Ford builds work trucks. Detroit's Blue Oval brand has been seen across work sites for decades as the automaker has always put a focus on what commercial customers need, along with all the high-dollar luxo-trucks we've also come to know. Now, with the introduction of its all-electric F-150 Lightning, Ford is once again helping to shape how the next generation of workers will get to and from job sites.
Coined the F-150 Lightning Pro, Ford's commercial-targeted pickup is the latest vehicle to join the Lightning lineup. And best of all, it starts at roughly $40,000 after destination and includes a myriad of connected services that specifically cater to fleet operators who need to know the status of their vehicles at any given time.
The Pro will be offered with a SuperCrew cab and 5.5-foot bed, making it possible to seat five passengers at any given time. Similar to the F-150 Lightning XLT and higher trims, it will feature amenities like the Mega Power Frunk, Pro Power Onboard, Ford's Sync 4 Infotainment system (albeit on a smaller 12-inch screen), and even a full size spare. And just like the non-commercial variants, the F-150 Lightning Pro will have two battery options; standard and extended range.
The standard battery will have the juice to travel an estimated 230 miles of range, or enough to handle 95 percent of travel needs for any U.S. driver, according to Ford. The truck will generate a respectable 426 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to tow up to 5,000 pounds without the Max Trailer Tow package and 7,700 pounds with it. Ford says that the standard range version will be priced at $39,974, which, all things considered, is a pretty damn good deal on paper. Even a base model gas F-150 equipped with a SuperCrew cab and 5.5-foot bed costs just $984 less.
If companies are looking for something that can travel a bit further or handle heavier loads, they should consider the extended range battery. This option will bring the pickup's total range to an estimated 300 miles and up the output of the dual inboard motors to 563 horsepower. Additionally, the Max Trailer Tow package now offers 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, a pleasant surprise with the shift to independent rear suspension. The extended range variant will be priced at $49,974 and include Ford's 80-amp Charge Station Pro, a Level 2 charger to be installed at home or a fleet hub which can charge the truck from 15 to 80 percent in eight hours.
Being a fleet product, Ford is really stressing the F-150 Lightning Pro's software solutions that make it a standout amongst its domestic competitors and even Ford's own gasoline-powered products. For example, fleet operators are able to monitor overall vehicle utilization, energy consumption, vehicle health, and more. The telematics product offered by Ford also gives live vehicle tracking (with geofencing), trip history, insight into energy usage, and even driver behavior—so no more racing your rival landscaping business in your work truck.
There's also remote cabin preconditioning to keep the trucks nice and warm during the winter, alerts if the truck isn't plugged in during specific times to avoid a depleted battery in the morning, and even warnings for low battery events when the truck is on the road so the crew isn't stranded. Ford also makes it easy to track mileage and pay for charging on-the-go.
Ford recognized the need for the trucks to be charged both at the office and at home. It baked this logic into its software so if an employee charges the truck at home, the Lightning Pro helps to track employee reimbursement costs for using their own power.
Ford forecasts that the need for electrified commercial vehicles—which includes full size vans like the E-Transit and trucks like the Lightning Pro—will exceed one million units by 2030. Large commercial customers turn over around 10 to 15 percent of fleet each year, meaning that Ford predicts customers to continue operating gasoline vehicles in unison for years to come, but also opening a window to begin making electrified vehicles readily available without a premium cost.
The automaker touts that its cost savings will begin from day one, a claim also made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk about his company's electric semi. And to make the option even more attractive for businesses, the overall maintenance cost savings versus a standard F-150 equipped with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost is up to 40 percent over eight years. Perhaps best of all, Ford also predicts residual values similar to the existing F-Series half-ton, which, according to Kelly Blue Book, is already one of the top ten best value retainers.
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