America's best selling pickup truck - the Ford F-150 - has just gone electric with the new Ford F-150 Lightning. Ford globally debuted the new F-150 Lightning just yesterday, but ahead of its official unveiling, on Tuesday, President Joe Behind had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of America's all-new electric pickup, still under its camouflage then. "This sucker's quick" is what Mr President had to say about the new Ford F-150 Lightning.
What a lot of you may not know is that President Joe Biden is actually an automotive enthusiast and is himself an owner of quite an exotic car garage. Biden made an unscheduled visit to Ford's testing facility, where the carmaker usually conducts safety tests, and was seen speeding down the driving course in the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning. When asked if he would buy one of these vehicles after he pulled the truck up to reporters and photographers, he said he definitely would, and even mistakenly revealed the truck's 0-100 kph sprint time, which was about 4.4 seconds.
President Biden was, however, not meant to share that information as a Ford representative told reporters that information about the vehicle's speed wasn't supposed to be public, until the official unveil at least, but said it was OK and laughed. This unscheduled visit was part of a larger program to promote the new F-150 Lightning and the President's infrastructure proposal. In fact, Mr Biden has been an advocate and quite vocal about getting more electric vehicles down on roads. Previously, talking about the potential of electric cars, Biden said, "I believe that we can own the 21st-century market again by moving to electric vehicles."
As for the Ford F-150 Lightning, it's based on the latest generation F-150 truck and at first glance, it looks pretty similar to the standard truck, thanks to several body panels that are shared with the standard ICE-powered F-150. However, look closer and you'll notice the revised LED headlamps and tail lamps with LED light bars running across the full width of the truck. It also gets an EV-specific grille with updated front and rear bumpers. Incidentally, this is not the first time the 'Lightning' moniker is being used with the F-150, as it was previously used on a few performance versions of the F-150 pickup truck.
The Ford F-150 Lightning will be offered in two variants - entry-level SR and higher-spec ER. There are two electric motors - one on each axle - with an output of 426hp in the SR variant and 563hp for the ER variant. Both configurations make an identical 1,051Nm. The F-150 Lightning comes with two lithium-ion battery pack options, with the entry-level variant having a driving range of 370km, while the higher-spec variant has an EPA-estimated range of 483 km. The F-150 Lightning will first go on sale North America, eventually followed by other markets. It is, however, unlikely to make it to India any time soon.