Electricity, not gas, powers the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning, so it’s already doing wonders for the environment. In fact, EVs produce three times fewer carbon emissions than gas-powered vehicles. Up to 96 percent of EV battery material can be recycled, and Tesla has even promised to implement closed-loop battery recycling.
The latest EV batteries can last 10 years or longer. Additionally, the Ford F-150 Lightning’s battery isn’t built the same as standard batteries, MotorTrend reports. Because of its unique low-metal construction, it might be the most environmentally friendly EV battery yet.
The Ford F-150 Lightning’s new battery technology
A joint venture between Ford and SKI Innovation — BlueOvalSK — birthed the F-150 Lightning’s new battery. The two companies formed a partnership to prepare for the rising EV battery production demand, expected to reach 240 GWh. BlueOvalSK plans to have factories producing 60 GWh annually in traction battery cells within a few years.
SK Innovation makes its battery cathode primarily of nickel; it contains only 5 percent cobalt and 5 percent manganese. Observers have long criticized cobalt mining for its dangerous working conditions and child employment. The higher nickel content also provides better energy density, improving capability and lessening its carbon footprint.
We don’t know how much the battery will weigh, but Ford says it provides 230 miles of electric range. With front and rear motors, the F-150 Lightning makes 426 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. It also boasts a minimum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds and a payload rating of 2,000 pounds.
An extended-range battery is also available. It produces the same amount of torque but 563 hp. It also offers 300 miles of range and the highest available towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. However, payload capacity reduces to 1,800 pounds on extended-range Lightning models.
The Ford F-150 Lightning comes with a standard mobile charger, restoring the battery up to three miles per hour. The optional at-home charging station is a more useful option, giving the larger battery a full charge in eight hours. At DC charging stations, the first 250 kWh are free for Lightning drivers.
What else does the Ford F-150 Lightning offer?
According to MotorTrend, the Ford F-150 Lightning is the first of its kind for several reasons. It has an independent rear suspension instead of an air suspension, undoubtedly making its ride smoother. Most trucks wobble on even civilized roads, especially with empty cargo beds.
It’s also the quickest F-150 created to date, with a reported 0-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds. Though Ford hasn’t revealed EPA numbers, it’s safe to assume the Lightning will also offer the best fuel efficiency among F-150s.
So far, a crew cab with a 5.5-foot cargo bed is the Ford F-150 Lightning’s only configuration. The interior appears identical to the gas-operated model, which usually gets positive feedback from critics. Even the standard seats provide adequate support, and legroom in the rear row is generous.
The F-150 Lightning Platinum and Lariat trims boast a massive 15.5-inch touchscreen you won’t find in the regular F-150. Higher trims also feature Bang & Olufsen audio system and Ford’s new SuperCruise self-driving technology. And Ford’s updated SYNC 4 system will allow the F-150 Lightning to receive over-the-air software updates.
When will this new electric pickup truck come out?
Ford says that the F-150 Lightning should appear in showrooms by May 2022. The base model will start at $41,669, while the fully loaded Platinum trim will cost about $90,000. That’s quite an upcharge over a Ford F-150 Limited. But the battery’s efficiency and power make the Lightning an overall great deal.