2023 Ford F-150 Lightening 4X4 Platinum Supercrew - It's a truck dammit!

I reviewed a F-150 Lightening back in October 2022 (https://www.brucehotchkiss.net/2022/10/2022-f-150-lightning-yes-its-fast-but.html). There have been some changes but it is still basically the same e-truck, and like all EVs I have my opinions. You may have a different take on EVs but let me make one thing perfectly clear - THIS IS A PICKUP TRUCK NOT A RACE CAR!

Other than merging into traffic and keeping up with traffic, acceleration and top speed are irrelevant in just about all road vehicles. Bragging rights are one thing but what is important in any EV is range. Ford says the F-150 Lightning will travel up to 320 miles on a full charge with the Extended-Range Battery. That is a decent if not spectacular range.

When I got the Lightning it had just under 300 miles of range remaining. I put about 200 miles on it so I did not have to recharge it. For that I am thankful. You see recharging is, in my opinion, one of the biggest drawbacks unless you have a home charging station. I have yet to find a commercial charging station that is located in a spot I want to sit around in for a few hours. But that's just me.

Again in my opinion the biggest plus of the F-150 Lightning is that it is just an F-150 in looks and how it drives. The exception is it actually rides better than a gas-engine F-150, at least partially because it weighs about 1,000 lbs. more. 

You pay a premium for the F-150 Platinum Lightning, a big premium. A Lightening Pro, the base Lightning, starts at $49,995. There are four basic Lightning models and the Premium is the tops; it's up there in "don't you dare put that lumber in my ride" territory - $91,995. With options and destination charges the test Lightning 4X4 Platinum Supercrew is just shy of $100,000. 

Now I'm going to steer this over into a commentary of EVs in general, and EV trucks specifically.

As I said in the first paragraph, the Lightning, all EV trucks, are not race cars. If your intent is to have the quickest (not fastest) vehicle there are EVs available that equal real race cars. Motor Trend listed the 10 fastest (https://www.motortrend.com/features/fastest-electric-cars/?slide=19). But again that should not be your main focus; let's face it the vast majority of drivers simply cannot handle that kind of power on public roads and I include myself.

The main focus of any EV has to be range. Like some of you when I'm on a trip I often drive to just about before the little yellow light comes on telling me I'm about to run out of gas (as an aside many years ago a TV news show found that a Dodge mini-van could go about 90 miles with the low fuel light on). Almost always you can find a gas station within 30-50 miles of you. Charging stations? Good luck.

Charging is an issue but not just in the availability. I was told that fast charging shortens a battery's life. This makes sense to me. If I charge my cell phone as quickly as possible it tends to get warm and heat is an enemy of batteries. If any experts out there have information on this I'd love to hear from you.

Batteries are also an issue, maybe the biggest issue. Lithium ion batteries are the dirtiest part of an EV, not in their use but in their production. Think open pit strip mining. Hopefully one day there will be a battery that is clean to produce.

There have been recent articles about inductive charging roads. On the face of it this makes so much sense. But it also raises so many questions. Who pays for the installation? How will the EVs be charged for the consumption of electricity?

Don't get me wrong, I am not against EVs. They are just a vehicle with a different propulsion unit. When I see a contractor show up with an EV work truck I'll know EVs have turned the corner.

None of this should deter you if you want an EV but you should be fully aware of the limits and drawbacks. Just stop thinking of them as race cars.


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