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Ford unveils its $40,000 F-150 Lightning electric pick-up truck


Ford has taken the covers off its new $40,000 F-150 Lightning – the first electric version of its best-selling pick-up that will go head-to-head with Elon Musk’s Tesla Cybertruck when it hits the US market early next year. 

On the outside, it looks very much like its immensely popular gas-powered version.

However, batteries and electric motors replace the conventional internal combustion engine – freeing up space for a ‘mega power frunk’ – a front trunk – that can carry up to 400 pounds (181kg) of whatever you need to carry. 

Range is up to 300 miles on a full charge, based on the American EPA test cycle, and it produces more torque than any F-150 before it.

Ford’s big electric switch: Bosses described the launch of the new battery-powered F-150 Lightning pick-up truck as a ‘watershed’ moment for the brand as it looks to accelerate its shift to cleaner vehicles

A huge lithium-ion battery powering the pick-up is stored in the chassis floor to keep the centre of gravity low and spreads the additional bulk across the footprint of the vehicle. 

While it will tip the scale far heavier than a petrol equivalent (though kerb weight is yet to be revealed), it’s far from slow.  

It will be sold to customers with the choice of two battery capacities, providing official ranges of 230 miles or 300 miles for the extended range version.

The latter should be a match for the entry version of Musk’s much-anticipated Cybertruck, though a ‘tri-motor’ version is rumoured to offer up to 500 miles of range on a full battery.  

Linked to a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain, the smaller capacity F150 Lightning produces 421bhp and 775lb ft of torque, while the extended range version ups power to 555bhp (torque remains the same). 

Choose the latter and it will be ‘wickedly quick off the mark’ [Ford’s words, not ours], accelerating from zero to 60mph in around 4.5 seconds. That means it should be able to keep up with a Bentley Continental GT in a sprint.

It is due to hit the market in spring 2022 with a starting price of $39,974 (£28,200) – a premium of around $10,000 over the cheapest conventionally-powered F-150 currently on sale.

It won’t be available in the UK.

The electric F-150 Lightning won't be hitting the US market for another 12 months, and won't be sold in the UK at all

The electric F-150 Lightning won’t be hitting the US market for another 12 months, and won’t be sold in the UK at all

When it does arrive in US showrooms in spring 2022, the starting price for the model with the smaller-capacity battery will be $39,974 (£28,200)

When it does arrive in US showrooms in spring 2022, the starting price for the model with the smaller-capacity battery will be $39,974 (£28,200)

It means the electrified Ford pick-up with cost around $10,000 more than the cheapest conventionally-powered F-150 that's currently on sale

It means the electrified Ford pick-up with cost around $10,000 more than the cheapest conventionally-powered F-150 that’s currently on sale

The huge lithium-ion battery is stored in the chassis floor to keep the centre of gravity low and spreads the additional bulk across the footprint of the vehicle. It is linked to a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain

The huge lithium-ion battery is stored in the chassis floor to keep the centre of gravity low and spreads the additional bulk across the footprint of the vehicle. It is linked to a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain

Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO described its unveiling on Wednesday as ‘a massive watershed moment’ for the brand.

‘It will be built at the Rouge factory, where Henry Ford changed the world and my grandfather punched in every day. F-150 Lightning represents all that our country can do when we push for progress,’ he added.

Ford has calculated that an electric version of America’s top-selling vehicle will appeal to the sorts of buyers who favour rugged pick-up trucks prized for strength and durability. 

If it succeeds, it could speed the nation’s transition away from petroleum burners – a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s broad effort to fight climate change.

The all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck was unveiled at the company's headquarters in Michigan on Wednesday

The all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck was unveiled at the company’s headquarters in Michigan on Wednesday

Pre-production examples of the F-150 Lightning were shown in Bruce Township, Michigan, a week ago - now the full-production pick-up has been fully unveiled to the public

Pre-production examples of the F-150 Lightning were shown in Bruce Township, Michigan, a week ago – now the full-production pick-up has been fully unveiled to the public

It will be offered to US customers from next year with the choice of two battery capacities - providing official ranges of 230 miles or 300 miles for the extended range version

It will be offered to US customers from next year with the choice of two battery capacities – providing official ranges of 230 miles or 300 miles for the extended range version

Jim Farley (pictured), Ford's president and CEO, described its unveiling on Wednesday as 'a massive watershed moment' for the brand

Jim Farley (pictured), Ford’s president and CEO, described its unveiling on Wednesday as ‘a massive watershed moment’ for the brand

Ford claims a maximum payload (carrying capacity) of 907kg for examples fitted with 18-inch wheels and a towing capacity of up to 4,536kg – more than enough to haul a decent-size boat or caravan.

Customers will be offered a home charging station as standard when they buy the truck that will be capable of 150kW DC fast-charging. Owners will be able to boost the battery from 15 per cent to 80 per cent charge in just 41 minutes.  

It also has a ‘Power at Home’ function, which has the capacity to use 9.6kW of the battery charge to power a home if there’s a black out for up to 10 days – or to charge power tools and other electrical equipment.  

Buyers of Ford's electric F-150 Lightning will be provided with a 150kW DC home charging station as standard. This can boost the battery from 15% to 80% charge in just 41 minutes

Buyers of Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning will be provided with a 150kW DC home charging station as standard. This can boost the battery from 15% to 80% charge in just 41 minutes

The maximum towing capacity of the electric Ford F-150 Lightning is 4,536kg. Pulling a decent-size boat or caravan won't be an issue

The maximum towing capacity of the electric Ford F-150 Lightning is 4,536kg. Pulling a decent-size boat or caravan won’t be an issue

One incredible feature installed in the new Ford is a 'Power at Home' function. This has the capacity to use 9.6kW of the battery charge to power a home if there's a black out for up to 10 days - or to charge power tools and other electrical equipment

One incredible feature installed in the new Ford is a ‘Power at Home’ function. This has the capacity to use 9.6kW of the battery charge to power a home if there’s a black out for up to 10 days – or to charge power tools and other electrical equipment

Ford claims a maximum payload (carrying capacity) of 907kg for examples fitted with 18-inch wheels. That's more than enough to carry a dirt bike in the loading bay

Ford claims a maximum payload (carrying capacity) of 907kg for examples fitted with 18-inch wheels. That’s more than enough to carry a dirt bike in the loading bay

One of the standout features is the under-bonnet ‘mega power frunk’, which can be opened by pressing a button on the outside of the vehicle.

It offers 400 litres of storage space – around the same as the boot in a medium-size family hatchback – and is fitted out with four electrical outlets and two USB chargers.

Ford says there’s enough space for ‘two carry-on bags and one checked bag, or two sets of golf club,’ and in its promotional video shows the frunk loaded with five bags of cement. 

Inside, there’s plenty of technology too, with Ford’s latest Sync 4A infotainment system, a 15.5-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and features self-driving technology that can be used on US highways.

Linked to a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain, the smaller capacity F150 Lightning produces 421bhp and 775lb ft of torque, while the extended range version ups power to 555bhp (torque remains the same)

Linked to a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain, the smaller capacity F150 Lightning produces 421bhp and 775lb ft of torque, while the extended range version ups power to 555bhp (torque remains the same)

One of the biggest standout features of the truck is the 'mega power frunk' under the hood. It offers 400 litres of storage space - around the same as the boot in a medium-size family hatchback

One of the biggest standout features of the truck is the ‘mega power frunk’ under the hood. It offers 400 litres of storage space – around the same as the boot in a medium-size family hatchback

The massive frunk - which Ford suggests in promo videos can carry up to five bags of cement - is fitted out with four electrical outlets and two USB chargers

The massive frunk – which Ford suggests in promo videos can carry up to five bags of cement – is fitted out with four electrical outlets and two USB chargers

Ford has calculated that an electric version of America's top-selling vehicle will appeal to the sorts of buyers who favour rugged pick-up trucks prized for strength and durability

Ford has calculated that an electric version of America’s top-selling vehicle will appeal to the sorts of buyers who favour rugged pick-up trucks prized for strength and durability

The F-150 Lightning will be built at Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Centre in Dearborn, Michigan.

‘For both Ford and the American auto industry, F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment as we progress toward a zero-emissions, digitally connected future,’ said Bill Ford, executive chairman at Ford Motor Company. 

‘F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 44 years, the backbone of work across the country, and a trusted icon for generations of customers. Now we are revolutionizing it for a new generation.’ 

Ford says it will be 'wickedly quick off the mark', accelerating from zero to 60mph in around 4.5 seconds. That means it should be able to keep up with a Bentley Continental GT in a sprint

Ford says it will be ‘wickedly quick off the mark’, accelerating from zero to 60mph in around 4.5 seconds. That means it should be able to keep up with a Bentley Continental GT in a sprint

Inside, there's plenty of technology, with Ford's latest Sync 4A infotainment system and self-driving tech that can be used on US highways

Inside, there’s plenty of technology, with Ford’s latest Sync 4A infotainment system and self-driving tech that can be used on US highways

'F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment,' said Bill Ford and it's likely to prove a hit with buyers

‘F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment,’ said Bill Ford and it’s likely to prove a hit with buyers

The cabin is dominated by this massive tablet-like a 15.5-inch touchscreen that houses all the infotainment and temperature controls

The cabin is dominated by this massive tablet-like a 15.5-inch touchscreen that houses all the infotainment and temperature controls

The driver also get a new 12-inch digital instrument cluster that displays important information - including revealing the owner's taste in music

The driver also get a new 12-inch digital instrument cluster that displays important information – including revealing the owner’s taste in music

Joe Biden has already given the electric Ford F150 Lightning the Presidential seal of approval

By EMILY GOODIN, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 

President Joe Biden got to test drive Ford’s first electric truck during a stop in Michigan on Tuesday to tout his infrastructure plan, saying ‘this sucker’s quick.’  

He capped his visit to the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Centre in Dearborn with a surprise stop to speed his way around the test track.

During his factory tour, he got an advance look at the F150 Lighting pick-up. He bragged he got to sit in and said during his remarks he wished he could take it for a spin.

‘I’d sure like to drive it,’ Biden, 78, said. ‘I wonder whether or not I can lose the Secret Service and go out to the track.’

U.S. President Joe Biden took to the wheel of the new Ford F-150 Lightning truck on a visit to Ford's Dearborn Development Centre in Michigan on Tuesday

U.S. President Joe Biden took to the wheel of the new Ford F-150 Lightning truck on a visit to Ford’s Dearborn Development Centre in Michigan on Tuesday

President Joe Biden talks with workers on his tour of Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center this week

President Joe Biden talks with workers on his tour of Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center this week

He didn’t ditch the Secret Service but he did make a stop at the testing track and get to drive a grey-ish version of the vehicle.

He sped by, later saying he took the truck ‘up to 80’ and then stopped the truck to speak with the reporters traveling with him.

Biden stuck his head out of the window, wearing his signature aviator sunglasses, and said: ‘This sucker’s quick.’

He said he’d buy one if he could. ‘I’m just gonna step on it. I’ll come off at 80 miles an hour,’ he added.

One reporter asked the president if she could ask him about Israel.

‘No, you can’t,’ he responded. ‘Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I’m only teasing.’ 

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