Ford started production of the F-150 Lightning at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in April 2022, and deliveries commenced in May. Just over a year later, short-term ownership reviews have emerged, shedding light on several important aspects of Ford's first electric truck.
Mitchell Watts, the vice president of the Town & Country Ford dealership in Alabama appears to be among the early customers of the Ford F-150 Lightning and has shared his thoughts about his personal truck in a YouTube video after clocking 16,532 miles.
Ford offers the electric truck in four variants: Pro, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. There are two battery packs available: a 98 kilowatt-hour (usable) standard range pack, and a 131 kWh (usable) extended range pack. The EPA-estimated driving range varies between 240-320 miles, depending on the variant.
The F-150 Lightning faced no reliability issues in the first year, apart from a small problem emerging from the front or rear wheel hub, which made clicking noises while accelerating or braking, as per the video. But it was a quick fix, said Watts.
Next, he noticed condensation in the rear light bar while filming the video. Some 2022 and 2023 model-year units are facing this problem, as per a Ford recall notice, which states that microscopic cracks in the outer lens of the rear light bar (possibly growing due to slamming the tailgate shut), may cause condensation, potentially leading to the lights faltering or “increasing the risk of injury or crash."
In terms of efficiency, the F-150 Lightning averaged two miles per kilowatt-hour, despite Watts driving it regularly at 80 miles per hour. Based on the EPA numbers and usable battery capacity, the efficiency would be 2.4 miles/kWh.
He also highlighted practicality, ergonomics, and generous storage spaces. The 14.1-cubic-feet (400 liters) frunk can accommodate backpacks and camera equipment – the latter can even be plugged into the 120V sockets to recharge, he said.
Moreover, he explained how the gear lever retracts, opening up space for the center console to fold flat into a mini table – a convenient feature for on-the-go meals. That said, he spent just 248 dollars on fast charging over the year, and about 950 dollars on home charging, bringing his total annual charging cost to roughly 1,200 dollars.
An F-150 with a V8 engine would have consumed 3,000 dollars worth of gas in the same period, according to his estimates. As per the EPA, average annual gas costs for an F-150 range between $2,150 for the 3.5-liter, six-cylinder hybrid version, to $3,600 for the Raptor.