2022 American Car of the Year: Ford F-150 Lightning

On the one hand, a large pickup is a perfect candidate for an electric conversion. That long wheelbase is well-suited to house a large lithium-ion battery, and the resulting extra weight isn’t really a concern for anyone. Full power winding tsunamis are perfect for hauling gear and there are plenty of power outlets scattered around here and nothing but very simple.

But there’s a problem: Pick-up is the epitome of simple, affordable and reliable transportation. Range and charging limitations, and the cost of batteries, will immediately squeeze those pillars. But that’s not much of a problem in America, the paradise of pickups.

That’s where the pickup means freedom: a full tank of gasoline, a V6 or V8 throbbing and anything is possible. For the vast majority of Americans, trading in their motorcycles is tantamount to taking away basic civil rights.

The electric Ford F-150 Lightning is a bold move

Ford sells nearly a million F-Series pickups annually in the U.S. alone F-150 makes up most of it. So fiddling with that formula was, to say the least, a very brave thing to do.

It will take some persuasion to get America to do this, but at least Ford has done its best by removing the engine and putting some AAs in its place, but taking the opportunity to build a better F-150 from A to Z.

It surges forward with an unprecedented sophistication, the right pedal is as sharp as a scalpel and it accelerates like a sports car. It can carry up to 4,535 kg on its towbar, can power your home when the network goes down and is a giant power bank on wheels. Ordering the Pro with onboard power gives you six USB ports and eleven actual power outlets.

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Best American Car of 2022

Its 400-litre Mega Power Front is the best way we’ve seen to use the space gained from the internal combustion engine. And with a large 131-kWh battery, you can drive 300 miles between charges in the real world, or (surprisingly far) on the tarmac.

This F-150 is a forbidden fruit, officially only sold across the Atlantic, but it has the potential to change the EV landscape for all of us. That’s why it’s our 2022 American Car of the Year.

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