Ford’s Newest Electric: the F-150 Lightning
The folks at Ford Motor Company recently faced a monumental challenge. They needed a way to influence their extremely loyal Ford F-150 pickup truck drivers. Namely, they wanted to introduce the all-new Ford F-150 Electric in a way that these faithful followers could understand, appreciate, and grow to embrace. In the end, it was decided that Ford would need to stage an event that would leave an indelible mark on the minds of its hardcore customers.
Towing Over One Million Pounds
What Ford did was orchestrate an incredibly impressive and memorable publicity stunt. The company took 10 double decker freight train cars and 42 F-150 pickup trucks to commemorate 42 years of quality Ford F-150s. All told, the train cars and pickup trucks weighed in at over one million pounds, and then Ford had the prototype F-150 Electric pull the whole lot for 1,000 feet. The unforgettable event was properly named “Towing a Million +”.
“I’m the proud owner of an F-150,” one participant said. “I can’t see myself ever in any other vehicle.” The collection of workmen went on to tell stories about the trucks they own and love. They mentioned the ease of towing, how these rough work wagons could convert into luxury conveyances to take their wives to dinner in comfort. These men are clearly devoted to their Ford pickups and see them as true works of art.
Then Linda Zhang, a chief engineer at Ford, showed up to explain why the men had been assembled at a train railyard. She told them that she had a very special version of the F-150 that would try to tow 10 train cars 1,000 feet. It was a feat that had never been accomplished before. Then she pulled some black tape off the side of the special truck to reveal that it is an all-electric vehicle. The men scoffed and jeered, yet were intrigued and watched closely as Linda sat behind the wheel of the prototype and pulled all 10 double decker train cars with the ease of a load of groceries. The Ford loyalists were impressed. “It’s quietly pulling over a million pounds,” one man gasped.
But that was not all. She then had all 42 of the Ford pickups on hand loaded into the train cars and repeated the performance, this time pulling what Linda said was, “Way over a million pounds.” It was actually over 1.25 million pounds. Then the men were not only intrigued, but rooted heartily for the Ford labeled electric truck to succeed.
“Built Ford tough is all about durability, capability and productivity,” Linda told everyone. “And this all-electric F-150 extends Built Ford Tough to a whole new arena.” Of course, the prototype successfully pulled the whole lot for 1,000 feet to much whooping, applause, and high fives by the assembled crowd.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Pricing and Details
The F-150 Lightning is an all-new model for the Ford truck lineup that will come standard with all-wheel drive and boasts impressive towing-capacity. Ford has said it will be the most powerful F-150 ever! MSRP for the base model is $46,974.
Very little is known about the truck’s electric motors, but we’ve been told it will feature dual motors - one for each axle - to make it all-wheel drive. Ford is also talking about a removable range extender disguised as a bed-mounted tool box with a motor that would kick in to recharge the battery in case there are no charging stations handy. Because the F-150 will have ample room underneath its long body for batteries, we imagine the electric pickup will have a range of over 300 miles.
Ford may offer the F-150 Electric in both standard two-door and Super Cab four-door configurations. Touchscreen infotainment will include Ford’s latest Sync 4 software with at least an 8-inch screen. You’ll get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a WiFi hotspot and SiriusXM satellite radio as standard and no doubt an optional premium stereo system will be available.
When it comes to fancy driver assist features, the new electric truck will tick all the boxes. These will include standard automatic braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist. Adaptive cruise control will be available as an option.