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Exterior view of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

It's official: The Ford F-150 has gone fully electric. It's the automaker's latest vehicle available with pure battery power. Ford started its latest advance toward electrification with the Mustang Mach-E, a performance SUV that manages to provide a driving experience reminiscent of its V8-powered coupe cousin.

Earlier this week, Ford gave truck fans all over the world an in-depth look at the all-electric 2022 F-150 Lightning. You may recognize the name from the two generations of high-performance street trucks that Ford made in the 1990s and early 2000s. Unlike its predecessors, the newest Lightning comes exclusively with the four-door SuperCrew cab, a 5.5-foot bed, and four-wheel drive. One thing hasn't changed, though. The Lightning still focuses on performance, whether that means zooming to 60 mph in the mid four-second range, powering an entire home, hauling a ton of payload, or towing a 10,000-pound trailer.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Exterior

Exterior view of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

It's easy to tell the Lightning apart from a conventional F-150 from any angle. Think truck meets "Tron." An LED lightbar runs above the three new grille designs and links the restyled LED headlights. The front fender badging also has a new look that not only displays whether the Lightning is a base, XLT, Lariat, or Platinum model, but also decorates the driver's-side charging port cover. Wheel options for the three higher trim levels range in size from 18 to 20 to 22 inches. Small Lightning badges on the bedsides make it clear that this F-150 runs on batteries. Lariat and Platinum models come standard with an additional LED lightbar that spans the entire width of the tailgate.

Ford made the most of the empty space where the F-150's internal combustion engine typically would go. They turned the hood and grille into one giant power-operated piece that rises to reveal a front trunk - aka frunk - area that provides 14.1 cubic feet of lockable, lighted, and drainable storage space. Equipped with four 120-volt electrical outlets, two USB chargers, up to 2.4 kilowatts from the Pro Power Onboard system, and a payload capacity of 400 pounds, it's ready for hard work or even harder partying.

Lower-tier Lightning's have a 2.4-kW version of Pro Power Onboard system; Lariat and Platinum trucks come standard with a 9.6-kW model of the helpful generator, which routes 2.4 kW to the frunk. The rest of the system's power can be accessed through two 120-volt plugs in the cab as well as four 120-volt units and one 240-volt unit in the bed.

By itself, the high-output Pro Power Onboard generator can run a mobile food trailer's major appliance, such as a refrigerator, microwave, and 25-gallon water heater. When paired with the new Ford Charge Pro Station and set to Ford Intelligent Backup Power mode, it's capable of providing a home that uses a daily average of 30 kWh with electricity for up to three days during a storm.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Interior

Exterior view of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

I was impressed by the SYNC 4 infotainment system and larger 12-inch touchscreen in the 2021 F-150. But that's just the starting point for the Lightning. The more upscale trim levels get the SYNC 4A setup and a massive 15.5-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen, which provides access to features such as navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Thanks to new Pro Trailer Hitch Assist technology, the F-150 can work smarter by managing the steering, throttle, and brakes to make hitching a trailer easier. The available Onboard Scales provide a readout of just how much payload is in the bed. It even integrates with the Intelligent Range feature to show a more accurate estimate of how much driving range the Lightning has left. Ford Power-Up over-the-air software updates will keep these and other features current and deliver functions and capabilities in the future.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Performance

Exterior view of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The Lightning is based on an all-new frame with an electric motor for each axle and, for the first time ever on an F-Series truck, an independent rear suspension. Two lithium-ion batteries are available. Ford is targeting 426 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque for trucks with the standard-range battery. That should help the Lightning haul up to 2,000 pounds (including the frunk's payload) and tow a maximum of 7,700 pounds. If Ford's calculations are correct, the regular battery is good for an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles. The Extended-Range battery keeps peak torque the same, but ups horsepower to 563 and range to 300 miles. While the payload rating goes down to 1,800 pounds, the towing limit goes up significantly to 10,000 pounds.

Both batteries are compatible with three tiers of Level 2 charging. Those range from the included mobile charger's low of 32 amps to the Ford Connected Charge Station's midrange of 48 amps to a maximum of 80 amps from the new Ford Charge Pro Station. Along with the Lightning's 11.3-kW dual onboard chargers, that can take the standard-range battery from 15 percent charge to full in ten hours. In just one hour, the Ford Charge Pro Station can add 19 miles of range.

Thanks to the extended-range battery's more powerful 19.2-kW built-in chargers, the time it takes to go from 15 percent to 100 percent charge decreases to eight hours. One hour of charge time on the Ford Charge Pro Station increases range by 30 miles.

The two fastest ways to juice up the Lightning are 50-kW and 150-kW Level 3 DC fast chargers. The more potent output can bump up the standard Lightning's range by 41 miles and the more powerful model's range by 54 miles in 10 minutes. On 150 kW, the regular Lightning's battery makes the leap from 15 to 80 percent in 44 minutes; the extended-range Lightning only requires 41 minutes to travel the same distance.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Safety

Exterior view of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Lightning comes standard with the Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 suite of safety and driver assistance features. Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, which adds features that include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Evasive Steering Assist, and Intersection Assist, is a no-cost package on Lariat and Platinum models, and optional on XLT. The top package, Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 with Active Park Assist 2.0 and BlueCruise hands-free driving capability, is available on Lariat and part of the Platinum trim level.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Overall

Exterior view of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Pricing for the contractor-friendly base model Lightning starts at just $39,974. The better-equipped and more comfortable Lightning XLT has a base price of $52,974. You'll be able to find the entire array of 2022 F-150 Lightning models in AutoNation Ford dealerships next spring.

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Derek Shiekhi | May 28, 2021

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