Unleashing some big numbers. There are some eye-watering figures surrounding Ford’s first all-electric pickup truck. Foremost among these is the F-150 Lightning’s sheer weight – 3.3 tons, to be precise. Quite apart from growing concerns around the whole-life environmental impact of batteries, there’s something incongruous about ‘going green’ in a vehicle that strongly resembles its slab-sided gas-powered sibling and weighs far more.

Still, the Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds, which is a remarkable figure for a vehicle not powered by diesel. Heavy loads will massacre the claimed range of 240 miles as standard, 320 if you add an optional extended battery pack, or 300 if you combine the latter with the gadget-heavy Platinum trim. Still, a Level 3 fast charger will replenish 75 percent of the range in 45 minutes, whereas a Level 2 charger only manages around 13 miles of range per hour’s charging.

Big numbers also extend to the Lightning’s pricing. That extended-range battery pack costs an astonishing $17,500 – more than a top-line Kia Rio. Even the cheapest Lightning will cost you $57,869 ($23,000 more than a gas-powered F-150), plus you’ll need to add $500 for a charging cable and $1,200 for a generator, which is sold separately. By the time you’ve upgraded from a model with vinyl seats, you can spend close to $100,000, which seems ludicrous when a top-end Rivian R1T model retails at less than $80,000.

There’s only one word for the power… Let’s put aside the pricing, and get back to some more big numbers. Truck buyers tend to be more interested in torque than horsepower, so how does 775 lb-ft sound? The fact it’s delivered instantly (and in full) makes the Lightning feel like it’s stumbled off a drag strip with a full tank of nitrous. It’s almost comically fast, and the extended battery pack model will hit 60 in 4.5 seconds. Having an electric motor on each axle means grip is prodigious thanks to standard AWD, but there’s no low-range mode, and the Lightning will be stumped by terrain a Toyota Land Cruiser would shrug off.

Given that bluff nose and those grippy tires, it’s not surprising that plenty of noise accompanies this outrageous acceleration. On a brighter note, the Lightning’s sheer bulk ensures road imperfections aren’t much of an issue. As well as towing up to 10,000 pounds, it can accommodate payloads of up to 2,235 pounds, though there’s only one bed size – a modest 5.5’ affair.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Interior

Excellent interior space. Because it doesn’t have to accommodate anything as 20th-century as an engine, the F-150 Lightning offers a 14.1 cubic foot frunk instead. That’s ideal for transporting items like suitcases. In the sole cabin configuration (Crew Cab), there are bucket front seats and a rear bench with lockable storage below, while some models offer a fold-out table for DIY or dining. However, you’ll be manually adjusting the vinyl seats on Pro models, and even mid-range XLT trim has cloth trim – you’ll need Lariat or Platinum models to perch on leather.

Every Lightning comes with a brace of 12-inch screens, but you’ll pay an $8,000 premium to enjoy XLT’s surround-view camera system and aforementioned cloth seats. Platinum models ladle on the luxury with a Bang & Olufsen stereo, real wood trim and – something we’ve never said before – an infotainment screen that’s too big. At 15.5 inches, it dominates the interior – another example of bigger not necessarily being better. We’d stick with the smaller 12-inch screen, which is excellent.

Is it safe? Honestly, we don’t know. Neither the IIHS or the NHTSA has crash-tested a Lightning yet, though its sheer weight and performance may tax the brakes. At least automatic emergency braking is standard across the range, alongside blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors, auto high beams and active lane control. The surround-view camera setup on XLT models and above is welcome, too, since judging the extremities of any truck can be tricky.

Final thoughts. We have to start by addressing the elephant in the room – the F-150 Lightning’s price. Paying a six-figure sum for an electric truck feels unnecessary when the standard gas-powered F-150 starts at a third of the price, and it’s obscene for Ford to charge as much for a battery pack as Kia does for a subcompact sedan. Base Pro Lightnings feel underdressed for their near-$60,000 price tag (despite an impressive infotainment setup), but higher trims represent extremely poor value.

That’s a shame because, in many other respects, the Lightning represents a brave and bold step into an electrified future. Cynics claimed an electric F-150 wouldn’t make sense, but stamping on the throttle will have even the most ardent ICE devotee grinning like a maniac. Oceans of torque mean incredible load-lugging (though over vastly reduced distances than the claimed range might suggest), while the Lightning’s 6,600-pound weight ensures passengers will be undisturbed by anything the truck passes over, from bumps to boulders. The futuristic infotainment setup and generous standard safety kit also deserve praise.

Check prices for the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning