Lightning Flashes – Briefly

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Does a “low price” sell electric vehicles when the cost is short range? That appears to be what Ford is counting on to sell the electric version of the F-150 pick-up just revealed.

It has other virtues, too – including being (as is true of most electric vehicles) very quick as well as having some very practical attributes, such as being capable of running high-load equipment such as welders and even a home (for awhile) in the event the grid goes down.

The truck platform is also without the debilities of the car platform – where there is less room for stuff because of the need to make room for the batteries. In the Lightning, there is plenty of room for stuff – under the hood, where’s the no engine. It is a huge trunk, instead. The batteries being under the floor.

It is certainly more practical than Elon Musk’s electric cars – which aren’t useful for much except signaling virtue.

Some of the Lightning’s electrified attributes are objectively useful, especially to people who buy trucks for work, such as contractors. Ford’s on the money, there.

But then there’s the question of the money – and the range it buys.

Ford says the base price of the all-electric 2022 Lightning will be $40,000 ($39,974 to be precise; $26 less than $40,000 – important from a marketing point-of-view) and touts the fact that it is much more powerful, in terms of towing – and much more capable – in terms of  the things it can power – than the base F-150 regular cab that stickers for $28,940. Especially when you take into account that the Lightning comes standard as a Crew Cab with four full-size doors.

Of course, not everyone wants four full-size doors, nor having to pay extra for them. Another possible hair in the soup is that the Lightning isn’t four-wheel-drive. It is all-wheel-drive, without a transfer case and Low range gearing.

But these are probably not deal-killers.

Ram trucks are selling well even though Ram no longer sells them in regular cab form. Many people don’t need 4WD and Low range gearing because they don’t go seriously off-road. All-wheel-drive is actually better on road – where it provides both a traction and a handling advantage on wet and dry roads, in the corners as well as the straights.

The deal-killer is the range the Lightning hasn’t got – unless you pay extra for more.

Ford says the $40k (less $26) version can go “up to” 230 miles. If you pony up another $10k-plus (bringing the price to over $50k) that increases to “about” 300 miles.

There are at least two problems with this, the first one being the obvious one. A $29k (less $60) base trim F-150 with a 3.3 liter V6 cannot get to 60 in just over 4 seconds, as the Lightning apparently can. But it can go at least 437 miles – in city driving – on a full tank of gas. This is nearly twice as far as the $40k Lightning can go, period  – and the not-electric F-150 will not force you to wait more than the time it takes to gas it up again, which is rarely longer than five minutes.

People who need to work generally haven’t got time to wait the minimum of half an hour or longer it takes to recover some (not all) of the electric vehicle’s already not-much range – assuming they can get to a “fast” charger.

Which isn’t at home.

Because few, if any, homes are capable of instilling the 400-plus volts of electricity that “fast” chargers convey. That’s commercial grade electrical service. The “fastest” charge you can get at home is a couple of hours, which is a serious problem given most people just want to go when they need to go.

Not wait.

Nor drive to someplace else to wait. The place where the 400-plus volt “fast” charger is.  This idea that more than a few people are going to willingly put up with that is as ridiculous as believing that more than a few people would put up with waiting 30 minutes or longer at a “fast” food drive-thru.

No matter how good the food is.

Most people just haven’t got the time, no matter how they feel about electric propulsion. The rubber hits the road when reality bites. Note in this regard the recent news – reported by Business Insider but not widely covered – that one in five people in California who bought an electric car have decided not to buy another electric car. Many have already turned theirs in for a not-electric car.

Not because they don’t like the idea. These people are the ones who loved the idea of an electric car. They are the “early adopters” – the ones who bought an electric car first, ahead of the rest – precisely because they wanted to not drive a gas-engined car.

And then reality bit.

They discovered the wait. How it limited their ability to just go – without having to think about the stop.

Which brings up the second, subtler problem that almost no one is reporting. It is a problem that afflicts electric cars generally, not just the Lightning.

It is that the range, whatever it is, is much less than advertised – as a practical matter.

If you are driving a gas-engined car, you can drive it to the limit of its range, until it’s almost out of gas. Or until it actually is. Because unlike “fast” chargers, gas stations are everywhere. And they are fast. Push the car into the any station and be back on your way in just a few minutes – not half an hour or more.

With an electric car, one must always be thinking about how far away the next “fast” charger is – and whether you’ll make it there. Or whether you have time to wait for a much slower charge, somewhere else.

If you run the battery down to “fumes” – perhaps by using it to power tools or run a house – you will be stuck for a long time if you didn’t make it to the “fast” charger. If you run out of charge entirely, you’ll have to call for a tow – because you cannot bring a gallon of electricity back to your kaput electric car.

As a practical matter, it is wise to always keep the electric car equivalent of a couple of gallons of gas in the tank, so as to avoid the angst of the kaput. But that amounts to range you dare not use fully – unless you know for sure you’ll make it to the next plug.

So, if the Lightning has 230 miles of theoretical range, it has about 200 miles of realistic range, the 30 held in reserve – to make sure you make it.  And even if you do, you will still have to wait. You will also have to consider the effect on range of using the charge to power the tools and so on that Ford is advertising as a boon of this thing. All day at the job site running chop saws and keeping air compressors going will mean even less range.

Will that sell?

So far, it hasn’t.

Which is why electric car manufacturers have had to pay people to buy electric cars. Well, have had the government make taxpayers pay for them, via the $7,500 per EV kickback given to each electric car buyer. This makes the to-the-buyer cost of electric vehicles like the Lightning artificially “more competitive” with non-electric cars. But they aren’t really competitive.

Else it wouldn’t be necessary to pay people to buy them.

Nor to snooker them.

It is equally telling that media coverage of the Lightning has focused on its price – the “affordable” $40k (less $26) electric truck – huzzah! But without commensurate focus on the meager range you get for that money. And without explaining to people that even that range is much less than advertised, if you take into account the need to always keep a few “gallons” in reserve.

Unless you’re willing to risk the kaput.

. . . 

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  1. Just get a 5KW Generator with 240 out from Harbor Freight and put it in the back of the truck with 2 5 Gal Gas Cans.
    Then if U get stuck on the road U can fire up the generator in the back of the truck and hook it to the charger port – about 2 hrs of that parked will put over 100 miles of range back into the truck. Handy for camping also.

  2. I imagine Ford will sell a bunch to Home Depot.

    They rent pickups by the hour around here. Mostly people buying furniture and 2x4s that can’t get the things home otherwise.

    In other words, people less than 10 miles from home needs the thing for way less than full capacity (weight wise) and will not use near a full charge, it will only be charged at point of rental. Figure 2-4 trucks per store, my city has 4 Home Depots. Times a whole country….

    Then there are the urban truck owners. They exist. They want a truck because 4 times a year they need the bed capacity and after you own a truck you can’t imagine not having one…even if you don’t really need one per se. There are tons of urban truck owners in the suburban parts of metro areas. These upper middle class truck owners often have the truck as vehicle three in the family. So the fuel efficient cars are the commuting vehicles.

    No, it won’t set the world on fire. It will not replace the ICE pick up. But it will sell well enough and be a place for Ford to tinker with how the hell to make electric pickups a bit less absurd than they are at the moment.

  3. Eric – not sure if you’re aware, but just heard on a podcast the other day that Tesla has a deal with the Chinese government (which is why they got the land / licenses in record time) which requires them to share data from the cars with the chinese government…. I mean they dont even HIDE it there ! Im wondering – is there any such requirement in the US?

    • Generally, no, however in the case of accidents, they have to give relevant data to the NHTSA, and they do supply aggregate statistics about autopilot irregularities to some state governments.

  4. This might sound stupid, but why can ‘t electric vehicles follow the model of cordless tools? My drill runs out juice, I slap in another battery. Could there be a battery exchange system? Could vehicles be engineered so that batteries could be easily switched out? Maybe a subscription system would work. Similar to minutes available per month on your phone, they could provide miles per month packages. This would eliminate the wait anyhow. Just brain storming. What do you guys think?

    • It’s been suggested many times there is a fundamental problem. Battery packs for EVs are very expensive and nobody wants to get stuck with a bad pack. And that’s what will happen with an exchange system. People will use it to ditch their dying packs and get something better. It’s fraught with problems. Sure there could be a checking system and then people will dummy up bad packs to test well. Nobody is going to gamble thousands of dollars of their money on an exchange system.

    • From what I have read, the batteries on these vehicles are enormously heavy, weighing up to 1800 pounds. There is more than one battery. The battery packs are distributed around the chassis in order to balance the weight, typically low on the chassis to keep the center of gravity as low as possible.
      Diagrams I have seen of current designs show the battery packs under the floor of the vehicle. In current designs at least, it appears to be a very *BIG* *DEAL* to change out the battery packs, not something you can do in 5 minutes. Whether future designs could be designed to to as you propose, I have no idea. Many things are possible, but this does not seem possible with current models.

      • Hi Turtle,

        As you’ve written, EVs have a battery pack that in almost all modern EVS is enormous and very heavy – heavier, in fact, than most V8 engines plus the rest of the drivetrain. The battery pack is distributed over most of the footprint of the floorpan, making removal a complex job. This could probably be made easier but would likely require standardization – a “universal” battery, in a modular design EV. In other words, a homogenous, soul-less “Johnny Cab” transportation cubicle.

        • Distributing the battery weight using multiple batteries does two things:
          1. Keeps the center of gravity as low as possible.
          2. Balances the battery weight about all three axes, roll, pitch, and yaw, so that the rotational center of mass coincides as nearly as possible with the geometric center of form, the same as dynamically balancing a wheel and tire assembly, except using all three axes.
          “Standardizing” this would mean constraining all such “transportation devices” to accept the “standard” battery packs. Soul-less, indeed.

  5. Just heard a story from a friend about how impractical these things can be in the real world. One of his colleagues got a Tesla – wouldn’t shut up about how wonderful it is. So him and his colleagues had to go to a conference in Cambridge – and they all said they will ride with him in the tesla – all 5 of them. According to the specs its within range, and he was confident there shouldn’t be a problem. There was a “fast” charge point around the destination so he said he’d just park there, and when they get done done the conference 5 hours later the car would be charged for the return journey.

    On there way there – it died about 30 miles short – but what was more painful was about 70 miles before the anxiety started that the damn thing is running out of power. Anyhow – they found a “fast” charger and in about 30 mins got the range to make it there. all were quite annoyed, but oh well weren’t late. When there he found the charge point he looked up and plugged it up.

    When they got done – the car had only charged 70% !! So again on the way back had an hours stop about 1 hour in the journey ! 5 of them ended up having dinner in a motorway restaurant…..

    Apparently the reason was that when the car was filled with 5 adults the range drops due to the extra weight being carried. That will be most interesting for the “lightning” (were someone to actually use it for the purpose of a pickup !) Second – these “fast chargers” only charge full speed apparently if there are no other cars. When the car was plugged in at Cambridge – apparently there were other cars at the charge station – so the current had to be split amongst them – increasing the charge time from the “fast” 1 hour to 100% to only 70% in 5 hours…. Will be interesting when everyone has an electric car!! Basically back to the days of rationing energy…

    • Interesting point. I know the facilities manager where I’m employed. A few years back marketing wanted charging stations installed in the customer parking lots. One building required an upgrade from 3 phase 208 to three phase 400 Volt service. Then they had to run over a hundred feet from the new entrance panel around the building, to the charging point. That’s a lot of copper to make a statement. Needless to say the other locations weren’t getting charging stations on that budget year, if ever. IDK if they get much use other than the pool vehicles, but if they do I’d guess there’s some current limiting on the circuit or they’d be popping breakers. It figures that Tesla “oversubscribes” their supercharger stations to make them look more impressive than they are. And in a twisted version of the tragedy of the commons, if everyone wants a fast charge at the same time, no one gets a fast charge at the same time.

    • Hi Nasir,

      Indeed. No free lunch, eh?

      As someone else here mentioned, if people use the Lightning to power tools and such, it will have less power to move. If there’s no place – or time – to charge – then you’re out o’ luck.


      • If you are using vehicles batteries to power tools (does it have a power inverter and a step up transformer? what capacity?) It must mean there is no power at the jobsite. Which means you will not be able to charge the vehicle at the jobsite. Which means your effective range from home base = ( de-rated* advertised range)/2 – (capacity used to power tools & such). But job sites without power tend to be *remote* job sites.

        *I say de-rated because, as Eric never tires of pointing out, these numbers are always, shall we say, “optimistic” ones, achieved by a “test driver” who is doing everything he can to squeeze some extra range out of the vehicle, whether gas, electric, or hybrid. Truly, YMMV, and will nearly always vary on the down side. GFL.

        • Eric, RK, Turtle, I think the solution – they can use the front luggage area to store a portable generator 🙂

      • I talked with one of Ford’s flacks on Friday, and he certainly did the “intelligent range two-step” with me about the towing trouble. Still, the cheap fleet model could pencil for city trucks and service that doesn’t go too far, and returns to base at night. You just have to ignore that at night southern Oregon grid power is 75% coal-power…but the Greens will feeeeeeeeel so goooooood about themselves.

    • Now think about towing a boat, or motor home, with such a vehicle.
      You leave Orange Co, CA in the AM, ski boat in tow, 2 jet skis in the short bed (if they will fit), on your way to the Colorado River for a weekend of fun, or so you thought.

      Being as how most of the traffic is pedal to the metal when there are no CHP in evidence, you are doing 80 through the Mojave when you run out of electrons, many miles short of your goal. Ain’t no gas stations out here, and there sure as hell ain’t no electric vehicle chargers, fast or otherwise.

      How was your weekend, son?

    • Here’s a moderately pro-EV guy who sets out to make a video about how charger availability is improving in the UK. He spends a good part of his day hunting for a fast charger that works, and ends up back home not much better off than when he started.
      He keeps coming back to the claim that soon there will be a lot more chargers. OK. But what does that look like when every car on the road needs one?

  6. I finally got around to watching the video. The clover who couldn’t figure on how to pass a bicyclist was positively hilarious! Haha, WTF? ‘Ludes indeed!

    • Hey BaDnOn,

      As a bicyclist I admit that there are clueless, asshole cyclists, but the driver here is a moron (as Eric noted). He had plenty of space and time to pass the cyclist quickly and safely. As someone noted earlier, many of us cyclists are disgusted by drivers unwilling, or worse incapable, of passing us. The rub is that many think that it is the “asshole” cyclist causing the problem rather than the incompetent driver.


      • Hi Jeremy!

        In re the driver who parked his car in the travel lane because he was too inept to drive around the bicyclist: Of such things are violent rear-enders made. The road has a 55 MPH speed limit and most cars doing 60-something (reasonably). And this guy stops dead in a curve and just sits there. Not very saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe!

        The fact that people like this can “qualify” for a “driver’s license” tells us it’s an ID, to be used for controlling people – and has nothing to do with establishing competence behind the wheel of a car!

        • Where is the video? I haven’t been able to find where it was linked in the relatively recent comments/articles.

          Bicyclists are easy to pass but when I am bicycling I encounter these motorists and what they do is they sit right off my corner for what seems like forever and eventually brush pass me, usually at the worst possible time. The the motorists that were jammed up because of that idiot think I’m the problem and some then act on that.

          • Hi Brent,

            The video was in the Lightning article; then it disappeared. All of my recent Rumble videos have. I can’t upload new ones, either. Or rather, I can upload them – to Rumble – but they don’t display on the site. I have no idea why. So I’ve gone back to YouTube – until they pull the videos, too.

            But for now, the video should be viewable again – check it out before it’s taken down!

            • I’ve encountered motorists that bad. Eventually they start honking. I don’t bike as much as I used to and I almost entirely avoid the more clover problem roads now but a couple years ago I am on a 4 lane road* and this woman slows to my speed then starts honking at me. Like I am supposed to jump the curb or put myself in the gutter or stop and pull over and dismount or who knows what this moron wanted me to do. I judged her incompetent and with each honk I moved further left until I was dead center in the right lane. No way in hell was I letting this idiot pass me in the same lane. She eventually passed me using the left lane cursing at me etc. I returned to my nominal riding lane position where competent motorists have no issues passing.

              *I should add, 35mph PSL with houses on both sides, although in this section all side yards the houses faced the side streets.

              • Hi Brent,

                Yup. And a facet of this that fascinates me is that had an AGW been there to see it, the inept – the reckless – driver would very likely not have been “pulled over.” But we do – for “speeding.”

      • Hey Jeremy,

        I’ve logged many an hour riding a bicycle, myself, and a driver tailgating me like that would be infuriating. I’d have to stop and ask the schmuck “WTF?!”.

  7. Some thoughts about this thing…..

    1. It will likely be the best selling electric vehicle. Of course you don’t need to sell many to be best seller…….

    2. Ford will probably still sell five hundred or more gas or diesel powered pickups for every one electric one. Yeah, they sell that many (non-electric) pickups. They likely sell more F-150’s in a few weeks than Tesla has sold,,,, well, ever…..

    3. Very few will be used by typical contractors (aka, the guy who owns one pickup). Just too unworkable. They still wouldn’t even if the price was more reasonable.

    4. Very few outside of some fleets will be used for actual work. Another poster has pointed out that they will be bought for fleets of colleges and municipalities, since they can overlook their many shortcomings as fleet vehicles. Unless Ford offers a more fleet type model, it seems not to be set up for that at this time. That will probably cost them some volume (which you think they would want, so they can trump the numbers…. )

    5. It will not appeal one bit to the typical traditionalist pickup buyer. It just won’t.

    6. Few will ever power a whole house. It’s just laughable that people would even think so. People that would have this pickup, already have a whole house generator (which works way better). If you didn’t have that generator, you likely would have no idea how to even hook this truck up to your house anyway, plus it wouldn’t last long anyway.

    7. No, it won’t power a work site. Again the range problem that comes with electric vehicles. Most contractors already own much better generators already so why would they use up their ride home?

    8. Its too bad Ford isn’t using this truck to put this electric nonsense out to pasture (aka put Tesla out of business). They used to pull this kind of stuff to kill off the upstarts in the past. But they seem hell bent on this stupidity as much as the rest of the auto business is.

  8. I am curious how much actually towing something that weighs up to the amount of the actual truck around depletes the mileage. If 200 miles for a 5000 lb truck, what if you add another 5k? I really cannot see any contractors or actual work people signing up for this thing as they could not afford to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, and likely do not have the ability to wait an hour or more each day to recharge. What are they gonna do, come repair your appliance and ask you to plug in while they do? I foresee the charge from my house costing the same as their visit.

    • I’m guessing 60 miles.
      I couldn’t even fathom towing my camper with a golf cart

      All amounts to a pipe dream of city dwellers who’s idea of nature is turning on discovery channel.
      And it seems all these eco warriors are people who have never been in eco, yet deem to tell the rest of us how to live.

  9. Blake Allington wrote: “I wonder where all these new Gigawatts are coming from?”

    My Mr Fusion makes 1.21 Gigawatts. duh!

  10. I’ve been in the auto industry for 25+ years.

    All DV (Design Validation) and PV (Production Verification) testing requires temperature cycles of -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C (or higher temps for under hood, near exhaust, etc components).

    It’s the low temps I’m questioning:

    For the battery equivalent of a “full tank” (full charge), how much range is lost after a cold soak of -40 degrees C for 24 hours? What about after only 8 hours? At what temp is the battery permanently damaged?

    FCA (Stellantis now) has many requirements for operation / tests after a 24 hour cold soak at -40 C. Are BEVs exempt from these?

    So are they saying not only do you need an electrical supply capable of high voltage / high current charging in your garage, you also need a heated and insulated garage if you live in cold temp areas to hope for any range the next morning?

    What happens to said range after a room temp BEV starts going down the road in -40 C temps? How quickly does it diminish?

    I guess we’re all in for 480V, 400A service to keep our houses and garages warm (since natural gas is also banned) so our batteries don’t freeze. I wonder where all these new Gigawatts are coming from?

    Inquiring minds want to know

    • The gigawatts come from wishful thinking, of course.

      It’s amazing how these policy setting bozos perform static analysis. The grid isn’t infinite. An electric car uses an order magnitude more power than all the rest of your house. In CA, our grid is already at peak capacity, and the “greenies”, and I mean people with broccoli for brains, object to new power plants and new power lines because those are “dirty”, and yet, they mandate electric cars.

      • “wishful thinking”
        A.k.a. “hopium reactors.” Talk to your friends in Livermore. They’re working on it right now. 🙂
        >object to new power plants
        Hell, they even object to *old* power plants. San Onofre got shut down, because it was, you know, “nucular.” Now, they are going after the natural gas powered generating stations in Huntington Beach, Long Beach, and Redondo Beach.
        for now, the natural gas plants are being allowed to operate, because *somebody* figured out we need the power. But, yeah, the “broccoli brains” want them shut down. To be replaced with? Nothing, apparently.

    • ‘I wonder where all these new Gigawatts are coming from?’ — Blake Allington

      Errr … firewood?

      Thin overgrown forests, burn the slash to keep your precious BEV warm.

      It’s the new hunter-gatherer lifestyle … BTUs for nothin’, chicks for free.

  11. The funny selling point of “You can even use it to power your tools” should make people scratch their heads, but it won’t. Maybe, but this last year proved the livestock are as stupid as their mammalian brethren, so I don’t hold out much hope.
    Drive the truck 50 miles (maybe 30 even) to a site, unload, plug in a table saw, battery chargers for drills, radio, air compressor, etc… Sounds great. Except when you pack up the site, jump in the truck, and realize the battery is down to 20 miles of range left because you ran the site off the battery and drained it. Oops.
    I haven’t looked because I think the truck is idiotic, but is the range touted at fully loaded (all seats filled with your average weight of a laborer, bed 1/2-3/4 loaded with equipment, trunk space filled with ‘other stuff’ that would normally be jammed in the cab) or a guesstimate based on one person?
    We’re what, 130, 140 years since the first electric cars rolled down a road and the problem is still the physics of a battery which, unless someone discovers a new way to store and transport electricity, will continue to be a problem with EV’s for the foreseeable future.

  12. I don’t know… Without all of the electronic “features” (future problems) likely included, I kind of like it. Especially the hood storage, which obviates using the bed for storing more “domestic” things during a trip. And a 200 mile range will actually get me from my city home to my rural land easily, with range to spare, wherein I can have a solar and/or wind (there is one metric shit-ton of wind per minute out there) charger to have it ready for the return trip in hours.

    All fantasy, of course, because I’m never going to spend $40k on a truck!

    Also, honest question here: Isn’t “all wheel drive”, the kind you should get with 4-wheel motors, BETTER than “4-wheel drive”… Everywhere? I say that because of the action of differentials, which shift the power generated by the motor to the wheel(s) that AREN’T stuck or bogged down, which makes for spinning wheels in many off-road situations.

    • On many 4WD trucks, my 97 Tacoma included, the front axle does NOT differentiate. It’s locked up. Which is why they don’t do do well on snow covered roads. The front axle being locked makes them hard to steer. Which is why AWD is better there.

    • Unfortunately Sir Zane F, the problem is that it won’t. It will get worse and worse. With the power structure in place now for perpetuity, as the bolsheviks are in full control….we will have less and less choice, and more and more dictats. More shots, more taxes, less meat, more taxes, less travel by ICE cars, more shots, more pandemics, less salary, more for them, more for them, and….more for them. Less for us…much, much less.

  13. I’m sure Ford is betting that this truck will sell to small municipal public works departments, federal government agencies, school districts, and universities that rarely put more than 200 miles a day on their trucks and quit work at 3:30 five days a week. Taxpayers will absorb the cost of battery replacement, depreciation and inefficiency. If the battery runs law or the vehicle dies they will simply grab another truck from the garage and use that. If it needs to be towed, taxpayers will pay for it. One could even envision public works contracts in leftist jurisdictions that require the bidders use a certain percentage of electric vehicles on the job (just as those contracts require a “prevailing” union wage) and they will factor that cost into the bid and the taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill.

    It will probably also sell to contractors in wealthy urban and suburban areas who do jobs for customers for whom money is no object, i.e. the guys on the PBS show “This Old House” who might drive twenty miles to do a half-million dollar restoration job for a couple of gay lawyers or Harvard professors in Cambridge with a $350,000 annual income. The truck will easily be paid for after a couple of those jobs and it will be a valuable marketing tool for their liberal virtue-signaling clients.

    For the rancher in New Mexico for whom an eighty-mile one-way drive to the nearest Walmart is a practically a trip around the block, for a vacationer towing an RV or boat, or for a private sector contractor who has to drive a lot of miles and bid competitively on price, the thing will be as useless as teats on a boar hog.

  14. There is a possible market, and its the one that has driven truck prices so high. Those who buy a truck with no intentions of ever putting it to work. Or, goat ropers if you prefer. Whether to compensate for, ahem, other “short” comings or some other cause, they will buy a truck, and never scratch the paint in the bed, or take it off the paved road.

    • Mmm hmm.
      Lift kit, 4 shocks per wheel, massive “off road” tires.
      Blue under body and wheel well lights.
      4WD with nary a scratch, nor speck of dust.
      Strictly a show truck.

  15. After the greenies/socialists achieve their dreams of a “clean” electrical grid (no coal, natural gas, nuclear-remember 3 mile island, hydro- gotta tear down the dams that hinder fish),electricity will be costly and rationed. That 230 mile range that Ford is touting will be considered long distanced and the average person will not be able to afford that long of trip.

  16. Lightning will probably live up to the old adage, Found On Road Dead.

    My wife’s aunt when a young girl was cut with a butcher knife across the palm of her hand. It was an accident no one thought would happen, though it did.

    Her injured hand developed blood poisoning and the streak of red was moving up her arm. The parents had to have medical care, took her to a doctor of medicine. More than one doctor concluded all that could be done was to take her home to die. On the way back to the farm, they stopped at a neighbor’s place to explain the dilemma. The neighbor’s wife said, “Oh, I can fix that.”

    She had her husband go out to the barn and scoop up some fresh cow’s manure and place it in a paper bag. Her husband came to the house with the bag of manure, she took it from him and shoved the injured hand infected with blood poisoning into the bag of manure.

    By the time the parents and my wife’s aunt returned to the farmhouse, the blood poisoning was already subsiding.

    Hard to believe true stories like that. Somebody always makes up stuff and people are gullible enough to believe it, but it is a very true story of how things do turn out for the better.

    She lived to be 97.

      • Enzymes from the cow’s stomachs slough off with the manure, the enzymes that digest the grass, hay, then might be able to ‘digest’ the sepsis infection, a good guess. Wicks out the infection organically somehow.

        In the world of word play, cow shit I know? lol

  17. Ford is making this truck as a loss leader to get at Musk. Fine, good luck Ford selling this to real Americans with real jobs to do. I hope Musk’s stock drops in the process will be the only good in this situation.

    Electric Trucks: Bezos is building his potemkin fleet of electric delivery trucks. Does anybody really think this creep is going to allow his truck drivers to sit and cool their heels while the damn thing is charging? Same guy who makes his warehouse employees piss into a bottle for a potty break. Bezos will have is electric fleet for political show to continue to get his income without tax while behind the scenes he’ll subcontract the delivery to whomever will take a package for a buck driving whatever vehicle they own on their own insurance and gas.

    • >he’ll subcontract the delivery
      Yep, already doing that.
      The delivery trucks say “Amazon Prime,” but the drivers work for labor pimps.
      And, if I’m not mistaken, the labor pimp companies attempt to classify the drivers as “independent contractors.” No benefits, of course, probably paid per delivery, regardless of mileage (my guess).

  18. I really detest those drivers who won’t pass a cyclist. I usually will sit there waving them on and getting well onto the edge of the road, and there they sit. I’ve had a few even refuse to pass until I stop and get off the bike, on the berm, middle finger extended. Why the hatred? Because they’re just as frustrated as anyone else, but afraid of… whatever, so when they do finally get enraged enough to pass they’re going to stay on the right side of the double yellow like it is a forcefield. That means that 3 foot minimum becomes two feet or less, and usually in a bad spot like a blind curve.

    Anyway, the truck. They say it will go 300 miles, tow 10,000 pounds and run the house for 8 hours. Probably none of those will be possible at the same time. That hybrid with the 30A twist lock in the bed? That’s going to be the one to get, even if it means using transport fuel for electricity.

    • Hi RK,

      Yup – in re the inept “drivers” who cannot or will not pass a bicycle on the road. Who need to use two-thirds (or the entire) opposite lane to do it “safely” and so never do it. Such people have no business in the left seat. I’m sure the problem will be addressed with Advanced Passing Assist “technology.”

      • If it is safe to do so, the more space between bicycles and motor vehicles the better. True some people tend to exaggerate the width of their vehicles, but if there’s room to move over, I’m all for it. In fact I’m one of those types who gets way over in the other lane, but with a little common sense too.

  19. There better be exemptions for contractors, etc…. when they try to make these things mandatory. cause we can do 200-400 in a day easy. And I’m guessing at 220v charge it won’t even fully charge over night. Where the F are you going to charge the F’in thing when you have to stay at a roadside motel overnight. not going to work for work. I guess the workaround will be to have a gas generator in the bed, haha… not funny though.

    • One day at 4 PM my boss told me that I had to drive from Chicago to Kentucky & be there at 7AM sharp the next morning. About 400 miles.

      This was just barely almost possible on 1 tank of gas (stopped once anyway to be certain).

      Got to the hotel at 2AM, woke up at 6, and rocked it.

      This would have been virtually impossible to do in an EV. Too much waiting around time, and would have had to stop at least twice.

  20. Having spent 25 years of my working life as a plumber, this truck would have been of no use to me. Mechanical subcontractors commonly show up at more than one work site in a day, often 3 or more. Sometimes as much as 50 miles apart. Often with more critical work related thought needed than worrying about a battery charge. Such as, “They’re going to poor the floor tomorrow morning. We have to get the groundwork finished this afternoon. Oh! Wait! I have to get my battery charged first”.

  21. ‘media coverage of the Lightning has focused on its price – the “affordable” $40k (less $26) electric truck – huzzah!’ — EP

    Media coverage notes that until Ford sells 200,000 Lightnings and ‘Mustangs,’ the federal $7,500 tax credit applies … making the Lightning almost price-competitive with the IC-engined F-150, after tax.

    Auto makers’ belief in a rapid transition to EVs likely is way off base. Setting that aside, though, EVs must compete with each other. The Ford F-150 Lightning represents a rather large rock thrown into the EV pond.

    For the first time since Tesla started peddling Roadsters in 2008, an EV in the body configuration Americans love best (PICKUP!) and at a near-competitive base price hits the market about a year from now.

    How are Lordstown and Rivian pickups going to compete, with their $75K-plus base prices? How is Tesla going to compete, with its lineup of boring, low-slung sedans?

    Whatever one may think of the EV future, the F-150 Lightning is a bombshell that just called a halt to investors’ delusional belief that Tesla Corp is worth more than the six largest global auto manufacturers combined.

    Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Toyota, et al, are tired of the barky little puppy Tesla, rudely nipping at their ankles. Ford, for its part, has just called out an armed fleet of Animal Control officers to bring out-of-control Elon to heel. His useless thrashing against the tranquilizers and the net will leave some deep ruts on Wall Street.

    • Hi Jim,

      I agree, generally. But trucks are also different than cars – in terms of who buys them. I live in a rural area where almost everyone drives a truck. I’ve asked many of these what they think about this one. Universally, they want no part – because they need to be able to drive without the wait.

      My buddy the roofing contractor, for instance. He doesn’t have time to spend at a “fast” charger and doesn’t want to deal with figuring out where one is. He just wants to get to the job site – then get home – without any additional hassles.

      There is also the issue of the long-term.

      His 13-year-old F250 is still his everyday vehicle. How will this thing be in 13 years from now? Will it cost him $6,000 for a new battery pack in eight years from now?

      Granted, there are suburban types who happily buy $50,000 trucks for not-work and they may like this truck. Which will hurt Tesla, a lot – so there’s that!

      • ‘I live in a rural area where almost everyone drives a truck.’ — EP

        Ditto. Around here, regional towns are a hundred miles apart, with nothing but empty national forest between them. EV heaven it is not, and by the grace of Dog, perhaps never shall be.

        Our fedgov ‘representatives’ hail from the big urban areas though, where DemonRats parade openly and shamelessly in the streets, and the EV fever dream infects and defeats weakened minds.

        Having lured Potus into launching the Lightning — a literally priceless PR stunt — Ford would be nuts not to press the EV-friendly Biden admin to extend the $7,500 tax credit for five years, without sales volume limits.

        Ex-CARB termites infesting the DOT probably are drafting the new regs as we speak, as ambitious young Pete B gets on his bike and rides.

      • Eric,

        One of my shipmates was from Montana. He said that his nearest neighbor was 10 MILES away! How is an electric truck going to work in a rural area where everyone and everything (including gas stations) is far apart?

        • Hi Mark,

          They’re not supposed to work… the idea is to force people to not live 10 miles from their nearest neighbor. To “nudge” them into urban proletarian hives. For that purpose, EVs work very well.

          • Battery powered vehicles for those who live in battery cage housing. Makes sense, if only perverted sense.
            Not my cuppa, though.
            Too much aggravated assault by batteries.

    • If they do that, the auto companies are going to find themselves caught flat footed as the Chinese start selling cheap ICE cars in the USA. Which everyone will buy, because the technology actually works.

  22. Someone sent me a picture the other day of one of those electric virtue mobiles with a lovely virtue signaling bumper sticker saying say no to gasoline go 100% electric. Well as you indicated above the driver waited to kaput and the “100% electric ” no to gasoline virtue mobile was hooked up on the side of the road to, you guessed it, a gasoline powered generator. I also saw a video of someone showing off the “0 emissions” small excavator they were testing out. He gave some technical info about it, how long it lasted, how long it takes to charge then he showed that it was currently charging. The charger of course was hooked up to a massive diesel powered generator. He leaves the video off by saying 0 emissions my arse

  23. Speaking of the marketing angle, I like the way they’ve made the charging plug look just like a gas pump handle. lol Subtle, yet effective I’m sure.


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