I never gave much thought about electric vehicles. I’ve heard they accelerate really fast, but I was in for a surprise with my first time driving one — which turned out to be a pickup truck of all things. Ford’s F150 Lightning Platinum Black Edition is the kind of thing that can turn heads because it’s covered in this unique matte black wrap. However, I was surprised most by one specific driving mode that I got the chance to try out.
Electric vehicles are nothing new, but what makes this one special is that Ford’s making a limited batch of them. In fact, there will be a total of 2,000 units produced, with each one badged with its respective number. If you can somehow shell out the $97,995 that it costs to snag one, then you should expect delivery sometime in early 2024.
I did get the chance to check out the Ford F150 Lightning Platinum Black in the flesh, and I cannot tell you the amount of detail that went into its design. Instead of going after a futuristic-looking design, Ford’s decision to go with an all-matte finish gives it the modern look that will please longtime Ford F150 drivers — while adding that future-proof electric powertrain. And yes, I got to drive a similar model in Ford’s lineup that changed my mind about electric cars.
Sinister look for stealth and style
The folks at Ford loved to describe the Ford F150 Lightning Platinum Black as ‘sinister’ looking. You might be scratching and wondering why they’d use that word to describe its limited edition all-electric pickup truck, but I will admit that it’s spot on. It’s badass, which playfully matches the reputation that pickups are known for.
I don’t know why, but the all-matte black wrap that covered the entire pickup gave it a uniform, clean look. Drawing my attention the most was the pleasant contrast between the glossy black accents around the body and the all-matte wrap — it just looked gorgeous, which is saying a lot because I’ve never once thought of pickups as attractive looking vehicles.
I also love all the small details put into its design, like the blacked out Ford badge, smoked light bar on the front, and the reflective black-on-black Lightning badge scattered throughout the body.
Moving to the interior, the design philosophy remained consistent with the luxe black Nirvana leather. I found sitting in the driver’s seat spacious, but that extended to the passenger seat and the rear cabin. Again, I didn’t think pickups made comfort a priority over utility — but this one blends the two perfectly.
Aside from that, the F150 Lightning Platinum Black isn’t all that different from the other models in the F150 Lightning family. That includes a maximum range of 300 miles, Ford’s BlueCruise4 hands-free highway driving, and a 12-inch display in the center console.
Driving with only one pedal is game changing
While the sinister look of the pickup is what will instantly draw people’s attention, there’s actually one specific feature that surprised me most. I’m referring to Ford’s one-pedal driving, which is one of the four main driving modes available on the F150 Lightning Platinum Black. I actually got to try it out on another similar model — the Lariat edition — and I cannot tell you how it changed my driving habit.
This specific mode allowed me to drive the Ford F150 Lightning relying on a single pedal to brake and accelerate. That sounds scary, but it’s actually using the engine’s on-board regenerative braking system to slow the pickup truck. We’re programmed to drive with two pedals, so it took me by surprise when I accelerated to about 40 miles per hour and then let off the accelerator. Typically, your vehicle would continue to move forward due to the momentum, and gradually slow down and subsequently come to a stop.
With one-pedal driving on the Ford F150 Lighting, however, the braking kicked in as soon as I eased off the brake. It felt abrupt to me when it first happened, but after a few tries, I learned that I could time my distance and ease off the pedal very slowly to eventually come to a gentle stop. Luckily, you could still manually initiate the brake by pressing down on the actual brake pedal, but I was surprised by how quickly the regenerative braking system stopped the pickup truck.
This mode is game changing, and it changed my view of city driving. It was perfect during my test drive through the streets of Brooklyn, but I would be curious more how it handles on highways. Hand-eye coordination is necessary while driving, but Ford’s one-pedal driving eliminates the extra coordination between the accelerator and brake pedals.
Conveniences I crave
We’re human and we crave simplicity. I was afraid that electric vehicles would be even more complicated to operate, but driving the Ford F150 Lighting proved me wrong. One-pedal driving certainly simplified the process, which is exactly the kind of thing that can help convince drivers that they’re a lot easier to drive than they think.
Another surprising realization I had while checking out the Ford F150 Lightning Platinum Black Edition was the amount of storage it offered. Since it’s electric, the hood is actually empty, which is where you’d typically find the motor. The extra space lets you do some fun and exciting stuff with the pickup. There’s a panel in the hood that tucks away a few different outlets, which lets you tap the power stored in the F150’s batteries to power other things. It could even act as a generator of sorts for those emergency situations.
Other conveniences I was excited to find was the option to go with either Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay. I know there are big changes in store for CarPlay with iOS 17’s release, so I’m excited that many of the infotainment experiences usually reserved for the main display in the vehicle will be extended to other screens — like the display directly behind the steering wheel.
And lastly, I discovered that you don’t need any special chargers installed in your home to charge the Ford F150 Lightning Platinum Black using your conventional 240V and 120V outlets. It charges the batteries at a slower rate than what the 80A Ford Charge Station Pro offers, which does require professional installation.
While this was technically my first exposure to electric vehicles, it was a sobering experience that debunked some of my concerns. Ultimately, I realized how driving could be simplified to the point where you’re only concerned with operating a single pedal — and that’s the kind of change I wouldn’t mind getting acquainted with.