be nothing out of the ordinary for any truck enthusiast, there are two special features that the F-150 boasts that will set it apart from any other electric vehicle out there. The first one, a super spacious front truck (aka frunk) where you would traditionally find the combustion engine. According to Brownlee, the front trunk is “absolutely massive” and could easily fit two golf bags in its 400 liters of volume and payload of 400 lbs (181 kg). There’s also a removable cover underneath for additional storage, plus a small drain hole at the bottom for quick cleaning. There are more outlets here too (four electrical and two USB to be exact).
Another novel feature is the bidirectional power option that’s available on the extended battery version. What it does is give you a power inverter that will produce up to 9.6 kilowatts of exportable energy, allowing you to power your entire home for several days in case of a power outage.
The F-150 Lightning is an impressive package, with all the hallmarks of a well-thought-out design. Performance isn’t shabby either, with the extended range battery pack expected to offer a 0-60 mph sprint in the mid-4 seconds, packing an estimated combined output of 563 HP and 775 lb-ft of torque from its dual-motor setup. Models fitted with the standard range battery will offer a combined 426 HP and the same 775 lb-ft of torque, again from a dual-motor setup.
The fight between Ford’s F-150 Lightning and the Tesla Cybertruck is shaping up to be quite an interesting one.