The most interesting thing about Tesla is how the electric vehicle maker takes the whole automotive industry forward.
Elon Musk deserves a lot of credit, but the contribution of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is easy to ignore. Over the past 25 years, Amazon has experienced a catastrophic shock across the entire retail sector, as stores, malls, wholesalers and retailers have seen profit margins shrink and their customers abandon their teams.
Inheriting automakers have seen the devastation created by Amazon and decided they have nothing. They will not let Mask do what Bezos did to retailers. Despite being calcified, bureaucratic, century-old legacy automakers, they responded faster than retailers. The result is a growing EV market with dozens of new models for sale today and dozens more coming in the next 36 months.
That’s how the $ 40,000 Ford F150 Lightning came about.
I spent a week with this behemoth and it is quite a spectacular vehicle, very different from my usual rides. I will share some thoughts about the F150 Lightning, my expectations of how it will do and what it might bring to future EV, Tesla and Legacy automakers.
Another thing: Everywhere we went, lightning struck. People came to us in the parking lot outside the restaurant on the beach and wanted to ask about the F150. Once these become more common, I hope the attention will fade.
It is a full-size pickup truck, the best-selling vehicle in America for more than 40 years, similar to the traditional Ford F-150. If a pickup is your regular drive, you will feel right at home in this car.
The Lightning comes in four flavors: Pro ($ 39,947), XLT ($ 52,974), Lariat ($ 67,474) and Platinum ($ 90,874). My tester was a maxed-out Platinum with $ 94k sticker. It is a high-quality laxo-barge, with excellent fit and finish and all kinds of great technology.
The dual-motor extended-range battery produces 580 horsepower (like my BMW M6) and 775 pound-feet of torque. At full charge, you can expect 300 miles for Platinum (320 miles for Lorraine). How you drive has a huge impact on range. The truck is fully loaded and carefully driven 55 miles per hour so I got much better gas mileage than stumping it back home with an empty pickup bed.
The base version at k 40k is a whole lot of trucks for the money: good for AWD, dual motor 452 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque and 230 miles range. Ford noted that more than half of the pre-orders were for midrange models.
It’s handsome, as far as pickup goes. The front and back of the light bar and the driver side charge port (a dummy on the passenger side) are the only external indications that this is not your usual internal combustion engine (ICE) F-150. The huge vertical touch screen in the center of the dashboard is another formula.
I don’t usually drive a pickup truck or even a full size SUV. I lean towards low slang, high-horsepower fun machines; My previous three utility cars were a BMW X4, Porsche Macan S, and Honda Crosstour.
It took some time to get used to this size and height.
Slide the 1,500-1,800-pound battery down and you have a 6,855-pound car that operates differently than a sports car. It takes more than a gentle thumb to move the steering wheel of this animal with any kind of turning. Planning and anticipation are needed to bring Behemoth to a dead stop. This is a real problem because lightning accelerates to 60 miles per hour in just 4 seconds. It’s hard for me to say, but it testifies to the superiority of the EV platform over how fast this truck is compared to the traditional ICE.
Platinum is a very comfortable ride where you can expect from a truck of 6 figures. If your usual SUV is Acura or Lexus, you will feel amazingly comfortable in electricity.
The F150 is huge inside. Holding the handles on a pillar makes it easy to pull yourself into the driver or passenger seat of the spacious cabin. The rear seats of the crew cab were spacious for even the largest occupants. These fold, if you need more space.
The five-and-a-half-foot bed (67.1 inches) grills with a large 4 burner grill, a 6-foot outdoor table, and an isolated Roman hammock, along with a variety of other things to drive to our beach house.
But the show-stopper was the “Frank” – the huge trunk in front that was the size of the trunk of a typical passenger car. I dropped a few bags and other things into it overnight so there was plenty of space.
Features and options
I really liked the excellent driver assistance / lane keeping / cruise control. It works well, almost invisibly, and all you have to do is look at the road – put your hands on the wheels or not. But look at the giant center screen for more than a moment and it bothers you to pay attention.
The center screen was fast and responsive, including Ford’s trademark Giant Volume No Bottom Center. The bottom 2 inches of the screen were reserved for climate control. Regardless of the price I found it to be as good as an automobile infotainment screen.
There are outlets and charging ports everywhere: front, rear, frank, pickup bed. This is a vehicle that is expected to be at the top of the job sites
My only beef is the same with every EV I drive: two or three screen level buried controls would work better as a physical button. In fact, I’d prefer if all EV manufacturers had a common strip of climate control, such as warm and cool seats and physical buttons with ventilation recirculation. Before you tell me “OK, Boomer”, it’s clear that this is going to be the cause of the accident – it’s very confusing, even dangerous, to adjust to any one of these while driving. Probably less damage than cell phones, but accidents will still happen.
Range and charging
The truck came with 85% charge and I thought I’d stop it. I plugged the truck charger with an extension cord running in the garage and the orange light came on which I assumed it was charging. It wasn’t as I discovered the next morning. A quick search of the Ford message boards and I discovered that the plug needed to be clicked in place and that the charging light turned blue when it happened. A newcomer error checks it out.
A regular 120 volt power source adds only a few miles per hour range. Overnight you barely get 30-40 miles.
On the beach, we were able to snatch primo parking on chargers. I use the “EV Connect” app and add another 35 miles or more for 2 hours $ 6. I had no idea then that it would be a bargain with more than a gallon of dollars of gas.
By now, you have probably heard that you can drive your whole house for 3 days in a fully charged truck.
I was amazed at how much of my general vocabulary was driven by my lifelong experience with ICE: “Get in the gas, fill the tank, the exhaust note, the engine – all the phrases that serve as constant reminders are a new age.
Should I buy a Ford F-150 Lightning or any other EV today?
I don’t need a pickup truck so Lightning is out of the question for me. However, I have no doubt that this is going to be a huge seller for Ford. I doubt it could be the vehicle that could take Central America to electric cars.
In the case of other EVs, what I like seems to be much more expensive than their ICE competitors: the Porsche Tecan, the Audi GT Etron, even the Lucid Air and the Tesla Plaid are quite expensive, even with more than $ 5 per gallon of gas. Before we install a 240 charger here and in the garage at Beach House.
To this day, I am not the ideal customer for pure EVs, much more inclined towards hybrids. We were looking at pre-coveted winter homes – if the housing market came back to haunt us, we would want an SUV that we could load up for a trip to the coast without planning to charge. My shortlist includes a newer version of the Defender 110 or HSE Sport that will be available in the US soon; UK version High performance hybrid high double-digit MPG collection. If BMW ever decides to share their X5 hybrid technology with the X6, I’ll add it to our shortlist. And ever since I have my wife’s Panamera 4S (T-Bond at 5 miles per hour) hybrid version of the total car on my list.
We are in the transition period from ICE to EV – a hybrid that fits my family’s needs well.
After spending a week with the Ford F-150 Lightning, I have no doubt about a few things:
-The truck is going to be a huge hit (even if I don’t feel the need to be an early receiver).
-The transformation into EV is going to happen much faster than people expected;
-Ford got his game together and was going to be a serious challenger for Tesla. They fit and finish a lot better, but Tesla still has the edge in terms of software and programming.
-Don’t be surprised to see an electronic version of the Bronco smash hit in two years.
-We have already reached the peak of ICE, but after the initial sale they will be on the road for another 10 to 20 years;
-Credit to Elon Musk (and Jeff Bezos) for driving us into the future.
Evie is here, and the future is fast approaching. Faster than you might think.
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