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Is the Ford F-150 Lightning Right for You?

A red 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown towing a camper on a dirt trail after visiting a Ford F-150 dealer.

Whether you need a pickup to get your job done, enjoy the weekend, or both, you’ve never had more options than you do for your next truck. As your Ford F-150 dealer, you know we love the F-150 that’s been America’s best selling truck for more than 40 years, but we’re also excited about everything that’s coming in the future. A big part of that is the all-new, all-electric F-150 Lightning, designed to let you leave the gas pump behind and feel the incredible power of the auto industry's future today.

But is the F-150 Lightning the best choice for you right now? It has plenty of power, incredible performance, and great features inside and out, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for all our customers. If you’ve been reading headlines about the F-150 Lightning or hearing about it from family members and wondering if it should be your next truck, then we’re here to help. We’re always happy to answer all of your questions, and we’ll look at the Lightning to see what it offers and get a sense of whether it might be right for you.

What Do You Need in a Truck?

The only real way to know if you want the F-150 Lightning, and to identify which truck is right for you, is to understand what you need in your truck. For starters, it’s a good idea to know what you’ll use your truck for: are you looking to get work done, take your boat to the river on the weekend, or neither? This can help direct you as you’re considering your options. From here, you can get into more specific details about what you'll be using it for and what type of capacities you'll need from your next truck.

If you have a trailer that you need to be able to load up and pull behind you (or something like a boat or camper), then you can figure out how much weight you need to tow and choose an appropriate truck for that. Similarly, if you’re looking to go off-road with your pickup, you’ll want an all-wheel drive (AWD) model to help you maintain traction in rough conditions. All of these considerations can add up, and the more you can figure out ahead of time, the easier it becomes to ensure you get a truck that can do everything you need.

Range and Charging

One of the biggest concerns many people have had with switching to an electric vehicle (EV) is worry over how far they can drive it on a single charge. There’s even a name for this: it's called "range anxiety,” and it’s a perfectly reasonable concern. At least it was a very reasonable concern a decade ago; there are now more charging stations than ever before, and in the next few years, they’ll become nearly as plentiful as gas stations. So while it’s nothing to be anxious about, we still understand wanting to make sure you can get to your destination.

There are two battery options for the F-150 Lightning that you will see at your Poughkeepsie Ford dealer: a standard range battery that gets an estimated 230 miles of range from a full charge and an extended range battery that can go up to 320 miles. These are both great options that should be able to get you anywhere you need to go. The F-150 Lightning supports at-home charging through a Level 1 or Level 2 connection, as well as DC Fast Charging at a public charging station. If you get a Ford Charge Station Pro installed at home, the extended range battery can fully charge in about eight hours.

A person is shown using a circular saw on lumber attached to the bed of a grey 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.

Electric Performance

People used to worry about EV models delivering a weak performance that felt unresponsive and sluggish; a lot has changed over the last couple of decades. Every F-150 Lightning model comes with a pair of motors, giving it electric AWD performance and extraordinary power packed into it. With the standard range battery, the Lightning has 452 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque at peak performance; the extended range battery boosts up to 580 hp. This instant torque will put you back in your seat, with the F-150 Lightning going from 0 to 60 in just 4.0 seconds and running the quarter mile in about 12 seconds.

It’s fast, responsive, and incredibly fun to drive. By comparison, the standard F-150 has an available 3.5L PowerBoost hybrid V6 engine that delivers 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, but that’s the closest it can come to what the Lightning delivers. Of course, pure performance isn’t everything; you also want your truck to be able to handle any work you need it to.

Capability

The one area where the F-150 Lightning falls behind the conventional Ford F-150 is when it comes to towing, where the gas-powered pickup still reigns supreme (for now). If you go with a Lightning model with the standard range battery, towing tops out at 7,700 lbs. With the extended range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package, the Lightning can handle up to 10,000 lbs of towing. If you need to haul more, then you’re out of luck.

By comparison, choosing a standard Ford F-150 with the hybrid engine we mentioned above will get you up to 12,700 lbs of towing capacity. An F-150 with its available 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine can handle up to 14,000 lbs of towing, which is well beyond anything the Lightning can pull. We’re sure that future versions of the F-150 Lightning will improve upon this, but you’ll need to stick with a conventional model if you need this level of towing. For anything beyond 14,000 lbs, you’ll want to check out a Ford Super Duty model like the F-250 or F-350.

A silver 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown from the rear on the driveway of a modern house.

Current Availability and Looking Ahead to the Future This is probably the biggest sticking point if you’re interested in the Ford F-150 Lightning but haven’t made an effort to get one yet. Right now, the introductory 2022 model year for the Lightning is no longer available for order; not just sold out from dealers, but reserving one as well. If you can wait, you can get on a list to order a 2023 Ford Lightning, but that’s certainly not an option for everyone.

With the conventional F-150, however, plenty are available, both new and used, if you’re interested in a pre-owned model. While supply chain issues and the ongoing microchip shortage have made production difficult, we can help you with ordering a model for next year, but if you need a truck in the next few weeks or months, then the Lightning is probably not a viable option.

Bringing all of this together can help paint a picture of what the F-150 Lightning can do and if it will work well for you. If you can wait for your next truck, have a house where you can install a home charger, and don’t need to tow more than 7,700-10,000 lbs, then the Lightning is a fantastic choice. Otherwise, the time might not be right for you to make the move and step into the all-electric future of the auto industry. No matter which Ford truck is right for you, we can help you find it here at Ruge’s Ford so contact us today.

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