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Past meets future: Ford’s new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightning

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Chris Teague

The Ford F-150 Lightning name is official.

The long-teased battery electric Ford F-150 finally, officially has a name. The Ford F-150 Lightning moniker will grace the all-electric pickup truck when it debuts next week at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn. Car and Driver first reported that the name was well on its way to official status on April 30 citing internal documents leaked to the publication.

In a media release, Ford brags that the F-150 Lightning will have “stunning innovation, technologies and capabilities.” It will also have the “power, payload and towing capability that is the hallmark of all Built Ford Tough trucks.”


In 2019, Ford shared this image of an All-Electric F-150 prototype during a capability test. The battery-powered truck successfully towed more than 1.25 million pounds of rail cars and trucks during the test.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game … Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley. “America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric. F-150 Lightning can power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck; and it will constantly improve through over-the-air updates.”

Ford is giving the F-150 BEVs Lightning badging on the driver’s side rear of the vehicle, spelling out “Lightning” with a lightning bolt taking the place of the bottom half of the “t”. The black letters have blue sides. Blue is a color traditionally used to highlight hybrid and electric vehicles in the marketplace. Toyota and Chevrolet have shown off mode badging with similar treatments.

The Lightning name has a strong history within the Ford lineup. It debuted on the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning street truck in 1992 as a 1993 model. That version was part of the ninth generation of the Ford F-150. The name would continue to live on into the 10th generation. The F-Series pickup is now in its 14th generation.

Ford has talked openly about the electric variety of the F-150 for a while now, boasting that it will be more powerful than any F-150 currently on the market. Among the 2021 truck’s powertrains, the 3.5-liter PowerBoost Full Hybrid V6 is the most powerful offering 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. Check out all the 2021 F-150’s engine and transmission options here.

A list of the most powerful trucks on the market today, ranked by horsepower is available here. See them ranked by torque here.

While more information about the model is pending its debut, Car and Driver additionally reports that it will have a dual-motor setup and available all-wheel drive.


The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is part of a $700 million investment in building the F-150 lineup, including the first F-150 PowerBoost hybrid.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Production of the F-150 Lightning begins next spring at the all-new Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. It is expected to arrive at dealership lots next summer, ahead of the arrival of the Chevrolet Silverado EV but after Rivian R1T deliveries are slated to begin, as a 2023 model. An all-electric Ram truck is on the way and the GMC Hummer EV is readying for market. Click here to see all the electric pickup trucks that are coming soon.

Watch this space for more information on the F-150 Lightning when it debuts May 19.

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