Ford’s F-150 Lightning has a massive frunk and can power your house – these are its 6 coolest features

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

  • Ford’s F-150 Lightning is pretty similar to its gas-fueled F-Series trucks.
  • But Ford did give some unique features to its first battery-powered pickup.
  • The F-150 Lightning has tons of onboard power, a real-time range calculator, and a giant frunk.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In the race to bring an electric pickup truck to market, it can be tough to stand out.

And in an effort to set themselves apart from the pack, startups and established automakers alike have promised to equip their upcoming pickups with unique and sometimes outlandish features. Rivian is planning a “gear tunnel” that can house a slide-out kitchen, GMC’s Hummer EV can drive diagonally, and the Tesla Cybertruck resembles no truck before it (or probably after it, for that matter).

But Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which debuted this week, is a bit different. In designing the truck, Ford had to toe a fine line between producing something new, but not radically different from its popular, trusted lineup of F-Series trucks. The Lightning is no Cybertruck – and that’s exactly what Ford intended.

Still, although the electric vehicle shares a cab and an overall design with the other F-150s in Ford’s stable, it does have some unique features that set it apart from its combustion-engine relatives.

A giant touchscreen with one quirk

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

Love them or hate them, it seems that massive infotainment screens are here to stay – in EVs, at least. Following the trend set by Tesla, the F-150 Lightning comes equipped with a 15.5-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen on Lariat and Platinum trims. Lower trims get a more restrained 12-inch display.

But Ford recognized that its customers still appreciate physical buttons and don’t want to have to navigate through endless menus to access essential vehicle functions. So its designers included some analog controls and, strangely enough, embedded a volume knob right into the bottom of the 15.5-inch screen. It’s the same setup Ford put in the Mustang Mach-E.

Lariat and Platinum trucks come with Ford’s latest Sync 4A infotainment system, and all models have Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and WiFi hotspot capabilities.

Onboard power for tools, tailgates, and more

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

Ford started offering mobile-generator capabilities in the latest-generation F-150. But, it stands to reason, the Blue Oval gave its first all-electric truck an even greater ability to power things at job sites, campsites, tailgates, and the like.

The conventional F-150 offers a 2.0-kilowatt system, while the hybrid F-150 PowerBoost bumps that up to 2.4 kilowatts or, optionally, 7.2 kilowatts. The F-150 Lightning can deliver up to 9.6 kilowatts of power – a combination of up to 2.4 kilowatts from outlets in the frunk and 7.2 kilowatts from the cab and bed. That capability comes standard on Lariat and Platinum trims, and is an option on the XLT.

As an example, Ford says 9.6 kilowatts is more than enough to power a tailgate party with a projector, PA system, portable hot tub, lights, portable AC, refrigerator, and two blenders. The truck will alert owners when battery charge dips too low.

A backup generator on wheels

Ford F-150 Lightning Intelligent Backup Power
Ford F-150 Lightning.

The F-150 Lightning’s mobile-generator functions don’t end with tailgating, however. The truck can serve as a last-resort source of power during blackouts and emergencies thanks to a feature called Ford Intelligent Backup Power.

Read more: Ford’s CEO reveals how it beat flashy electric-truck rivals to market with its upcoming $40,000 F-150 EV

When plugged in through Ford’s Charge Station Pro home charger – which comes standard with the extended-range truck – the F-150 Lightning will automatically begin feeding power to an owner’s home in the event of a loss of power. Ford says the 9.6-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard system can power the average home for three days on a full charge.

Ford also plans to roll out a feature called Ford Intelligent Power, which will enable the Lightning to power a home not only during emergencies, but also during high-cost, peak-energy hours.

An oddly named frunk with serious functionality

The Ford F-150 Lightning EV truck.
The Ford F-150 Lightning EV truck.

Since they don’t have an engine up front taking up space, lots of EVs have a front trunk that adds precious cargo room. Ford gave the F-150 Lightning what it claims is the biggest frunk in the industry: the Mega Power Frunk.

The compartment adds 400 liters of storage space and has power outlets and USB plugs, to boot. That’s enough room to stow two sets of golf clubs or three suitcases, Ford says.

Plus, the Mega Power Frunk has a below-floor compartment with a removable lid for storing extra tall items. A drain hole in the floor – which is also found in the Mach-E’s frunk – means owners can hose it down or fill it with ice and use it as a cooler.

A simpler way to hitch up a trailer

Ford F-150 Lightning with a trailer
Ford F-150 Lightning.

Ford is debuting a new feature on the F-150 Lightning to simplify hitching up a trailer. The Pro Trailer Hitch Assist feature – which is an option on XLT and Lariat models and comes standard on the Platinum truck – enables the F-150 to automatically control steering, braking, and throttle to back itself up to a trailer.

A real-time range calculator

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

Range anxiety – the fear of running low on battery without a charging station nearby – is one of the key hurdles to mass adoption of EVs. Ford’s Intelligent Range feature is the automaker’s attempt to put drivers at ease.

The feature aims to provide real-time range calculations on the dashboard based on factors like weather conditions and how much power a driver is using. The truck also has built-in scales so it can take into account how much stuff is in the bed and how much it’s towing when generating a range estimate. Ford says this feature will improve over time with over-the-air software updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ford F-150 Lightning debuts with a $39,974 starting MSRP, up to 300 miles of range, and 563 horsepower

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

  • Ford revealed its long-awaited electric pickup on Wednesday: the F-150 Lightning.
  • The truck starts at under $40,000 but can cost up to $90,000 for a bigger battery or a fancier trim.
  • The F-150 Lightning goes on sale in spring 2022.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following years of speculation and anticipation, Ford on Wednesday took the wraps off of its debut all-electric pickup truck: the F-150 Lightning.

The battery-powered version of America’s favorite truck offers extra performance and some added functionality over its gas-powered siblings but comes in a familiar package. It’ll go on sale in mid-2022 with a starting MSRP of $39,974 and is available to reserve now with a $100 deposit.

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

That $40,000 gets you a bare-bones work truck, while the cheapest consumer-oriented model – called the XLT – costs $52,974 and up. Pricing can stretch to $90,000 for customers who opt for a larger battery or a fancier Lariat or Platinum trim.

More powerful than any F-150 in Ford’s current lineup, the F-150 Lightning promises to churn out up to 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the optional larger battery. Extended-range models can also tow up to 10,000 pounds and hit 60 mph in four seconds and change. All Lightnings come with dual electric motors and four-wheel-drive.

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

The base model targets an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles, while the extended-range truck should be able to travel 300 miles on a full battery, Ford says. Both those figures will surely be greatly diminished when a heavy trailer or payload is added into the mix, but that shouldn’t matter much to folks who buy trucks more for style than necessity.

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

Still, Ford understands this is something customers are concerned about, so it developed a real-time range calculator that tells drivers how far they can go based on factors like weather conditions, trailer weight, and how much stuff is in the bed. Ford says the F-150 Lightning can recoup from 15% to 80% battery in 41-44 minutes when plugged into a DC fast-charging station.

Read more: Ford’s CEO reveals how it beat flashy electric-truck rivals to market with its upcoming $40,000 F-150 EV

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

In the pursuit of making the F-150 Lightning “distinct, but not different,” Ford designed the truck to look pretty much the same as its combustion-engine models, inside and out. The most notable exterior differences are the Lightning’s closed-off grille and LED light bars in front and rear.

The F-150 Lightning shares a cab with the rest of the 14th-generation F-150 lineup, so it offers the same cool options like a fold-out work surface and seats that recline to 180 degrees. But the F-150 Lightning also has some unique features.

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

For instance, the truck can power things like TVs, camping equipment, and tools through 11 outlets spread throughout the bed and interior. It also has the optional ability to feed power back into a customer’s home in the event of a blackout. A massive frunk – the largest in the industry, Ford says – adds space for items customers can’t fit in the back or cab.

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

Following the larger trend toward bigger and bigger screens in EVs, the Lightning gets a 15.5-inch center touchscreen on higher trims. As expected, the truck comes standard with many of Ford’s latest tech features like a 360-degree camera, navigation, and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

[EMBARGO 5/19 9:30PM DNP] Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford F-150 Lightning.

BlueCruise, the company’s advanced driver-assistance suite that allows for hands-free driving on some highways, is optional on Lariat models and comes standard on the Platinum trim.

Ford will build the truck at its new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan. It’s a key step in the company’s transition toward EV production and comes as part of a $29 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025.

Read the original article on Business Insider

EV startup Lordstown Motors says it’s cooperating with an SEC probe after a short-seller alleged it misled investors

Endurance electric pickup truck by Lordstown Motors
Lordstown said it won’t share any additional information until it completes an internal review of the claims.

  • Lordstown Motors is cooperating with an SEC inquiry following accusations from a short-seller that the company misled investors.
  • The company created a committee to review the claims, CEO Steve Burns said Wednesday.
  • For 2020, Lordstown reported a $101 million net loss, sending shares down 3% in late trading.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Lordstown Motors said Wednesday that it is cooperating with financial regulators following a short-seller’s report that accused the electric-vehicle startup of misleading investors by overstating its order volume.

The Ohio-based upstart is complying with an information request from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Lordstown’s founder and CEO Steve Burns said at the start of the company’s inaugural earnings call Wednesday.

Lordstown’s board of directors has also appointed an internal committee to review the short-seller’s claims, Burns said, adding that the company would not be able to share any more information until the group completes its audit.

Hindenburg Research, the same short-seller that leveled accusations of fraud against electric-truck firm Nikola in September, announced on Friday that it had taken a short position in Lordstown. Hindenburg’s claims that sparked an SEC investigation into Nikola eventually led its outspoken founder to resign and helped unravel a deal with General Motors.

Hindenburg said Lordstown has “no revenue and no sellable product” and accused it of misleading investors “on both its demand and production capabilities.” Lordstown was founded in 2018 and plans to manufacture a $52,500 electric pickup truck for fleet customers, the Endurance, at a former General Motors plant.

Read more: The 6 biggest things we learned about Nikola founder Trevor Milton from talking to dozens of his friends and colleagues

Although Lordstown claims to have 100,000 preorders for the pickup, Hindenburg said the company has artificially juiced those figures to boost its investor appeal. Hindenburg alleges that many preorder holders – including one company that reserved 14,000 units – never intended to follow through on a purchase, and that Lordstown paid consultants to drum up reservations.

“Our conversations with former employees, business partners, and an extensive document review show that the company’s orders are largely fictitious and used as a prop to raise capital and confer legitimacy,” the short-seller said.

A Lordstown spokesperson on Friday told Insider in an email that the startup “will absolutely be refuting” Hindenburg’s report in a future statement.

Hindenburg also alleged that Lordstown is years away from producing the Endurance, citing one former employee.

Lordstown reiterated on Wednesday that it is on track to begin producing the pickup in September, and said that interest in the model has been greater than expected. The company said it will produce several prototypes by the end of March, and that it is accelerating plans to build it’s second vehicle, a van.

Lordstown went public through a blank-check merger in October in a deal that valued the firm at $1.6 billion. It now has a market cap of roughly $2.5 billion.

On Wednesday, the company reported a net loss of $101 million for 2020. Shares fell about 3.3% in late trading following the release.

Read the original article on Business Insider