Ford picks a name for its electric pickup truck: The F-150 Lightning

If you thought Ford would find it hard to resist reviving the Lightning brand for its electric F-150 pickup, you'd be right.
Enlarge / If you thought Ford would find it hard to resist reviving the Lightning brand for its electric F-150 pickup, you’d be right.

Ford Motor Company

As many have predicted, Ford will revive the “Lightning” nameplate for the battery-electric version of its F-150 pickup truck. The formal reveal of the electric F-150 is scheduled to take place in Michigan on May 19, at which point we hope to get more information about this hotly anticipated electric vehicle. For now, Ford is keeping details like the vehicle’s range and battery capacity to itself.

Like the Rivian that we just wrote about or the hybrid F-150s that are already on sale, it sounds like the F-150 Lightning will come with on-board AC power outlets. “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,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley in a statement sent to Ars.

The original F-150 Lightning was a product of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team. It debuted in 1993 as a high-performance variant of the F-150 pickup, which was offered until 1995. Then in 1999, a second F-150 Lightning arrived, this time based on the 10th-generation F-150.

I remember being captivated by these vehicles at the time, but I never got a chance to experience one. Ars Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson was more fortunate and recalls his ride in one being “weird” but also “super-fast!” Early 2000s Ford build quality being what it was, “the interior rattled so much that it was like riding in some kind of terrible Millennium Falcon,” he told me.

The electric F-150 Lightning will boast a pair of electric motors instead of the last Lightning’s 380 hp (283 kW) supercharged V8. According to Farley, “It’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck,” although if the Ford CEO does indeed mean the original from 1993, that just means a 0-60 mph time of under 7 seconds.

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