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See the many quirks that set the electric F-150 Lightning apart from Ford’s gas trucks

We got up close and personal with an early F-150 Lightning pickup. See how it's similar — yet different — to other Ford trucks. ...
The Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.

  • We got an early look at Ford's upcoming electric pickup truck: the F-150 Lightning. 
  • The e-truck has a lot in common with the gas F-150. But there are some key differences. 
  • The Lightning has a big touchscreen, a frunk, new bodywork, and power outlets everywhere. 
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
Across a crowded parking lot, you might mistake the upcoming F-150 Lightning for just another gas-drinking Ford truck.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

But once you dig deeper, the traits that set apart Ford's electric pickup become clearer.

F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning.

Up front, you've got a textured black panel instead of a grille — a tell-tale sign that there's no engine under that hood.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

The headlights and taillights have been redesigned with a more angular look.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

The Lightning also gets an LED light bar spanning the entire width of the truck in front.

The Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.

There's a matching LED strip running across the rear.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Lightning badging can be found on the sides of the bed…

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Along with a more subtle logo out back.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

The charging port is under this little door on the front fender.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford redesigned the front fenders, hood, bed sides, and running boards for aerodynamics and to fit the new lights and charging door.

Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning.

But that's pretty much it for exterior changes.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Under the hood, the F-150 Lightning has a roomy front trunk dubbed the Mega Power Frunk.

Ford F-150 Lightning frunk.
The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.

Read More: The Ford F-150 Lightning's massive frunk is packed with useful features — take a closer look

It has a handful of power outlets…

The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.
The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.

An extra storage cubby under the floor…

The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.
The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.

… And a removable panel you can use as a storage divider.

The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.
The Ford F-150 Lightning's frunk.

Stepping inside the Lightning, you can't help but notice the 15.5-inch touchscreen that dominates the dashboard.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

It's just like the one in the Mustang Mach-E EV and has an actual volume knob embedded in it.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Other than that, the cab is pretty much the same as a conventional F-150.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

The Lightning has all the options you can get in Ford's other trucks, like a fold-out work surface and seats that recline 180 degrees.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

That's one of the most notable features of the Lightning — just how much it shares with the F-150s people are already familiar with.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford went through a lot of trouble to give the Lightning's bed the exact same dimensions as other F-150s, despite the giant battery hidden underneath the floor.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

That way, F-150 owners can use their existing racks and other accessories on their new EV.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

The Lightning's tailgate has the same built-in work surface found in other 2021 F-150s.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

It also has the same tie-down points that double as bottle openers on either side of the tailgate.

The Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.

The preproduction Lightning I checked out also had an optional step that folds out from the tailgate.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

The EV's bed does have one thing you won't find in other pickups (except the hybrid F-150): 7.2 kilowatts of power available through several outlets.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Preproduction of the F-150 Lightning started in September and deliveries are set to begin in Spring 2022.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

Pricing starts at around $40,000 for a basic work truck but can stretch to $90,000 for a Lightning with a bigger battery and all the bells and whistles.

The Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning

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