The Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck may very well be a game-changer for EV adoption

SAN FRANCISCO — Because the countdown to a ban on the sale of recent gas-powered autos begins in California, the choices of electrical autos are unfolding.

Ford has begun delivery an all-electric model of the F-150, referred to as the “Lightning,” with plans to make quick deliveries in 2023.

The gasoline model has been the nation’s best-selling car for greater than 40 years, prompting observers resembling College of San Francisco professor Billy Riggs to explain the brand new truck as a “Tesla killer.”

“It is like a gateway to show off fossil fuels,” Riggs mentioned. “This car will attraction to many individuals who’ve by no means considered an electrical car.”

Ford has delivered 4,400 vehicles thus far this yr, with plans to succeed in 150,000 deliveries by the summer time of 2023. In distinction, electrical car firm Rivian is on monitor to ship 25,000 vehicles by the tip of the yr. However electrical vehicles from Chevy, GM, Toyota, Nissan and Tesla are months, if not years, from rolling off meeting strains.

Ford retained the unique physique styling, in an effort to speed up manufacturing, and keep a low-key design that might attraction to contractors and fleet managers throughout the nation.

In Could, President Biden turned nationwide consideration to electrical energy. After a take a look at drive of an early prototype, the president quipped “This sucks fast!”

“It is a car that is very America. If they will attain their manufacturing goal, which we all know Ford is nice at manufacturing, nice at provide chain, that may very well be one thing the place they actually Numerous startups can compete with. Whether or not or not it is Tesla or Rivian,” Riggs mentioned. “So I feel it is a huge deal, and it is a huge deal. There are already 200,000 orders. To allow them to do what they’ve carried out for over a century.”

On a current week-long take a look at drive, the KPIX 5 examined the Lightning’s efficiency and options. Most notably, 0-60mph was clocked in 4.3 seconds. The truck’s 131kWh battery with a 300 mile vary is marketed as an non-obligatory, backup energy supply. Ford has positioned 120V retailers all through, together with 240V 40A within the rear cargo space. As per KPIX 5’s checks, the truck efficiently operated quite a lot of tools together with arc welders, grinders, vacuum cleaners, strain cookers, blenders, toasters and induction stoves.

Ford claims the Lightning can energy a single-family house for 3 to 4 days utilizing a specifically put in $1,500 inverter, which attracts energy from the truck and sends it again to the house. The corporate had no displays out there on the time of publication.

Gary Ashford, supervisor of Bear Creek Stables positioned within the Santa Cruz Mountains, assisted KPIX 5 in testing the towing capability of the truck, which is listed at 10,000 kilos. Pulling a completely loaded horse trailer of 5,200 kilos, diminished Lightning’s vary by 50%. Usually, the truck travels at 2.8 miles per kWh; Towing a horse trailer diminished this vary to 1.4 miles per kWh.

Charging electrical vehicles whereas they’re below load stays a problem as a result of most charging stations are designed for passenger autos. So-called “pull-through” websites are more and more being intertwined with busy corridors.

Electrification America, one of many nation’s largest suppliers of third-party charging stations, mentioned in a press release:

“Electrify America has about 100 charging stations with pull-through charging that may permit for trailers. With a number of new EV pickup vehicles with towing functionality available on the market final yr, Electrify America labored to additional enhance the variety of stations. permit for pull-through trailering. The corporate is buyer centered and all choices as we plan our growth to 1,800 charging stations within the US and Canada by 2026.”

Ashford was “satisfied,” and believes the truck will attraction to contractors, particularly these in want of an electric-powered generator.

“For most individuals on the job web site, 50 miles to do the job, put the tools in there, and be capable of leap in there and go house and never fear about something, stopping on the gasoline station. No, nice!” Ashford mentioned. “It isn’t tremendous flashy, and the vehicles most individuals need aren’t into the bling. You realize, they need a piece car that has sufficient model with out being soiled behind it.”

Ashford, which wants a truck with a towing capability of 20,000 kilos, does not consider that electrical vehicles can utterly substitute gas-powered variations.

“I feel it is going to be a combination. I do not suppose any such car will remedy all the problems, there must be a combination,” Ashford mentioned.

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