The Ford F-150 Lightning is the first all-electric pickup truck from the brand and features two electric motors providing its motivation. According to marketing executives, however, a single motor variant could have been offered, and would likely have been a lot cheaper.
The front and rear-mounted motors for the pickup are supplied by either a 98 kW hour battery or a 131 kW hour battery, depending on if specced with standard range or extended range option. The former of which produces 452 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, while the latter provides 580 horsepower.
According to marketing manager Jason Turnbull, the idea was floated, but then quickly sunk when the cons outweighed the pros. A prototype was even built, but it wasn’t up to snuff.
Cheaper, Single Motor Ford F-150 Lightning Passed Up
“It couldn’t meet our targets,” Turnbull explained to CarBuzz. “We looked at various factors such as towing, payload, and performance before deciding the capability would not be worthy of the F-150 badge.”
Offering the Lightning with only one motor would have lowered the price, but the electric pickup already starts at $39,974, and the trade-offs would not have been worth the cost savings. But the amount of money that would have stayed in your pocket would equate to the amount of towing capacity and payload that would have been lost with the single motor setup.
Both electric motors produce the same power, so losing one of them would mean that the truck would only have 271 horsepower, which would make it barely more powerful than the compact Maverick pickup. Turnbull also added that the prototype single motor F-150 Lightning didn’t have significantly better range than the dual-motor version.
That does leave us to wonder though, could an electric compact pickup truck feature just one electric motor and still offer the capability of a gas-powered one? Turnbull also addressed that question, by saying that he has “no comment on future product.”
We already know that Ford is planning to build another electric truck that’s different from Lightning, but only time will tell how many motors it has, and what segment it will fit into.