Peter P

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Why Ford's electric F-150 Lightning is more important than you think

Even if you're not a truck buyer, this vehicle will help set the table for any electric vehicle you're interested in.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/...0-lightning-is-more-important-than-you-think/

The Tesla Model S was a big bang, but the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck is an even bigger bang. Here's how I reached that conclusion, based on the F-150 Lightning's specs, price, and Roadshow's earliest impressions of it on the road.

First, the Lightning almost can't help but define its segment. It's right at the intersection of America's best-selling vehicle and the future of propulsion. And it approaches that intersection with utter normalcy; you might not even know it's an electric model unless you're a car buff. That will do a lot to normalize electric trucks.

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Electric trucks frankly make more sense than electric cars. If the idea behind electrification is to zero out fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions, trucks' higher fuel consumption and greater emissions make them the most important place to start.

Ford has a track record of getting truck buyers to do what truck buyers traditionally don't, including buying aluminum-bodied trucks or ones that have engines with fewer than eight cylinders or as small as 2.7 liters. Getting those buyers to go electric is an even bigger lift, but you can argue that nobody has disrupted the truck market lately as successfully as Ford.

The F-150 Lightning is shockingly affordable. Starting at $40,000 before tax incentives, the same price as the average vehicle in the US. That's remarkable considering it's a truck and has a novel powertrain. Whatever other motivations there are to buy an electric vehicle, nothing will make them a broad success as much as superior overall cost compared to combustion-engined models.

And the F-150 Lightning is something to brag about, which matters to truck owners. Whether it's a sub-4-second 0-to-60-mph time, 775 pound-feet of torque, ability to power a home, or large and innovative front trunk space, F-150 Lightning buyers will be a vocal minority on the pickup truck market.

There are plenty of other electric pickup trucks gunning for the F-150 Lightning but that's almost more of an endorsement than a threat. The electric F-150 is a bolt of lightning in automotive history.

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Snappy22

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Oh man I wanted to avoid black, but that image really makes the Pro’s lack of signature lighting blend away and looks tough. Add the new NJ electric car benefits and the Pro is where it’s at!
 

davek22554

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I am all for innovation and all but I am not sure that electric vehicles are going to be the ultimate answer for a couple of reasons especially in a truck and it is mostly the time cost to charge and the range you can drive one. For going around town running errands and commuting it might make sense, but for anyone who wants to drive one on vacation or visit family it currently doesn't meet that demand.

1. It still takes all night to charge one up from empty to full. Until you can fully charge the batteries to full in less than an hour
2. The range is still only 300 miles and that isn't towing which is likely to be more like 150 maybe 200 miles. Still not far enough to take even a modest day trip.

The other challenges I see are where do you think all the power to charge all these electric vehicles is going to come from? In many areas across the country (CA being a prime example) there are already issues with the power grid. Not only do we need to have charging stations built out but the electrical grid structure will also need to be built as well.

That also doesn't account for the recycling of all these batteries which will also take resources and energy to accomplish. While it is nice to think I don't have to pay for gas to drive my car, energy doesn't come free.
 

sotek2345

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I am all for innovation and all but I am not sure that electric vehicles are going to be the ultimate answer for a couple of reasons especially in a truck and it is mostly the time cost to charge and the range you can drive one. For going around town running errands and commuting it might make sense, but for anyone who wants to drive one on vacation or visit family it currently doesn't meet that demand.

1. It still takes all night to charge one up from empty to full. Until you can fully charge the batteries to full in less than an hour
2. The range is still only 300 miles and that isn't towing which is likely to be more like 150 maybe 200 miles. Still not far enough to take even a modest day trip.

The other challenges I see are where do you think all the power to charge all these electric vehicles is going to come from? In many areas across the country (CA being a prime example) there are already issues with the power grid. Not only do we need to have charging stations built out but the electrical grid structure will also need to be built as well.

That also doesn't account for the recycling of all these batteries which will also take resources and energy to accomplish. While it is nice to think I don't have to pay for gas to drive my car, energy doesn't come free.
I agree with you on the towing challenge, but if you are not towing (the majority of truck owners don't - myself included), it is perfectly fine for road trips. You can refill from ~15% to ~80% is about 45 minutes. this adds some time to a trip but unless you are driving straight through without any meal or rest stops it isn't that much. We will be using our lightning as the family vacation vehicle and it adds between no time (for trips where we would stop for a meal anyways) to ~10% to the overall travel time.

I agree we need to be building more electrical generation and a better grid structure. I wish people weren't so scared of nuclear - it really is a great base load solution - especially paired with wind and solar.
 

davek22554

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Where do you find charging stations? So basically you are going to spend 45 mins for roughly 200 miles if driving. Personal preference but I don't stop every 200 miles for bathroom breaks much less a 45 min fuel fillup not to mention actually finding a station every 200 miles.
 

sotek2345

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Where do you find charging stations? So basically you are going to spend 45 mins for roughly 200 miles if driving. Personal preference but I don't stop every 200 miles for bathroom breaks much less a 45 min fuel fillup not to mention actually finding a station every 200 miles.
200 miles is ~3 to 3.5 hours of driving, depending on speed limits and traffic. With the family in the car, we need a bathroom break at least that often!

Charging stations along major highways are pretty easy to find these days (usually ~50 miles or so apart)- I have been looking at my most common routes using abetterrouteplanner and can find chargers in easy reach of just about anywhere I want to go (up and down the east coast and into Canada). From what I gather, they are harder to find in the midwest, but I don't know for sure. Never been there. I would suggest taking a look. There are a lot more out there than I realized before I went looking.
 

davek22554

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In the northeast prob much more doable if not towing, to each his own. I certainly don't want to have to stop for 45 mins every 3 hrs. If I just needed a vehicle for commuting around town I would consider on electric vehicle, but the use cases for an EV are still pretty limited and I don't think you will see mass 80+% of vehicles being electric anytime soon due to lack of infrastructure. The base question of where the power is going to come from hasn't been answered. Nuclear is one option but it too has an environmental impact. We are just trading one environmental issue for another. I think electric will have a place, but it will be just one solution.
 

Blainestang

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I am all for innovation and all but I am not sure that electric vehicles are going to be the ultimate answer for a couple of reasons especially in a truck and it is mostly the time cost to charge and the range you can drive one. For going around town running errands and commuting it might make sense, but for anyone who wants to drive one on vacation or visit family it currently doesn't meet that demand.
Trips will be OK for many use cases. This is a common claim, but for many modern EVs, they don't actually add a lot of time to trips of ~500 miles/day. A 450-mile day in my Model 3 required just ~35 minutes of total charging. That means it adds near-zero actual time to the drive, since we're going to have to stop at least twice for food or gas or bathrooms for ~10+ minutes each anyway. So, ~20 minutes minimum, realistically, which would be a differential of ~15 minutes, total. Not worth even mentioning.

The Lightning will be slower because it's half as efficient, but probably more like an hour or so of added trip time for that distance. Ideal? No. Deal-breaker? No, not considering the advantages the other 360 days of the year, IMO. I wouldn't be surprised if the Lightning charges faster than the times they've given so far, too.

Towing *trips*, yeah, that could be rough if it's hundreds of miles away, but there are plenty of use cases that don't include long-distance towing.


1. It still takes all night to charge one up from empty to full. Until you can fully charge the batteries to full in less than an hour
As sotek said, you can charge most of the battery in less than an hour. If you actually started from 0% ish, you'd probably be >80% in an hour.


The other challenges I see are where do you think all the power to charge all these electric vehicles is going to come from? In many areas across the country (CA being a prime example) there are already issues with the power grid. Not only do we need to have charging stations built out but the electrical grid structure will also need to be built as well.
In many places, there's excess capacity at night when EVs are often charged. Texas actually allows FREE charging at night for EVs in places as a result.

In places like California, where they have plenty of solar, but need more power at night, EVs can actually help stabilize the grid once they're Vehicle-to-Grid / Home capable like the Lightning. Electric companies can incentivize charging during the day using excess solar, then use your vehicle when necessary at night when supply is lower and demand is higher.

This is a solvable problem, and in some ways, EVs make it better rather than the assumption that they'll inherently make it worse.

That also doesn't account for the recycling of all these batteries which will also take resources and energy to accomplish. While it is nice to think I don't have to pay for gas to drive my car, energy doesn't come free.
Recycling will ramp up once there are actually a substantial number of EVs that are reaching end-of-life, but even once it's no longer used in a car, whether because the car was retired or the battery life decreased below what was useful to the owner and was replaced, it can be used as stationary storage... reused rather than recycled. The market for EV battery packs is very strong right now for that reason.
 

EaglesPDX

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t still takes all night to charge one up from empty to full. Until you can fully charge the batteries to full in less than an hour
You can fully charge in less than an hour as long as you relize that means from 10% to 85%. On the bottom end, no different than and ICE F150, you don't run it to empty before refueling. On the top end, yes we top off tanks but on EV's just to 85% as the charge rate drops the last 15% takes a while

The range is still only 300 miles and that isn't towing which is likely to be more like 150 maybe 200 miles. Still not far enough to take even a modest day trip.
Well it's a big day trip for me taking the boat to the coast 93 miles away. Modest day trip would be taking it launch ramp 20 miles away for an evening of wake boarding or fishing.

Again, the first EV's are not gong to provide 100% of the capability of the 100 year iCE system but the 300 mile range with 100 miles of towing will capture a significant part of the market.

Tesla is already pushing 400 miles plus on range. The CyberTruck range is 500 miles if you don't mind looking like George Peppard in Damnation Alley.
The other challenges I see are where do you think all the power to charge all these electric vehicles is going to come from?
Solar power on my roof, your roof, the 22,000 square miles of PV panels in the Mojave and all across the US, the windmills in the Gorge and in the ocean. The eight hours at night when grid is 60% utilization.
That also doesn't account for the recycling of all these batteries which will also take resources and energy to accomplish.
The batteries from EV's after 10 years go into forklifts, energy storage and other applications so you are not looking at recycling for 20-30 years. When you do, they are 100% recyclable.
 

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