Ford's F-150 Lightning Electric Truck Is More Powerful Than Promised

It looks like Ford has a pleasant surprise in store for buyers of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup. The company had initially targeted a 563 horsepower output for the extended-range battery pack, but has today announced that it will end up delivering 580 horsepower of raw EV grunt. As for the standard-range battery trim, it will do 452 horsepower, up from the 426 horsepower that Ford had originally announced in 2021. Irrespective of the ponies each model can muster, both can produce 775 lbs.-ft. of torque.

But that's not all. Ford also claims to have surpassed its initial load carrying capacity for the F-150 Lightning. The company says "properly equipped F-150 Lightning pickups" can haul 2,235 pounds of payload, which is a healthy 235 pounds higher than the initial estimates. Interestingly, when Ford released the final EPA-estimated range figures for its EV truck, it surprised with a 20-miles worth of extra range for the F-150 Lightning XLT and Lariat models when equipped with the extended range battery pack, bringing the net range figures to 320 miles.

"We were seriously focused on raising the bar on this truck, including after we revealed it, so we can deliver more for our customers," Dapo Adewusi, F-150 Lightning vehicle engineering manager, said in a statement. Ford is already experiencing a high demand for its electric truck, not least because of attractive base pricing. Surprising potential buyers with extra firepower and payload capacity sounds like a clever last-minute marketing strategy.

It's all about the price-power balance

Even though the F-150 Lighting is still a healthy distance away from matching rivals like the GMC Hummer EV's thousand horsepower output or the Rivian R1T's 835 horsepower claim, Ford's electric truck still goes past its Raptor sibling. But the biggest ace up the F-150 Lightning's sleeve is its extremely competitive asking price, which is nearly half of what Rivian asks, and about a third of what GMC's hulking SUV commands.

Another piece of feel-good news that Ford has to share is that the entry-level Lightning Pro can also be customized with the extended-range battery pack. However, that luxury will be exclusive to fleet buyers, with no information if it will ever be extended to a regular customer. Production of the F-150 Lightning is in full swing right now, but all that hype around Ford's electric pickup truck has also forced the company to stop taking new orders due to high demand.

Reservations for the Ford offering opened in May 2021, but as the market release kept inching closer, chatter around it went through the roof. Ford aims to roll 150,000 units of the electric trucks off its assembly line annually by 2023, which is quite an ambitious number. However, Ford's confidence also likely stems from the fact that the F-150 Lightning's biggest competitor — the Tesla Cybertruck — keeps getting delayed, and the boxy pickup truck won't be hitting the roads until next year at the earliest.