The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning aims to be an electric pickup that still gets work done like the gasoline-powered F-150 does. That said, Ford still found ways to differentiate its electric truck that improves on the standard F-150 formula because of its electric powertrain.
There are the obvious design and styling differences, but we’re going to detail the tech and usability features unique to the F-150 Lightning in this post. In other words, these are the awesome things you can get on the electric truck, but not on the traditional gasoline pickup.
Ford Intelligent Backup Power
Essentially, “Ford Intelligent Backup Power” is Pro Power Onboard on steroids. Just like the gasoline truck’s Pro Power Onboard feature, the Lightning can be used as a powerful generator. It can offload up to 9.6 kW of power via eight 120V outlets and one 240V outlet. The extra party trick above and beyond the gas truck happens when you have your truck hooked up to Ford’s new Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system that you can have installed in your home. With this wired up, the Lightning can act as a power source for your entire home. No maze of wires or picking and choosing of appliances necessary. Simply plug the F-150 into the wall as though you’re charging it, and it can power a home in the event of a power outage.
Ford says its extended-range battery pack version can provide full-home power for an “average size home” for up to three days. If you ration power wisely enough, Ford says the battery pack will last for as long as 10 days — that’s something Texans could’ve used to great effect not too long ago. Obviously, your mileage will vary here depending on the size and power needs of your home.
Once power kicks back on, the truck is designed to automatically begin charging again to replenish the battery pack. Ford says there will be an extension of this feature in the future called Ford Intelligent Power. This will allow you to use your truck to power your home during high-cost peak-energy hours, while charging the pickup back up during the low-cost overnight hours. Sounds cool, right? Yup. Ford says it’s partnering with the solar company Sunrun to install the Ford Charge Station Pro to people’s homes. And while they’re at it, they can have some solar panels installed to go even greener with your energy use.
15.5-inch Sync 4A infotainment system
The biggest screen available for the gasoline F-150 is a near-square 12-inch touchscreen. This 15.5-inch screen is a vertically-oriented screen that surpasses even Ram’s huge screen in size. You’ll notice that it’s a carbon copy of the giant screen in the Ford Mustang Mach-E, complete with the physical volume knob poking out the bottom. This being the case, we suspect it will operate and function just like the Sync 4A screen in the electric Mustang.
Additional Lightning-related details of the screen are still limited, but Ford says it will offer “natural voice control, cloud-connected navigation and wireless access to your favorite services: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Amazon Alexa and SYNC AppLink apps.” You can read about what we think of the Mach-E’s touchscreen interface in our deep dive here.
It’s also worth noting that the 12-inch screen in the gasoline F-150 is the standard unit in the Lightning. You’ll need to pony up for a higher trim to get the top-dog 15.5-inch touchscreen.
Enhanced Onboard Scales
Ford introduced a new feature to the 2021 F-150 called Onboard Scales last month, and it’s even more advanced in the Lightning. Essentially, the truck will actively weigh how much cargo you dump into the bed, and indicate that weight via LED bars in the rear taillights, and more precisely in the infotainment system. This ensures you don’t put more weight in the bed than what your specific F-150 is rated for.
The party trick with the Lightning is integration into the electric range calculator. Ford is able to adjust predicted range by taking into account how much weight is in the bed of the truck. You’ll be able to haul to your heart’s content without fearing that the displayed range is off due to what you’re carrying, which is a lovely peace-of-mind feature to have.
This one is pretty simple, but it’s a feature that isn't executed all that well in some EVs today. Thankfully, Ford designed an electric truck platform that can accommodate a massive front trunk to take advantage of the fact that there is no engine up front. It measures out to 14.1 cubic-feet of space, which Ford estimates is good enough for two carry-on bags and one checked bag. Or, Ford reckons you can also fit two sets of golf clubs in there. It’s made to be water resistant and features a drainable floor to easily act as a food or beverage container.
If you need to plug anything in, Ford says there is 2.4 kW of power available with four outlets in the front trunk. You can plug in power tools, laptops, TVs or any other tailgating appliance you require.