Electric vehicles are the future. The Ford F-Series has long been, and still is USA’s overall top selling vehicle. What happens when you combine the future with the past and present? The just-revealed 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is that car. It’s the F-150 Americans know and love, but instead of a big engine, this one is powered by batteries.

Will it be a sure win big hit? That remains to be seen, but the Lightning has at least got off to a thunderous start, collecting 20,000 bookings in less than 12 hours since the official launch on Wednesday night. Reservations for the truck is open on Ford’s website, and a refundable US$100 deposit is required.

“The response has been great. With 20,000 orders already, we’re off to the races,” Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC, as the company’s shares jumped 3.3% in Thursday morning trading.

This is a test case that will be closely watched by all, the business publication says. Ford, investors and rivals will want to gauge customer interest in EV pick-up trucks. The segment has attracted many big players and upstarts – Tesla (Cybertruck), GM (Hummer and Chevrolet Silverado EV), Rivian (R1T) and Lordstown Motors are among those who have showed off electric trucks – but none have one in showrooms yet.

The Blue Oval chief said the F-150 Lightning will be a test as to whether mainstream Americans truly want electric vehicles. By that, he would mean normal folks, not the healthy-living, eco-conscious, poke-eating Californians that lap up Teslas.

“I am looking at this vehicle as a test for adoption for electric vehicles. We should all watch very carefully how this does in the market,” Farley told the press at the F-150 Lightning’s launch.

The F-150 Lightning has front and rear motors for all-wheel-drive performance, with an estimated 563 hp and 1,051 Nm of torque – the most of any F-150 ever built. The 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint time is expected to be within the mid-four-second range with the extended-range battery.

Range is targeted at 370 km as standard or 480 km with the larger battery, both estimates from the US EPA. Ford did not release any battery figures, but said that it expects the Lightning to power homes for up to three days with an average use of 30 kWh a day.

That ability to power homes during an outage is called Intelligent Backup Power that automatically sends electricity back out through either of the two charging ports at a rate of 9.6 kW, enabled through an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and a home management system.

In addition, an enhanced Pro Power Onboard function lets you use power tools and home appliances directly through sockets in the front of the truck at a rate of 2.4 kW. Higher-end Lariat and Platinum variants also have plug points in the cab and bed with a total output of 7.2 kW. Quite the work tool, as you can see in the video below.

Charging the extended-range model from 15 to 100% takes eight hours through the 80-amp charger, which adds 48 km of range every hour. On the road, drivers can utilise DC fast charging at a rate of up to 150 kW, powering the Lightning from 15 to 80% in about 41 minutes and adding a targeted 87 km in just ten minutes. Oh, and since there’s no engine, under the hood is a 400L “Mega Power Frunk” storage and charging area.

The Ford F-150 Lightning will be built at the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Centre in Dearborn, Michigan and will go on sale in the US next spring. Surprisingly, prices are roughly equivalent to ICE-powered F-150s and start at US$39,974 (RM165,500), before any federal or state tax credits for electric vehicles. More on the EV F-150 here.