According to Ford, 79% of F-150 Lightning reservation holders have never owned an electric vehicle before. To us, that translates to a lot of education will be needed with regards to charging the F-150 Lightning.
To help out, we've produced a charging deep dive video specifically aimed at Lightning reservation holders - and anyone that really wants to learn about the basics of EV charging. It's a deep dive into not only the basics of EV charging but also all of the equipment that Ford offers to charge the Lightning.
Three levels of charging
The video starts off explaining the three levels of EV charging:
- Level 1: 120-volt from a regular household outlet
- Level 2: 208-volt to 240-volt either from a 240-volt outlet or a hard-wired charging station
- DC Fast charge (sometimes called Level 3): 400-volt to 900+-volt on public charging networks
Level 1 Charging
The F-150 lightning will add 2 to 3 miles of range per hour of charging when using Ford's mobile charger and the 120-volt adapter. It will charge at 12-amps and receive a little over 1 kW. Considering that the F-150 Lightning with the standard range battery pack has a 98 kWh (usable) battery pack and the extended range pack has 131 kWh (usable), level 1 charging will take a very long time.
Level 2 Charging
Ford Mobile Charger: Ford is offering a variety of Level 2 charging options for F-150 Lightning owners. The Mobile Charger has a NEMA 14-50 adapter and will deliver 30-amps (even though it's marketed as a 32-amp unit) to the Lightning. That's good for a little over 7 kW and will add about 14 miles of range per hour of charging.
Lightning owners that want to use the Mobile Charger with the NEMA 14-50 plug will have to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet on a dedicated 50-amp circuit.
Ford Connected Charge Station: For those that want a little faster at-home charging, Ford offers the Ford Connected Charge station. It's a 48-amp charging station that must be hardwired on a dedicated 60-amp circuit. It can deliver 11.3 kW to the Lightning and add 20 miles of range per hour of charging.
It should be noted that the Connected Charge Station can be purchased at the dealership when ordering your F-150 Lightning, and FOrd will bundle the cost into your monthly payment. Your dealership can also arrange for the installation on the Connected Charge Station (and any other charging equipment you get from Ford), through its EV charging installation partner, Qmerit.
*Edit: Ford reached out to me to correct me on the home installation partner. They still use Qmerit for Mustang Mach-E home charging equipment installations, but for F-150 Lightning charging needs, SunRun will be doing the installations. Lightning customers are free to hire their own electrician for basic home charging equipment, but not the Intelligent Backup Power system. For that, they must use SunRun.
Ford Charge Station Pro: In addition to the Mobile Charger, F-150 Lightning owners that opt for the extended range battery pack will also get Ford's Charge Station Pro charging station with the vehicle. The Charge Station Pro is an 80-amp charging station that utilizes the CCS connector. It needs the CCS connector because the Charge Station Pro is capable of bi-directional power flow and is required to use Ford's Intelligent Backup Power system. The two DC pins are what deliver the power from the Lightning to your house when using the Intelligent Backup Power feature.
Only F-150 Lightning equipped with the extended range battery pack can take advantage of the Charge Station Pro's full 80 amps. That's because the Extended Range battery option comes with dual 40-amp onboard chargers for a total output of 80 amps (19.2 kW) and can add on average about 32 miles of range for every hour of charging.
F-150 Lightnings with the standard range battery pack have a single 48-amp onboard charger and can only accept 11.3 kW. Therefore, the Charge Station Pro doesn't charge the Lightning with the standard range battery any faster than the Ford Connected Charger can, and will add about 20 miles of range added per hour.
However, owners that have the standard range battery pack may still want to buy a Ford Charge Station Pro so they can utilize the Intelligent Backup Power feature. If you're looking to buy one, we recommend waiting for a few months after Ford has been delivering F-150 Lightning, because many extended range Lighting owners that get the Charge Station Pro with their vehicle will find out that they cannot install it at their home without a full electrical service upgrade. Some of those owners will likely sell the Charge Station Pro, and you'll probably be able to pick one up for a lot less than what Ford offers them for.
DC fast charging
The F-150 Lightning can accept up to 150 kW, and Ford estimates a 15% to 80% charge time of 41 minutes for Lightning with the extended range battery pack, and 44 minutes for trucks with the standard range pack. The fact that Lightning with the larger battery pack will reach 80% three minutes faster than it will with the smaller standard range battery pack indicates that Ford has implemented a much more aggressive charging curve on the Lightning with the extended range pack. InsideEVs will be conducting a full 0 to 100% DC fast charging test on the Lightning as soon as Ford makes one available to us.
It's important to note that those DC fast charging time estimates are only valid when charging on a 150 kW (or higher) DC fast charger. There are still a lot of DC fast chargers in service that are limited to 50 kW, and while charging on one of those, Lightning with the standard range pack will take 91 minutes to charge from 15% to 80%.
If you plug an extended range battery pack Lightning into a 50 kW DC fast charger, it will take you over two hours (122 minutes) to go from 15% to 80%. Therefore, it's really important to check the power level of the DC fast charger, and smartphone apps like Plugshare and Chargeway are great at helping you do so.
Ford Intelligent Backup Power
Although Ford's Intelligent Backup Power isn't actually part of charging the F150 Lightning, we added it to the video because it requires the Ford Charge Station Pro. With the Intelligent Backup Power system, The F-150 lightning can deliver up to 9.6 kW to your home, and that's enough to power the average house for at least three days.
The Intelligent Backup Power feature allows F-150 Lightning owners to power their homes with the F-150 Lightning during power outages. In addition to the Ford Charge Station Pro, customers will also have to purchase and install an automatic transfer switch. Ford has partnered with solar electric provider, Sunrun, to provide and install the transfer switch. Sunrun hasn't yet provided the cost of the transfer which is needed to enable the Intelligent Backup Power feature.
More to come
We know this is a very long video (44 minutes) that covers a lot of basic information that many EV enthusiasts already know. However, we went for thoroughness over brevity since most F-150 Lightning owners are experiencing electric car charging for the first time.
I have an F-150 lightning reservation and once I take delivery of my Lightning, I'll make another F-150 Lightning charging video that's limited to 15 minutes for those that want a shorter overview.
Check out the video and let us know what additional information we need to add in the next installment and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.