The upcoming all-electric Ford F-150 pickup truck will revive the “Lightning” name, per a source cited by Car and Driver. Ford hasn’t used the Lightning name on a production vehicle since the early 2000s when it was applied to the sportiest version of the F-150. A quick dive into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database shows that the automaker recently applied for and was granted the Lightning word mark in 2018.
What’s In a Name?
Ford has been resurrecting classic names for new versions of its “icons” lineup: namely those related to the Mustang and the Bronco. On the former, Ford has leveraged the “Mach” name for its electric Mustang-branded Mach-E SUV and the gas-fed Mach 1 coupe; for the latter, Ford both revived the Bronco nameplate for its Jeep Wrangler-fighting 4×4 and slapped the “Bronco Sport” name on a smaller car-based compact crossover. The idea is to leverage these iconic names to sell more vehicles beyond the core Mustang and Bronco lineups by building each nameplate into compelling standalone sub-brands.
For the electric F-150, which has been widely publicized as going on sale in 2022, the Lightning name is almost too perfect. The Lightning logo incorporates a distinctive lightning bolt beneath the letters—a visual seemingly better suited to an EV than a high-output, gas-fed sport pickup truck. Folks also will recognize the Lightning name, ensuring Ford’s electric F-150 enters the arena with a tailwind of interest. This is similar to how General Motors brought back the Hummer name for its new GMC-branded electric pickup truck and SUV models.
Electric Pickup Trucks Crawling Out of the Woodwork
The Lightning name—or any recognizable name, really—will certainly help the F-150 electric’s chances as it elbows its way into the soon-to-explode electric pickup arena. In the next year, we expect challengers from not just Hummer but also Rivian (R1T), Tesla (Cybertruck), Chevrolet (Silverado), and perhaps a few upstarts, such as Lordstown Motors and Alpha.
Ford is expected to utilize a modified version of the gas-fed F-150’s frame for the electric Lightning model. Look for around 300 miles of range per charge, as well as gas-truck-rivaling capability (Ford showed a prototype pulling a train, so substantial towing should be on the menu). The EV will be the natural stepping stone beyond today’s F-15o PowerBoost hybrid.
We’ve reached out to Ford for comment on the F-150 electric pickup’s alleged use of the Lightning name and will update this space if and when we hear back.
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