- I tested the electric Ford F-150 Lightning in the Texas countryside.
- It’s a great truck all around, but its best feature is its front trunk, also known as a frock.
- The front of the Lightning is large, easy to access and offers USB sockets and ports.
Ford’s new electric F-150 offers a load of new advantages over the company’s gas-powered truck.
The F-150 Lightning, despite its weight, promises to accelerate to 60 mph in just over four seconds. It can share electricity from its giant battery with appliances, backdoor equipment or, in the event of a power outage, with an owner’s home.
And while automatic backup power can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency, it is not something that homeowners will use on a daily basis. For better or worse, it’s not a skill I was able to see in action when I spent a few days trying Lightning earlier in May.
What I managed to use – and what I’m convinced is the Lightning’s biggest feature – is the front trunk. Ford calls it the Mega Power Frunk, which is an extremely silly name for an extremely useful feature.
Like most modern electric vehicles, the underlying structure of the F-150 Lightning resembles a giant electric skateboard. Its engines are mounted under its axles and its battery is located in its abdomen. This means that Ford can do fun things with all the space that a conventional engine does not take up.
Open the Lightning “hood” and you will find a generous cargo area that is larger than the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. Of course, trucks offer plenty of storage space as is. That’s the whole point. But pickups generally do not have substantial storage, lockable, weather resistant, and fruity adds just that.
Not only is it spacious – capable of carrying some luggage and a maximum weight of 400 pounds – but also easy to access.
The entire area of the mask rises, revealing a loading floor that is low enough for almost anyone to use. By comparison, the Rivian R1T, another electric pickup, has a more conventional hood, so you need to lower the load on it from above. This can be difficult for younger people.
Imagine traveling with four people and a bunch of bikes or camping equipment in bed. An extra trunk for bags and smaller items would be more than welcome. Or, consider that some homeowners may want to keep things in their truck permanently but not have them exposed to the bed.
And frnk offers some other cool add-ons.
There is extra storage space under the floor with a drain hole so that owners can fill the shell with ice or lower it with rubber. A removable panel acts as a divider that can prevent grocery items from slipping. There are a handful of hooks and lashing points to secure the cargo.
The aforementioned “Mega Power” comes in the form of USB ports and power outlets built into the wall of the frock, opening up features such as charging appliances or power tools while on the go.
Zero emissions and sudden acceleration are all unlikely. But I could see that the Lightning baby is the factor pushing some more reluctant buyers aside. And while I can immediately see how useful the fruit could be, future Lightning owners will surely find many innovative uses that no one expected.