2023 Ford F-150 Lightning gains new colors, range & features [Update]

  • USD 6,000-12,000 more expensive; 2023 range starts at USD 51,974
  • Gains Trailer Hitch Assist and LED warning beacons
  • Standard-Range variant expected to deliver a 10-mile (EPA-est.) additional range
  • Comes in 2 new colors: Avalanche Gray and Azure Gray metallic tri-coat

Update: ‘Performance & Capability’ sub-section of ‘Specifications’ and ‘Price’ section updated.

Unveiled in May 2021 and launched in the U.S. in May 2022, the Ford F-150 Lightning (Ford F-150 electric/Ford F-150 EV) has received its first model year update. Reservations are on pause because of high demand, and only existing reservation holders can order the new model.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning will go on sale in the Blue Oval’s home market in fall 2022. In this story, we detail everything that is new in the updated electric truck:

Design

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning doesn’t have body changes from the previous model as the original design is fresh and has received an extremely positive response from customers. Like the previous model, it is only available as a SuperCrew (crew cab) pickup.

Ford offers the 2023 F-150 Lightning in two new colors—Avalanche Gray and Azure Gray metallic tri-coat—and eight carried-over colors. The company has discontinued the Atlas Blue, Iced Blue Silver, and Smoked Quartz Metallic colors.

There are four grades on offer in the 2023 model: Pro, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. The Pro grade includes two sub-grades, Pro Standard and Pro Fleet. Similarly, the XLT grade has three sub-grades – XLT Fleet, XLT Standard, and XLT High. Lastly, Lariat includes two sub-grades: Lariat Standard and Lariat High.

The F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck has a unique identity to stand out from the wide range of gas-powered Ford F-150 models while still being recognizable as an F-150. It features a noticeably different front fascia, expressing the eco-friendly and high-tech nature of its powertrain.

Key to the F-150 Lightning’s design is its unique, high-tech face with an attention-seeking light structure and a cleaner grille design. An end-to-end LED light bar that forms a gate-like visual component makes the F-150 EV immediately recognizable. The main lights are positioned vertically like on the ICE variant but in a more sophisticated and narrow assembly.

The area between the front lights has a closed-off grille with a smoother, textured surface. There are two more grille designs for other configurations, though. At the rear, LED lightbars cover the electric pickup truck’s whole width to give the signature EV styling. As for the sides, the alloy wheels have a more aerodynamic design. Below are the wheel options:

  • 18″ Machined w/ Black High Gloss Pockets (Pro and XLT Base)
  • 20″ Dark Carbonized Gray (XLT High and Lariat)
  • 22″ Bright Machined w/ Ebony Black Painted Pockets (Platinum)

Ford has introduced new LED warning beacons sourced from SoundOff Signal for the F-150 Lightning with the MY2023 update:

  • Amber strobe color (Pro and XLT Fleet)
  • Amber/White strobe color (Pro and XLT Fleet)
  • Red/Blue strobe color (Pro Fleet)

Interior

The interior of the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is no different from the previous model for the same reasons. There are some equipment changes, though. Ford has stopped including AM Radio in the F-150 Lightning with the MY2023 update.

12-inch SYNC4 system

Customers can have the 2023 F-150 Lightning with a 12-inch SYNC4 landscape touchscreen infotainment system (Pro and XLT), borrowed from the gas-powered F-150, or the exclusive 15.5-inch SYNC4A portrait touchscreen infotainment system (Lariat and Platinum).

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning interior
SYNC4A includes natural voice control, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and more. Image Source: Ford

Mustang Mach-E owners would instantly recognize a similar physical knob at the bottom of the screen. SYNC4A means Adaptive Dash Cards and automatic placement of frequently used functions at the top of the screen in addition to the features of SYNC4. Needless to say, over-the-air software updates are supported in the F-150 Lightning, and they are called Ford Power-Up.

BlueCruise

BlueCruise, Ford’s SAE Level 2 autonomous driving assistant, enables true hands-free, autonomous driving on more than 130,000 miles of compatible divided highways in the U.S. and Canada. It is similar to Tesla Autopilot but does not require the driver’s hands to stay in contact with the steering wheel at all times. It communicates with the driver through text and blue lighting cues in the instrument cluster.

In addition to BlueCruise for autonomous driving, the F-150 Lightning could feature ‘freeDrive’ for remote parking. Usable after scrubbing in a circular pattern on the designated area at the top of the display, freeDrive feature could allow customers to drive their F-150 Lightning in or out of a parking spot using their smartphone. electrek has discovered this potential feature in the FordPass iOS app and has published its pictures in its report.

Specifications

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is available in Standard-Range and Extended-Range variants, just like the previous model, but specifications are slightly different. We have discussed these revisions wherever applicable in the sub-sections below:

Performance & Capability

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning features two motors that power all four wheels, meaning that four-wheel drive is standard. These motors can deliver more power and torque than any Ford F-150 ever. The Standard-Range variant’s motors produce 452 horsepower and the Extended-Range variant’s motors generate 580 hp. The torque output is the same on both variants – 775 lb.-ft. Normal, Sport, Off-Road, and Tow/Haul are the selectable drive modes.

On October 24, 2022, Ford President & CEO Jim Farley shared on Twitter that the F-150 Lightning Extended-Range’s 0-60 mph acceleration time is now under four seconds. Motor Trend had recorded a 0-60 acceleration time of 3.8 seconds in the same configuration (Lariat Extended Range to be more specific) in the previous model year, though.

Thanks to a low center of gravity, the F-150 electric offers more confident handling than the gas-powered F-150. It has an independent rear suspension – a first for any F-Series model – that helps minimize body roll and leads to a smooth ride.

For the last two generations, Ford has marked the F-150 as an aluminum-intensive pickup truck to communicate its increased strength and reduced weight to customers. The thirteenth-gen F-150 was 700 pounds lighter than its predecessor because of the extensive usage of lightweight materials. While 6,500 pounds sounds a lot, the curb weight of the electric variant could have been heavier had Ford not focused on the various weight-saving measures since the thirteenth generation.

Payload & Towing

The 2023 F-150 Lightning offers a maximum payload capacity of up to 2,235 lbs. in the Standard-Range variant and up to 1,952 lbs. in the Extended-Range variant. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs. in the former and up to 7,700 lbs. in the latter.

Customers can increase the 2023 F-150 Lightning’s towing capacity to 7,700 lbs. in the Standard-Range variant and 10,000 lbs. (XLT/Lariat)/8,500 lbs. (Platinum) in the Extended-Range variant with a Max Trailer Tow Package. Carried over from the previous model, this package is standard on the Platinum grade and optional on the Pro, XLT, and Lariat grades.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning towing trailer
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning includes a new Trailer Hitch Assist feature to make hitching trailers easier. Image Source: Ford

Another package copy+pasted from the previous model year is the Tow Technology package. However, unlike before, this optional package includes a new Pro Trailer Hitch Assist technology in the 2023 F-150 Lightning. Claimed to be an industry-first feature, Pro Trailer Hitch Assist automates steering, throttle, and brake inputs, making hitching trailers easier. Tow Technology package is standard on the Lariat (High) and Platinum grades and optional on Pro, XLT, and Lariat (Standard) grades.

Equally capable as the gas-powered truck

Before the reveal, Ford officials suggested that F-150 electric or the F-150 Lightning would be as capable as the ICE F-150 that is available in gasoline, diesel, and gasoline-electric hybrid variants.

What’s unique about F-150 all-electric vehicle is its design purpose-built to do work. So it’s going to be authentically built for tough. And so when you think about what does that mean to customers, that means something. That’s got a longstanding heritage, it’s got a longstanding history. And people know what they get. That vehicle is going to show up and be able to do the work that you expect out of it.

Jim Baumbick Vice President, Enterprise Product Line Management, Ford (at Bank of America Global Automotive Summit)

The Blue Oval had demonstrated a prototype towing 10 double-decker rail cars and 42 F-150s, weighing more than a million pounds, in July 2019.

On the ‘Frunk’ space

Ford is pitching high practicality and affordability as facets of the electric F-150. The company says that it features a mega power frunk that is locked and accessed easily by a powered open and close system.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning frunk
The frunk offers 400 liters of volume, enough to stow two carry-on bags, one checked bag, and a couple of golf club sets.

The innovative front trunk offers many conveniences like two USB chargers, four electrical outlets, and a drainable floor that can be used even as a food and beverage container. 2.4 kW power output is available for charging/powering devices, enough to plug in laptops, crockpots, speakers, power tools, TVs, and more. For more power needs, 7.2 kW can be drawn through outlets in the cab and bed.

Battery & Range

The 2023 F-150 Lightning comes with the same lithium-ion battery packs as the launch configuration. The Standard-Range variant has a 98 kWh battery pack and the Extended-Range variant has a 131 kWh battery pack. Still, Ford expects the Standard-Range variant’s EPA-est. range to be 10 miles higher than that of the previous model – 240 miles. The company is targeting the same EPA-est. range as the previous model for the Extended-Range range – 320 miles (Platinum: 300 miles).

By default, the Pro, XLT, and Lariat trims will have the 98 kWh battery pack. However, Ford will offer an option to upgrade to the 131 kWh in the XLT and Lariat trims. The company will offer this option in the Pro trim, too, but only to fleet customers. The Platinum trim will get the 131 kWh battery pack as standard.

NCM9 type cells

Ford is using NCM9-type Lithium-ion batteries for the F-150 Lightning. SK Innovation was going to supply the batteries from 2022, and it says that NCM9 is the most powerful type of Lithium-ion battery. An NCM9 battery has approximately 90% Nickel content, and the amount of Nickel can significantly influence the output and driving range of an EV. The first picture in the image gallery below shows SK Innovation displaying an early F-150 Lightning prototype fitted with the NCM9-type Lithium-ion battery at the InterBattery 2021 event. The second picture shows Jim Farley and SK Innovation President & CEO Jun Kim holding the same.

Charging

A standard 80-amp charge station will allow customers to take advantage of the truck’s dual onboard charging system at home and add an average range (estimated) of 19 miles (Standard-Range variant)/30 miles (Extended-Range variant) every hour, with 15%-100% SoC charging in taking about ten hours (Standard-Range variant)/eight hours (Extended-Range variant).

The 2023 F-150 Lightning’s maximum fast-charging rate supported is 150 kilowatts, and it allows charging from 15%-100% SoC in 41 minutes in the Extended-Range variant. A range of up to 54 miles can be achieved in just 10 minutes using a 150 kW charger.

Ford Intelligent Backup Power

Ford F-150 Lightning V2V charging bidirectional charging
The Ford F-150 Lightning supports bidirectional charging, and so, V2V charging is possible. Image Source: Ford

The F-150 Lightning comes with Ford Intelligent Backup Power, a bidirectional charging feature that allows vehicle-to-load (V2L) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) functions. The units configured with the 9.6 kW Pro Power Onboard power source, optional in Pro and XLT trims and standard in Lariat and Platinum trims, will allow V2V charging at Level 2 rates.

The picture above is of an F-150 Lightning transmitting electricity stored in its battery pack to a Mustang Mach-E. Ford says that using the Ford Mobile Power Cord charger, which can deliver L2 charging, every hour of charging should add 20 miles of range (on an average) to a Mustang Mach-E extended-range RWD, up to 13 miles of range to the F-150 Lightning, and 10 miles of range (on an average) to the E-Transit low-roof cargo van.

In an emergency, customers can use the power stored in the battery of the F-150 Lightning for the household. When the power comes back, the truck automatically starts charging. The Extended-Range model can power a typical American house with an average of 30 kWh of use per day for up to three days. If power is used conservatively, customers can increase this period to as long as ten days.

Ford Charge Station Pro

To make the most of the Ford Intelligent Backup Power, F-150 Lightning customers will need a Ford Charge Station Pro Level 2 wall charger, a Home Integration System, and a solar system installed at their place. Ford Charge Station Pro, co-developed with Siemens, is free for F-150 Lightning extended-range customers. The Home Integration System, jointly developed with Sunrun, enables two-way power flow. It consists of a power inverter, a dark start battery, and a transfer switch.

Ford Charge Station Pro is standard on the Extended-Range variant and optional on the Standard-Range variant. The highlights of this wall charger apart from enabling Ford Intelligent Backup Power include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and FordPass Connected app support. This charger provides up to 11.5 kW/80-amp output.

Charging the F-150 Lightning with the Ford Charge Station Pro charger from 15-100% SoC takes 10 hours in the Standard-Range variant and 8 hours in the Extended-Range variant. The average range per charging hour is 19 miles in the Standard-Range variant and 30 miles in the Extended-Range variant.

Ford F-150 Lightning Spec Sheet

Parameter2023 Ford F-150 Electric Standard-Range2023 Ford F-150 Electric Extended-Range
Length232.7 in.232.7 in.
Width80.0 in. (excl. mirrors)/83.6 in. (mirrors folded)/96.0 in. (incl. mirrors)80.0 in. (excl. mirrors)/83.6 in. (mirrors folded)/96.0 in. (incl. mirrors)
Cab Height78.3 in.78.3 in.
Wheelbase145.5 in.145.5 in.
Approach Angle24.4°23.6°
Departure Angle23.6°24.2°
Breakover Angle17.6°17.6°
Ground Clearance8.4 in.8.4 in.
Maximum Payload2,235 lbs.1,952 lbs.
Maximum Towing5,000 lbs.7,700 lbs.
Maximum Towing (with Max Trailer Tow Package)7,700 lbs.10,000 lbs. (XLT/Lariat)/8,500 lbs. (Platinum)
Drivetrain LayoutDual-motor AWDDual-motor AWD
Targeted Peak Power452 hp580 hp
Targeted Peak Torque775 lb.-ft.775 lb.-ft.
Battery TypeLithium-ion pouch, liquid-cooledLithium-ion pouch, liquid-cooled
Battery Pack Energy Storage Capacity98 kWh131 kWh
Onboard Charger Input/Output11.3 kW/10.5 kW19.2 kW/17.6 kW
15-100% Level 2 (AC) Charging Time (32A/240W Mobile Charger)13 hours19 hours
15-100% Level 2 (AC) Charging Time (48A Connected Charge Station)10 hours13 hours
15-100% Level 2 (AC) Charging Time (80A Ford Charge Station Pro)10 hours8 hours
15-80% Level 3 (DC) Fast-Charging Time (50 kW)91 minutes122 minutes
15-80% Level 3 (DC) Fast-Charging Time (150 kW)44 minutes41 minutes
Est. Miles/Charge (1 hour 32A/240W Mobile Charger)13 miles13 miles
Est. Miles/Charge (1 hour, 48A Ford Connected Charge Station)19 miles20 miles
Est. Miles/Charge (1 hour, 80A Ford Charge Station Pro)19 miles30 miles
Est. Miles/Charge (10 minutes, 150 kW DC Fast-Charger)41 miles54 miles
Targeted EPA-Estimated Range240 miles320 miles (XLT & Lariat)/300 miles (Platinum)
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning specifications (Source: Ford)

Manufacturing

Ford manufactures the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn (Michigan), USA. The company held the groundbreaking ceremony of this 500,000-square-foot plant on September 17, 2020, and in no mood to wait, it started pre-production of the F-150 Lightning one year later, on September 16, 2021. It started the series production of the F-150 Lightning on April 26, 2022.

The F-150 Lightning’s demand is surpassing Ford’s highest expectations. The company plans to nearly double the annual production of the F-150 Lightning to 150,000 units to meet soaring customer demand in 2023. In September 2021, it had said that it was making additional investments and adding jobs to ramp up production. Following the USD 700 million initial investment in the Ford Rouge Center (now Rouge Electric Vehicle Center) confirmed in 2020, the company had announced an additional USD 250 million investment for the factory, the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, and Rawsonville Components Plant.

Price

When Ford launched the 2023 F-150 Lightning in early August 2022, it was USD 6,000-8,500 more expensive than the previous model. In early October 2022, the company rolled out another USD 5,000 price hike, applicable to the base (Pro) trim. The table below shows the latest 2023 F-150 Lightning prices:

Trim2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Price
ProUSD 51,974
XLTUSD 59,474 (SR)/USD 80,974 (ER)
LariatUSD 74,474 (SR)/USD 85,974 (ER)
PlatinumUSD 96,874
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning prices (excl. USD 1,795 destination charge)

The price bump is a result of significant material cost increases and other factors. The price adjustments don’t apply to confirmed orders for which delivery is still pending. Moreover, the company says that reservation holders who received an invitation to order before the price hike but were unable to order because of the unavailability of their vehicle specifications will get a private offer for use in upcoming waves.

What you get in the base F-150 Lightning variant

The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is instantly recognizable because it doesn’t feature the signature hood lighting that is standard in other trims. It has a basic grille, LED projector headlamps with dynamic bending and LED signature lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels, and LED tail lamps. Signature LED tailgate lighting is not part of the exterior lighting either.

Base Ford F-150 Lightning Pro variant
The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro has the Standard-Range battery pack and the older SYNC system. It will compete with the Chevrolet Silverado EV WT that hits dealers in Spring 2023. Image Source: Ford

On the technology front, the base Ford F-150 Lightning includes a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and the older, SYNC 4 infotainment system with a smaller, 12-inch landscape touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation, and wireless updates. The front occupants get vinyl bucket seats with two-way manual adjustment. The capacity of the onboard charger is 2.4 kW, and there are multiple 120 V outlets: two in the cab, two in the bed, and four in the front trunk.

The Ford Co-Pilot 360 2.0 set of driver assistant systems in the base F-150 Lightning includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (including Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, and Dynamic Brake Support), BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System with Lane-Keeping Alert, automatic high-beam, backup camera, rear parking sensors, Reverse Brake Assist, and Post-Collision Braking.

TopElectricSUV says

The Ford F-150 Lightning, America’s first and most popular electric truck, has received some minor upgrades to get more appealing with the MY2023 update. Nevertheless, the price hike brought about by the revisions means it’s significantly more expensive and might even be out of reach for many eager customers.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning FAQs

What is the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning release date?

The 2023 F-150 Lightning electric truck will go on sale in the U.S. in fall 2022.

Which pickups would be considered Ford F-150 Lightning rivals?

The F-150 Electric will challenge the Chevy Silverado EV, Tesla Cybertruck & the RAM electric truck (1500 BEV).

What is the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning price?

The price of the base 2023 Ford F-150 Electric is USD 51,974. (excl. USD 1,795 destination charge).

Featured image: Ford