Ford F-150 Lightning

The new Ford F-150 Lightning can power a home for three days off a full charge (extended range version), or up to 10 days if you ration power. Given our fucked-up power grid, did it just become the most essential truck for Texans?

It can power a work or camp site. It can charge other electric cars. It has a frunk that can take golf clubs or a plug-in cooler (there’s a power outlet in there) or your tools, negating the need for a rear lock box, and you can charge your power tools while they’re in there.

Range is, of course, going to be an issue for a working vehicle. Towing capacity is insane, but the more you tow/carry, the less range you’ll have. I’m not sure the practicalities of taking it hunting/camping, given the likely lack of charging at the destination. But there should be an option to fully charge before making the last turn into the wild, so you’ve got ~150 miles each way.

I have never wanted to own a truck before…


How long does it take to fully charge this truck?

That’s a character flaw. Luckily, it’s something you can overcome.


According to Ford…the standard will fully charge in about 14 hours, the extended range in about 19 hours. So, it’s not something you can charge in a few hours on the road. You’re pretty much limited to how far you can go on a charge. Which is about 230-300 miles. Per day.

Holy crap! Forbes says the extended range takes 8 hours off an 80 amp charger, 13 hours to charge off a 40 amp charger, or 19 hours otherwise. The more powerful chargers are a cost upgrade, of course, and have to be professionally wired directly to raw juice.

I guess the batteries must be huge in order to move the truck, which is why it can run a a house for three days.

I guess if you’re using this as a work truck, the 80 amp charger makes this workable. Charging time is likely not a problem if you’re using it as a weekly commuter/weekend warrior. But if you’re going to take long road trips, those charging times are fully prohibitive.

Furthermore, if you’re under a semi-heavy load…towing a trailer, for example, the experts estimate you’re limited to about 100 miles. That may or may not even tow your boat to Lake Conroe and back for the day. This is very much a local work truck at this point.


Given how many light trucks are sold every year for this purpose, and given the F150 Lightning’s amazing practicalities in this regard, this could be a game-changer.

Ooh! Missed this from the Forbes article:

Buyers with access to an Electrify America DC Level 2 50 kW fast-charging station can increase the battery charge from 15% to 80% in 91 minutes for the standard battery and 122 minutes for the extended battery.

A DC charger that operates at a full 150 kW output drops the times to around 40 minutes for both batteries. Additionally, a quick 10-minute charge session can add up to 41 or 54 miles. (Such chargers draw too much power and are too costly for home installation).

The Electrify America grid is pretty big already, and is only going to grow. If Biden can get his infrastructure plan through, it will…ahem…supercharge this grid.


Thanks for the pithy comment. What exactly are you yucking about? The truck? The grid? The fact that somebody mentioned Biden?

You’re welcome. The truck is terribly ugly and doesn’t deserve to wear the Lightning name. When I hear Ford Lightning, I think of a supercharged v8 that will turn the rear tires into smoke. I’ll continue to drive my old muscle cars as long as there is still gas available to put in the tank. If I need a truck, I’ll drive my 1980 Chevy 4x4.

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Never had a truck in my life and do not want one. There, I have said it.


Prices run up to 90,000. I suspect the cheapest models run on 4 rechargeable AA batteries.

Trust me. Batteries are NEVER included.

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I’ve driven an F series for going on 20 years. Current is a '08 King Ranch with 60K miles, so yeah local use works for me… I had planned on driving it for 10 more years. I’ve never been that interested in electric, but this Lightning has me curious.

The built-in generator is a really cool and extremely useful feature, especially in SE Texas. Also, having a trunk in a truck would be fantastic. Then there is some really cool other tech as well.

Not buying gas would be great, but I go through about a tank a month. So how much does charging an EV affect your electricity bill?

What is the maintenance like on an EV?

You know how it is when your watch battery dies…

This isn’t for me, as I’m a died in the wool Chevy truck man. My granddaddy drove a Chevy, my daddy drove a Chevy, and gosh dang blast it…I’m gonna drive a Chevy.

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Whatever your charging costs, it’s notably cheaper than buying gas. Also, if you’re mostly commuting and plugging in at night, you’ll never have to stop to fill up.

Maintenance is waaaay lower. No oil changes for one. Far fewer and less complex moving parts.

I’d be all over that. Way better than that ghastly horror from Tesla.