Automotive Engineering - June 2021 - 13

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Ford details all-electric F-150 Lightning
A day after a spirited mid-May drive by
electric-vehicle (EV) proponent
President Joe Biden, Ford revealed
technical and market-focused details
for the coming all-electric version of
the F-150 pickup truck. Officially
named F-150 Lightning, recalling the
name of a 1990s and 2000s performance
variant of the conventional
F-150, Ford said the battery-electric
model will " start arriving " in mid-2022
at a starting price of $39,974 for the
" commercial-oriented " entry model.
The figure is certain to be judged as
aggressive, given Ford's only currently
available EV, the 2021 Mustang Mach-E,
starts at $42,895. The mid-trim F-150
Lightning XLT starts at $52,974-and
Ford did concede that customers can
pay up to $90,000 for a top-trim variant
of the Lightning.
Kumar Galhotra, Ford president,
Americas and International Markets
Group, stressed that Ford is " unique in
that we are able to offer affordable
EVs through scale, efficiencies and
manufacturing know-how. But this is
not simply about putting an electric
powertrain into a vehicle. It's about
unlocking technologies and features
that our customers didn't even know
they needed. "
Ford said the F-150 Lightning will be
built at the Rouge Electric Vehicle
Center in Michigan, a new, 500,000 sq.ft.
(46,451 sq.-meters) addition to the
historic Rouge manufacturing complex.
The battery-electric F-150 Lightning will be built in Detroit and available by the middle of 2022.
Linda Zhang, chief program engineer
for the F-150 Lightning, said the
$700-million facility will not have any
conveyors, instead using automated,
guided carriers to move the built-up
vehicle to various assembly stations.
Jason Turnbull, F-150 Lightning marketing
manager, said years' worth of
customer research indicated they
wanted an electric pickup that is " distinct,
but not different " in styling, so
the Lightning's visual differences compared
to the conventional F-150 are
modest. Ford said the F-150
Lightning's three distinct grille designs
help to make it the most aerodynamic
F-150 ever built. But apart from the
truck's LED headlight signature, many
would find it difficult to distinguish
from its current, conventionally-powered
counterpart.
Borrowing what works
A likely significant factor in keeping a lid
on pricing is that the F-150 Lightning
borrows the SuperCrew cab from the
conventional F-150, Zhang said. That extends
to much of the interior bill of materials,
she added. The 5-seat SuperCrew
cab is paired with just one bed length,
the 5.5-ft. (1676-mm) " standard " bed.
The F-150 Lightning's wheelbase is 145.5
An all-new frame and first-ever independent rear suspension are highlights of the
F-150 Lightning's upgraded chassis.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
in. (3696 mm) and overall length is 232.7
in. (5911 mm), matching the conventional
F-150 SuperCrew/standard bed in wheelbase
and just one inch longer in overall
length. Zhang said the F-150 Lightning
retains the all-aluminum bodywork of the
internal-combustion F-150, an expedient
choice that also helps to mitigate the added
weight of the F-150 Lightning's batteries.
In neither supplied specifications or a
media briefing did Ford provide a curb
weight for the F-150 Lightning, but in a
separate media session, Zhang said the
Lightning weighs some 1,000 lb. (454 kg)
more than its IC-engine counterpart, a
mid-range 4X4 configuration of which
weighs approximately 4838 lb. (2194 kg).
So, the F-150 Lightning can be expected
to weight upwards of three tons.
The extra weight, Zhang confirmed,
assured that one significant component
not borrowed from the conventional F-150
June 2021 13
BOTH IMAGES: FORD

Automotive Engineering - June 2021

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