Everything You Need to Know About Charging the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is now rolling off the assembly line, full of electrons. It's the second electric pickup truck to market after the Rivian R1T, but Ford is the first of the Big Three Detroit automakers to field an entry in the most profitable segment of vehicles. Like a cell phone, and unlike the trucks of the past 100 years, this one will need to be plugged in.

Ford says that three out of four F-150 Lightning reservation holders are new to the Ford brand, four out of five a new to electric vehicles and 50 percent are new to trucks.

Electric vehicle charging isn't as easy as the process of filling up a gasoline tank. New electric vehicle (EV) buyers may be easily overwhelmed by having to learn a new fueling system, which is measured in kilowatts and kilowatt-hours instead of gallons, and is dependent on numerous electricity flow factors, not just whether or not the holding tank at the filling station has fuel.

The new Lightning pickup was upgraded in power and capacity a few days before its official launch. Ford now says that the standard-range 98-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack produces 452 horsepower up from 426. The extended-range pack has been lifted to 580 horsepower from 563. Payload numbers got a boost to 2,235 pounds and the max range is now pegged at between 300 and 320 miles.

And that's what most buyers are concerned about first: range. The second worry? Charging.

What types of chargers can you use to charge the Ford F-150 Lightning?

For charging, there are the home options and the away options. For home options, buyers can get a Level 1 charger, which works off a 120-volt home outlet and takes a long time (19 hours for the F-150). These are only recommended for shorter range EVs.

Level 2 chargers are usually purchased with the car, and work from a 240-volt outlet. They need to installed by a professional electrician and shorten your charging time considerably. The can be installed at home, though many retail stores and commercial buildings also have them for employee use.

Finally there are DC fast chargers, which take the fill-up time from hours down to minutes. These are usually found at Electrify America or ChargePoint (or Tesla Supercharger) stations.

How fast can the Ford F-150 Lightning charge?

The F-150 Lightning's standard range battery takes 44 minutes to charge from 15-80 percent at a 150-kW Level 3 charger. A 50-kW charger is also considered Level 3, though it takes about 91 minutes for the same charge. The extended-range battery actually charges faster at 41 minutes at 150 kW, though the same charge takes 122 minutes at the lower level.

More often buyers will be charging at home or at work with a Level 2 charger. The 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro ($1,310) will get the standard truck from 15-100 percent in 10 hours while the extended range takes 8 hours. That charger is the one you need if you want to feed power back into your house in case of a power outage. The Ford Connected Charge Station ($799) works at 48 amps and takes the same 10 hours, though the extended range battery goes up to 13 hours.

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How long does it take to charge the Ford F-150 Lightning at home?

If Lightning buyers are charging at a home charger from a household fuse box at 32 amps/240 watts, it'll take about 14 hours or 20 hours, depending on which battery was installed, to completely charge the battery. But, most owners don't require a full charge at every charge opportunity.

What is the Ford Blue Oval Charging Network?

The electric F-150 uses a Combined Charging System or CCS, which allows both standard and direct current (DC) fast charging. Buyers can charge the pickup almost anywhere, except for a Tesla supercharger, including ChargePoint stations. But Ford has a deal with Electrify America, which it calls the Ford Blue Oval Charging Network.

It features more than 70,000 stations in North America, is connected to the F-150 Lightning and its app, and Ford offers with two years of Blue Oval Charge Network access and 250 kWh of complimentary DC fast charging.

How does the Ford F-150 Lightning use Plug-and-Charge technology?

The FordPass app makes sorting all of these power, charging and range options understandable. The network has 19,500 charging stations, with more to come, and Ford gives buyers two years of complimentary access to the BlueOval Charge Network.

Plug & Charge lets drivers automatically activate, pay and charge by plugging into a participating public charging station without having to use your smartphone or swipe a credit card. Once you've activated the Network access, you can log into your FordPass App and turn on the Plug & Charge feature. It shows drivers which charging stations are Plug & Charge capable.

What vehicles and tools can you charge with the Ford F-150 Lightning?

The Lightning doesn't just take a charge either, it also gives it. The Pro Power Onboard generator has built-in electrical outlets to power tools, electronics, and appliances. Base trims get 2.4-kilowatts of power; Lariat and Platinum series come with 9.6 kilowatts. That is through a combination of up to 2.4 kilowatts in the front trunk and up to 7.2 kilowatts through the 11 power outlets in the cab and bed.

Finally, Ford notes that if a buyer does have the Pro Power Onboard, it can charge other EVs that run out of juice. The company calls it "Share Range" and all an EV driver has to do is plug in their car to the 240-volt outlet on the Lightning (or the PowerBoost Hybrid F-150 with the generator). It can give a Mustang Mach-E 20 miles per charging hour, which isn't much, but it will get a stranded vehicle to safety, though any EV with a 240-volt charger can use it.

Click to see our charging guide for F-150, including how to make it run your house in case of a power outage.