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Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Upgrade Coming Soon

Now entering its second year of production, the Ford F-150 Lightning remains a red-hot commodity, though it’s only the first iteration of a model that’s guaranteed to undergo some heavy changes moving forward. For starters, the second-gen F-150 Lightning will ride on its own, dedicated platform, unlike the current model, which shares its platform and many other components with the ICE-powered Ford F-150. As Ford Authority reported back in July, the Lightning is also expected to switch from using a lithium-ion battery to a lithium-iron phosphate unit in the future, though it seems as if the EV pickup may be getting a different kind of battery upgrade soon, too.

Currently, the Ford F-150 Lightning utilizes SK On’s NCM9 battery, which stands for nickel, manganese, and cobalt – the three main materials present in the battery – as well as the fact that it has a proportion of nickel that represents up to nearly 90 percent of its total mix – the higher the nickel content, the higher energy density and better driving range. Now, Ford’s joint-venture partner has debuted an advanced version of that battery dubbed the NCM9+.

SK On hasn’t revealed too many details about its NCM9+ EV battery, but does say that it “surpasses the current top-notch NCM9 battery,” while the new unit was also named as an Honoree in the “Vehicle Tech & Advanced Mobility” category at the CES 2023 Innovation Awards. As such, it stands to reason that this new battery could be utilized in the Ford F-150 Lightning in the very near future. The current NCM9 battery is rather heavy at around 1,800 pounds, with the Stanard Range battery pack boasting 98 kWh of usable capacity, while Extended Range models offer 131 kWh.

In the meantime, Ford is working to secure the materials it needs to reach its goal of building 150k F-150 Lighting pickups annually by 2023, as well as 600k EVs worldwide by 2024 by signing deals with a wide variety of suppliers – not just SK On.

We’ll have more on the F-150 Lightning soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 newsF-150 Lightning news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. RWFA

    InB4 somebody shows up updating their apples to hammers cold weather & trailer FUD to “still won’t break 100 miles.”

    Ps “Lightning … it’s only the first iteration of a model that’s guaranteed to undergo some heavy changes moving forward. For starters, the second-gen F-150 Lightning will ride on its own, dedicated platform, unlike the current model, which shares its platform and many other components with the ICE-powered Ford F-150.”

    Reminds me near 1:1 of one of my comments in the last couple days.

    I approve!

    Reply
  2. Michael

    The title of this article is misleading. A manufacturer’s supplier formulating a new product does not mean it will be offered, accepted, tested, approved or implemented into an existing product. Let alone that it is coming soon.

    Reply
    1. Patrick Ford

      Sounds like you’re talking about Tesla’s Cybertruck.

      Reply
    2. Bjr

      It’s just a tweak to the chemistry of the current battery not a new battery. They will likely introduce it very soon. When Panasonic did the same for the 2170s in Tesla’s they were already going into production cars, it bumped the range up about 10%. That’s not a breakthrough but it’s modestly helpful. Expect the same on the Lightning. It might take longer to introduce because Ford is stuck in the old model year paradigm vs Tesla’s continuous improvement approach but you’ll definitely see these in the 2024 models.

      Reply
  3. MARINEWTI

    I’m purchasing the Silverado EV truck. The Silverado EV will have a driving range of 400 miles on a full charge. In addition, this electric powertrain can use 800-volt and 350 kW charging. These high-capacity figures enable you to add 100 miles of driving range in only 10 minutes. 300 mile range in 30 mins = 👍👍.

    And…VIP…will save thousands $$$ over the ridiculous markups Ford continues to tack on to the EV F150.

    Reply
    1. Bob Dobson

      You do realize your talking about a truck 18-24 months before you will get one right?

      Production is Fall 2023, they say that so they can extend it a few months, that means sometime in 2024.

      The Lightening will have some big improvements by 2024 as well.

      Reply
  4. Sterling

    It still won’t be able to tow more than 90 miles. The current setup only allows for 70 miles of towing. Alsothat weight of the battery directly cuts into towing capacity, this thing won’t be able to tow anything in reality. Not surprised Ford only sold 6,400 Lightings compared to almost 170,000 ICE trucks in the last quarter.

    There is a good reason Ram and Toyota recently stated they won’t focus on EVs, they saw the money pit they are and they are now way ahead of the game in financial performance because of that decision. RAM CEO even stated on the TFL podcast they are building what customers want, not what they don’t want.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Oh boy, now it’s sterling making the stupid Big Oil BEV apples to ICE hammers comparison.

      Its a fact, that a snoozing Toyota and a flat footed Stellantis are presently jumping through their butts to rush a platform to market.

      Reply
      1. John W.

        They are not “rushing” to anything, they said themselves the customer base is not there, why “rush” to something that isn’t there. RAM’s current focus is offering diesel engines in their smaller trucks…and they are selling like hotcakes.

        Reply
        1. Chevymike

          Is that why Ram and Ford dropped their 3.0 diesel in their 1500? Let’s face it, Ram and Dodge are living in the past, and Ford doesn’t have the technology to build a diesel engine with power and economy. GM seems to be the new leader for the 1500, 2500 and 3500, AND they all will out-tow every truck out there, plus they won’t run out of juice (diesel or electric)

          Reply
          1. Travis

            False. Ford is the undisputed king in power and towing numbers. A GM rep even said on the TFL podcast this month that they are not pursuing to be #1 in power or towing. Ford is now up to a class leading 40k lbs towing, GM is at 36k lbs. GM is at 960ft lbs of torque, Ford at 1,050ft lbs. Diesel is 20% more efficient than gas. Obvious you know nothing about diesels.

            Reply
          2. John

            Actually Ford is at 1,200 ft lbs of torque now that they introduced the high output option. Chevy/GM is below 1k ft lbs still. Not even close.

            Reply
        2. RWFA

          Actually they are rushing if you are keeping up on industry info.

          Interesting, John used the hotcakes talking point in connection with diesels. (So who does this disinformation serve? Here it feels like Big Oil.)

          Reply
  5. Randy M

    They need to do something, our dealer said a few had to be bought back already due to quality issues. Consumer Reports recently dropped the MachE due to quality issues. Not a surprise other manufacturers are now saying they won’t put a big focus on EVs, they see how much money Ford lost on their EV push. Those other manufacturers are doing much better than Ford. I just hope Congress doesn’t bail Ford out using our money.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      And now “Randy” joins the stupid apples and hammers disinfo chorus with the bought back trope and upping the ante by leaning heavily on the backward looking CR survey result.

      What dealer Randy? Please tell us so we can verify it.

      Reply
      1. Alfred Sloan

        Fact – EVs will never be as efficient as towing as ICE – ICE will hold this significant lead on towing capabilities, forever.
        Fact – EVs suck in cold weather situations where having this reliability could lead to a live and death situation like we saw in Buffalo this week.
        Fact – EV demand is crashing among consumers in fly over country after all the tech bros with stock options have been milked.
        Fact – TSLA stock is down 70% on the year.
        Fact – Ford was idiotic for having a fool like Doug Fields who charge, who ‘leads’ from his home office in California.

        Reply
        1. Devon

          Also Fact- Americans love to drive long distances. You can fit multiple European countries in the state of Texas alone. EVs will never work in our expansive land.

          That is why Democrats stuck a mileage tax in the Build Back Better bill, fortunately it failed.

          Reply
          1. RWFA

            Are you back with irrelevant childlike comparisons of fitting paper nation cutouts inside Texas?

            Your nonsense is all hat but no cattle dude.

            Your whole rhetoric always like it came from some K-Street conservative team thinking it would wow Texas’ folks into buying a Tacoma.

            Whoever you’re messaging for you must think them rather stupid.

            Facts:
            – Texas: 696 km2
            – European Union 4,476 km2.
            – or EU is 6.5 times bigger than TX. (Are your dream Texans driving in circles on the Katy beltway to make up for the size difference?)
            – USA: 8,080 km2
            – the EU has paved roads from sea level up to altitudes of ca 2,200 m (TX highest is 2,042 m).

            Reply
        2. RWFA

          “Will never be…” is a proven to be a fool’s statement backed up by airplanes, moon landings, heart transplants, and Eliza Doolittle learning etiquette and diction.

          Please cite for me how many folks Ford in EV’s in Buffalo Alf.

          Maybe also tell us how many folks die of CO poisoning in EV’s every year Alf.

          Stock acts as a leading indicator of investor confidence in a company’s future performance. Tesla is down because it had a near monopoly on EV’s, it became overvalued, now new entrants are positioning to eat Tesla’s lunch, and in the meantime, Tesla’s CEO has gone from being a jackass to embracing his inner racist fascist.

          And it seems like inside baseball, but what’s wrong with Fields leading from CA?

          It’s a networked global enterprise, why do you think a guy has to be bolted to a desk in Dearborn to be effective?

          Reply
  6. Fritz Redeker

    Both Ford and GM need EV trucks as well as gas and diesel trucks for the next few years. Both have their use cases. EV price will come down. We are still in the classic early adopter period. The US had previously offshored much of its production capability for materials and advanced technology. As long as we really bring it back and the battery R&D really gets done both types of vehicles will be around for the next 5-10 years, maybe longer.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Thanks for the sane analysis Fritz!

      I agree, we’ll see a slow then faster shift in proportion to increasing BEV as current production ICE investments ramp down and programs she out.

      It will be more faster (and ultimately pronounced) in passcar and then in truck.

      ICE truck will be the last to phase out.

      Reply
      1. Mindy

        Problem is that the manufacturer nor the government get to decide what customers buy, the customers do. That is why EVs aren’t taking off the way Ford hoped, because the buyer pool is small and interest is limited. That is the beauty of a Free Market system, if customers don’t want something on a large scale…then it fails. As it should. God bless our great country.

        Reply
        1. Roper

          You’re absolutely right that people should buy what they want, but you drew the wrong conclusion that people don’t want EVs. EV sales are up 60% from last year, accounting for over 11% of all new cars sold. Ford sold out of the Mach E and the Lightning. Demand well exceeds capacity at this point. Consumer Reports ran a poll over the summer that showed 36% of Americans were looking to buy/lease an EV as their next car.

          Reply
          1. Devon

            Now look deeper into the numbers. That is because ICE vehicle availability was reduced drastically. Analysts already stated if availability was equal for both then there would be no contest. A $28k Toyota RAV4 is going to sell more than a $50k+ EV.

            Reply
        2. RWFA

          The patriotic flourish at the end was an epic attempt to set the rhetorical hook!

          Good shot as a set up for the later chasers that come and build on that nonsense. I especially how it’s female names followed by guy names.

          Reply
      2. Chevymike

        Give me an EV Truck that gets a 100% charge in 10 minutes, tows max loads 400-500 miles, and recharges in the middle of nowhere and I’m in. (I carry 35 gallons of fuel in the back woods).

        Reply
  7. Matthew\'s C

    Ford currently spends the most money on warranty claims out of any industry in the world. This includes aviation, electronics, auto parts, computers, etc, etc. MachE dropped by Consumer Reports. Then there is Ford’s financial problems due to their failing EV push and recall costs. Not holding our breath after being a lifelong Ford family. Farley destroyed a good company. Toyota has things figured out, their financial performance is through the roof due to not making bad investments in EVs.

    Reply
    1. Zachary davidson

      Well stated. I’ve been a lincoln/ ford customer my entire adult life. While the lightning is a cool truck, it can’t be used as one unless you want to do every hour while towing. I canceled my reservation after the 3rd price hike and got a couple year old limited cheaper than the lightning pro. These trucks cost 20k more than their ice equivalent and can’t even go on a camping trip.

      Reply
      1. RWFA

        You cancelled your reservation after the 3rd price hike?

        Please correct me if possible, but weren’t the hikes for folks not already in the queue?

        Camping trip? You mean like an expedition to BFE, or to something less remote but not in a campground? Because in the later case your Lightning is a power supply.

        Reply
    2. RWFA

      Oh look, Backslash Matthew is here with the word for word talking points of the FUDster crowd trying to achieve something with this line of comment.

      This fairly consistent scripted commentary appears under different names but to what purpose? To my mind it’s a some kind of short sell play.

      But it could easily be Big Oil trying to pump the brakes on electrification or as a distraction from Toyota’s being caught flat footed on EV, but could be underwater Tesla bro’s trying to delay folks purchasing Lightnings until Cybertruck launches, then they will flip like a mackerel on the dock.

      It’s hard to say but there is certainly a lot of bad faith commenting going on here.

      Reply
  8. Mr Ed

    Just change the algorithm to fast charge from 80 to 90% for now,

    Reply
  9. Silent Majority

    At least no valves to drop (Bronco joke)…..

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      True that.

      And none of the other typical ICE problems either that the industry, let alone Ford, has banished in a century.

      Reply

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