Ford F-150 Lightning debuts, a pickup with no exhaust pipe that doubles as a generator

May 20, 2021, 7:19 AM

(The scene: A middle-class home in summer. Thunder rumbles the foundation, and in a blinding flash, a bolt of lightning illuminates the room, immediately followed by darkness as the lights flicker and go out.)

Ford's F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup debuted last night. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

WOMAN: I was afraid this would happen. Third outage this summer. And me with a freezer full of food. I'll call DTE.

MAN: Go ahead and call, but don't worry about the hamburgers. I'll plug in the truck.

And ... scene.

The world changes every day, and it stands to reason our vehicles should, too. But the new Ford F-150 Lightning, the highly anticipated, all-electric pickup truck that lured the president of the United States to Dearborn earlier this week, is a big, big change. 

The Lightning had its formal debut last night, after dark, and so far, the early reviews are ... shocking. 

Mark Phelan of the Freep's is typical:

With prices starting at $39,745 and the kind of features and capability that have made the F-150 America’s bestselling vehicle for 44 years, the F-150 Lightning was designed to do all the things pickup owners expect — plus new goodies only an electric vehicle can deliver.

... The Lightning promises to be powerful and fast. Two electric motors — one mounted on each axle — provide all-wheel drive that will precisely deliver power to any wheel for towing and challenging off-road conditions.

The motors develop 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque.

Torque! Nothing pickup owners like more than hella torque. But there's also a "frunk," i.e., a front-end trunk, made possible because of the mid-mounted batteries. Other cool features include multiple electrical outlets, enough to "run lights and tools at a job site and power the pickup for an 80-mile round trip to work for about three days," according to Ford.

And -- and here we return to the rather tortured lede on this piece -- "it also has enough power to keep a house going for several days in a blackout." Yes. Your truck will be your generator, and depending on how long the blackout lasts, take you to work the next morning. (Texas residents, take note.)

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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