Holman’s Engineering & Manufacturing Teams Go Hands-On with Ford’s F-150 Lightning
November 1st, 2022
From both commercial and retail customer perspectives, Ford’s F-150 Lightning is among the most highly anticipated vehicles to hit-the-road in recent memory. Soon after Ford first announced the electric version of America’s most iconic truck in 2019, a countless number of drivers, including many vocational fleet operators, have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.
From an upfitter’s perspective, as new models are introduced, we typically work with our manufacturing partners to get units onsite as soon as possible so our engineers and upfit specialists can stay ahead of changes, design products and components accordingly, develop strategies for installation, and ultimately, provide insightful recommendations to our customers. Recently, our engineering team had an opportunity to get hands-on with the new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning to learn more about its capabilities, layout, and intricacies as we begin to help our fleet customers transform these trucks into vocational powerhouses.
Spearheaded by our engineering group’s EV specialist, Holman’s team of manufacturing experts used this opportunity to explore the nuances of the truck itself and determine how the differences between the internal combustion engine (ICE) F-150 and its EV counterpart may affect upfit components and strategies.
Together, our team examined nearly every inch of the Lightning, taking note of important details such as battery placement, no-drill areas, the routing of various wiring, precision chassis and body molding measurements, etc. They also spent some time further assessing the truck’s 12V battery, which powers a number of aftermarket electrical components, to ensure it can withstand the rigors of heavy vocational use. The team even took some time to brainstorm innovative ways to make use of the F-150 Lightning’s unique frunk!
During the test session, we also took the opportunity to welcome an engineer from one of our customer’s fleet team to the facility to discuss how we can adapt their current ICE F-150 spec to deliver similar functionality for the Lightning. Together, we determined their current spec easily transitions to the new EV model with minimal adjustments, allowing them to begin placing orders almost immediately.
As a leading vehicle upfitter, it’s hard to overstate just how beneficial it has been to get this valuable hands-on time with the F-150 Lightning. Based on the information and insights gathered, our engineering and upfit specialists are finalizing manufacturing instructions that will be used across our facilities, developing training materials for our technicians, and developing CAD drawings that detail the specifics of installing various upfit components.
This visit with the Lightning was a true team effort and a tremendous job by all involved, ensuring we used this valuable time with Ford’s F-150 Lightning to its fullest potential. As the initial wave of Lightning orders arrives at our Kansas City facility, our team of engineers and upfit specialists is already beginning to customize these trucks for a wide range of commercial applications and we cannot wait to get this exciting new model in the hands of fleet operators throughout North America.