Ford F-150 Lightning: Street truck returns May 19 with electric power

Ford will call the upcoming battery-electric version of its top-selling F-150 pickup truck the F-150 Lightning, the automaker said on Monday.

The zero-emission pickup will be revealed on May 19 ahead of the sales launch in mid-2022. The date of the showroom appearance points to the F-150 Lightning arriving as a 2023 model.

The name of course comes from the F-150 SVT Lightning street truck that was launched for 1993 and lasted two generations. Ford later filled the void with the off-road-oriented F-150 Raptor.

Electric connotations aside, the Lightning name is fitting considering the new F-150 Lightning will also be positioned as a street truck rather than an off-roader or serious workhorse, with Ford promising it will be more powerful than any F-150 to date.

2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning

2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning

Ford has been tight-lipped on details but we know the F-150 Lightning will come with a dual-motor powertrain, helping it to deliver traction. It will also accelerate quicker than any F-150 to date and have the ability to tow heavy trailers. Ford last June used a prototype to tow 10 double-decker train cars weighing a combined one million pounds.

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Other new attributes F-150 Lightning owners can look forward to over the regular truck include a front trunk (a.k.a. a frunk), less frequent maintenance, and a power take-off. Ford has said the pickup will be able to power a home during an outage. It will also be a high-tech ride, with Ford promising digital aspects. One we know of is constant improvements via over-the-air updates.

Ford F-150 electric teaser

Ford F-150 electric teaser

Production of the electric F-150 will start next spring at Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which has been churning out Ford pickups since 1948. The automaker is spending over $700 million at the plant to prepare it for the F-150 Lightning, as well as the hybrid F-150 PowerBoost which recently went into production at the plant.

When it arrives, the F-150 Lightning will already have a lot of competition. Some of the electric pickup trucks that should be at dealerships by the time the Ford arrives include the GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T. The Tesla Cybertruck and Lordstown Endurance may also be available by the F-150 Lightning’s mid-2022 arrival date. Stay tuned.

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