Ford is achieving great success with its new EV truck, but one of the first questions owners have is how do you charge the Ford F150 Lightning?

There can be no question that Ford’s F150 Lightning is a great truck that has changed the automotive landscape. By harnessing the eco-friendly power of an EV but still retaining the functionality of a pickup, Ford has seemed to have found the best of both worlds. More and more owners are making the needed shift from ICE units to the electric versions, and that is excellent news for our planet. But before you rush out to reserve an F150, thinking that charging will be as simple as plugging your truck into a nearby socket, there are some things you should know. To be sure, charging an F150 or any electric vehicle requires some prep work.

The best way to charge an F150 is with a Ford Charge Station Pro in your home. Once installed, using 240V electrical current, the Ford can be easily plugged in through the charging port on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

There are other things to consider when it comes to charging and EV besides plugging in a cord. How expensive is it to have a Ford charging station installed? Why can’t you use the existing electrical current from any household plug? Is the installation something anyone can do?

Let’s see if we can’t unpack some of the basic charging myths to make the Ford F150 Lightining’s transition from dealer pickup lines to home parking as smooth as possible.

How To Charge The Ford F-150 Lightning

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How Do You Charge the Ford F150 Lightning?

According to a recent survey of F150 Lightning owners who had made reservations for the new truck, 79% have never had an electric vehicle. This means that there may be plenty of questions about upkeep to ponder.

The first thing to remember is that EVs have three different charging levels with various electric transmission rates.

Level One

Every Ford F150 Lightning comes with a couple of different plugs which allow the owner to charge the battery. The level one adapter allows you to use your standard household current, but the charge rate makes this reasonably impractical. Estimates are that the level one charger will only build a range of 2 - 3 miles per hour. This rate will take owners about 3 - 5 days to reach a full charge. Unless you plan to park your truck more than drive it, this type of charging will not work.

Level Two -

The transfer rate is much faster with this type of charging unit, considering it adds 25 miles of range per hour. So, fully charging an F-150 would take about 9 to 10 hours to achieve a total capacity. This means that you will likely be able to pull into your garage at the end of the day, plug in and then have an ultimately charged battery to attack the world the following day.

Ford offers a dedicated charging station called Ford Charge Station Pro, installed in the home using 240v current. Owners fortunate to have an extended range battery receive the station at no additional cost, but Ford’s generosity does not cover the installation cost in your garage. They recommend a certified electrician to do the work (Sunrun is their preferred installer). So, those who have ordered a standard range battery may be saddled with high additional costs. The added expense is likely from an electrician having to wire a garage or carport with a dedicated 240v power source. Most estimates put the installation between $2000 - $3000. (Ford is NOT willing to finance the installation costs with your monthly payment, but owners can finance these expenses with Sunrun).

Ford just announced a delay in making the Charge Station Pro available. This is terrible news for some 2022 F 150 owners who will receive delivery of their trucks but no practical way to charge them overnight.

Level Three -

Supercharging stations are scattered across the states, with the network expanding daily. A level 3 charging unit delivers up to a 150 kW charge and adds between 3 and 20 miles per minute. This rate means you could theoretically go from 0 to 100% in less than three-quarters of an hour.

Most of the present public Level 3 stations are Tesla chargers. To help customers, Ford announced that it would provide an additional adapter for owners to have the ability to hook up to a Tesla Supercharger. (Currently, there are only a little over 1,000 of these supercharging sites in the US, with California having about 20% of them. Tesla announced that it plans to triple the network within two years, but we will have to wait and see if Elon Musk can deliver on that bold statement).

What Does It Cost to Charge a Ford F150 Lightning?

The answer to that question depends on what energy costs are in your area. The formula to calculate the approximate cost is pretty straightforward. Take the cost of electricity in your state, multiply it by the size of the battery and divide by 100. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average residential customer will pay $14.22 per kW hour.

An F150 owner with a standard battery would have to shell out $13.93 daily (assuming they drained the battery each day). An extended-range battery owner would be a bit higher at  $18.62. Since no owner is likely to run their truck to zero battery life daily, the chances are that many clients will be paying less than the $6,796. Still, the added energy expense on their monthly bills will increase their energy bills more than many truck owners bargained for or are prepared to pay.

To view the electricity costs for your state, see ChooseEnergy.

If you decide to charge a Tesla Supercharging station, you will have to pay per kW (kilowatt) to power up your truck. The rate is .25 per kW, but these costs vary from state to state or may be higher in some regions than others. So, let’s say that your battery is running low, and you want to get more charge; since most EVs add 3 - 4 miles for each kW, you would need about $5.00 to add 80 miles.

Where Is the Cheapest Place to Charge?

The cheapest place to charge your Ford Lightning is at home during the night when the price per kW hour lowers. Compared to filling up with a tank of gasoline (which is now pushing $5.00 a gallon), the cost of charging EVs is considerably less than driving an ICE truck. Most pickup trucks get about 18 - 19 miles per gallon. When you calculate that gasoline is close to $5.00 per gallon, the cost for 90 miles is bumping $25.00.

Do all EVs Use the Same Charging Connector?

In North America, the industry-standard J1772 or J-plug uses the same connector for Level 1 and 2 chargings. The only exception is Tesla, which uses a special connector for its Supercharger station.  Ford has been adding the adapter to its delivery of 2022 F150s, which is a nice little bonus for having to wait for their truck to be built.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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