Ford introduces F-150 Lightning Pro for commercial customers

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co., building on its reveal last week of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck, on Monday introduced a version of the vehicle that's designed for commercial customers.

The Blue Oval debuted and opened reservations for what it's calling the F-150 Lightning Pro. The vehicle, which launches next year, will join the E-Transit, a forthcoming battery-electric version of the Transit cargo van, in Ford's lineup of electric commercial vehicles.

The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro includes features and capabilities aimed at commercial users.

F-150 Lightning Pro comes available in two options. The standard version, available for both retail and commercial customers, comes with an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles, targets 426 horsepower and starts at $39,974. An extended-range version for commercial customers, meanwhile, features an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles, targets 563 horsepower and starts at $49,974.

F-150 Lightning, powered by a lithium-ion battery, targets 775 lb.-ft. of torque. It is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 2,000 pounds. The standard option can tow up to 7,500 pounds with an optional tow package, while the extended-range version can tow up to 10,000 pounds with the package.

The extended-range option on Lightning Pro includes Ford's 80-amp charging station.The standard option comes with a 32-amp mobile charger.

Those prices do not take into account available tax incentives for EV buyers, which could drive the cost down.

"F-150 Lightning Pro represents so much more than an electric workhorse — it's made for commercial customers inside and out, it gets better over time, and it's totally plugged into always-on services that can help business productivity," Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.

Ford executives have laid out what they see as a strong business case for offering electric options to commercial customers, who they say are interested in the cost savings and reduced maintenance time EVs could bring. 

"These customers are extremely pragmatic, and they aren't going to over-index on product features and benefits when it isn't necessary to get the job done," said Ted Cannis, general manager of Ford's North America commercial business. "They are hyper-focused on improving efficiency, uptime, and their bottom line. Unlike retail, commercial customers focus on the cost and capability to complete the job — no more, no less."

Ford is offering a new digital fleet planning tool to its commercial customers that it says will allow them to calculate potential purchase and operating cost savings. 

F-150 Lightning features an aluminum alloy body on a steel frame, an independent rear suspension and dual electric in-board motors in the front and rear.

It also features what Ford is billing as the industry's largest "frunk," or front trunk, located under the hood where the engine would be in an internal combustion engine vehicle. The frunk comes standard with four 120-volt electrical outlets and two USB ports. It can store up to 400 pounds.

Meanwhile, another highlight of F-150 Lightning is its capability to act as a power generator. Ford's Pro Power Onboard is a built-in AC power source that comes standard with 2.4 kilowatts of energy. An upgraded version offers 9.6 kilowatts. 

F-150 Lightning Pro will come in a full-size four-door, five-passenger SuperCrew configuration.

It comes standard with Ford's SYNC 4 infotainment system, a 12-inch color LCD screen, 12-inch productivity screen and Ford Co-Pilot 360, which is Ford's driver-assist system.

Among other digital features and tools, an "intelligent range" system calculates battery range needed to complete a trip, taking into account factors such as weather and cargo load. The system maps out the nearest available charging station when the range gets low.

The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro includes technology to alert the driver of the location of battery chargers.

A 32-amp, 120/240-volt mobile charger is included with Lightning Pro. Ford also offers a higher-capacity 48-amp charge station that runs on 240 volts, as well as a 240-volt, 80-amp charge station for faster charging.

Ford also highlighted the EV Telematics dashboard function, which shares vehicle data over the cloud to help fleet managers with tasks such as paying for public charging and monitoring the vehicle's status and range.

And when activated, a standard 4G LTE modem opens up numerous connectivity services to customers to help manage their fleets. F-150 Lightning will have the capability to receive over-the-air software updates, a function Ford aims to roll out across much of its vehicle lineup in the coming years.

F-150 Lightning, including the Pro, will be built at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn starting next spring.

As of Friday morning, Ford said it had already gotten nearly 45,000 reservations for F-150 Lighting. Customers can reserve one on Ford's website with a $100 deposit.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski