Ford Unveils the F-150 Lightning Special Service Vehicle, a Fully Electric Pickup for Police Departments

Ford Unveils the F-150 Lightning Special Service Vehicle, a Fully Electric Pickup for Police Departments

Author: FutureCar Staff    

The police-spec version of the Ford Explorer SUV remains the most popular vehicle for local police departments across the country. But soon Ford's electric F-150 Lightning pickup will be joining the Explorer as a police vehicle.

On Thursday, Ford launched America's first electric pickup truck purpose-built for police, the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Special Service Vehicle (SSV).

Ford has been providing police departments with the vehicles for more than 70 years. Before the Explorer, many municipalities used the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor sedan. This model was built until 2011 and replaced by the Police Interceptor Utility Ford Explorer, which is now offered in a hybrid. Ford says its lineup of law enforcement vehicles outsells all other police vehicles combined.

Currently Ford Pro commercial customers include more than 12,000 police departments across the country. The company attributes this success from its close collaboration with the Ford Police Advisory Board.

The 2023 F-150 Lightning SSV offers a high level of performance, including available 0 to 60 mph acceleration times of 4 seconds with its high-tech electric platform. But in addition to being a fast pursuit vehicle, The F-150 Lightning Pro SSV is designed to handle the specialized needs of community police departments, such as assisting at an accident or crime scene, or towing a boat or trailer. 

Standard features include a 12-inch digital cluster screen and 12-inch landscape-style touchscreen on the center stack. The F-150 Lightning's massive Mega Power Frunk under the hood provides 14.1 cubic feet of lockable storage space.

Targeted performance and capability is 452 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of torque and 7,700-pound towing capacity with a standard-range battery. Models fitted with the extended range battery deliver 580 horsepower with 775 lb.-ft. of torque and can tow up to 10,000-pounds.

All versions include support over-the-air software updates and Ford Co-Pilot360™ technology, including Automatic Emergency Braking and Blindspot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert.

The Lightning Pro SSV also comes pre-configured to seamlessly connect to a department's existing fleet of Ford and non-Ford internal combustion engine and battery-electric vehicles, including EV chargers and fleet management software. 

When used together, Ford says that police departments can proactively manage when vehicles are charged and serviced, resulting in potentially lower operating costs and improved uptime.

Other features of the Lightning SSV include Police-grade heavy-duty cloth seats and easy-to-clean vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring. The seats have reduced bolsters to help holstered officers enter and exit the vehicle more easily. Ford also added steel intrusion plates in the front seat backs to protect the front seat occupants after making an arrest.

Other modifications include a reinforced instrument panel top tray for easy mounting of police equipment, such as radios, laptops and other communications equipment.

The Lightning SSV is available with either red/blue or amber/white roof-mounted LED warning lights.

To aid local police departments in serving the electric police vehicles, Ford established a network of more than 650 electric vehicle-certified Ford Commercial Vehicle Centers across the U.S. These locations offer sales, service, financing and charging solutions.

Ford Pro's commercial lending arm FinSimple, offers flexible financing options to help municipalities add electric police vehicles to their fleets. FinSimple also offers financing options to add charging solutions, including depot installation of EV chargers.

Ford Pro commercial customers can also take advantage of Ford Pro's Body Builder Advisory Service – a complimentary resource with guides and information on how to add specialty tools and aftermarket equipment to the F-150 Lightning SSV.

This is not Ford's first fully electric police vehicle. In September last year, Ford built a police-spec version of the 2021 electric Mustang Mach-E SUV for the Michigan State Police. Ford submitted its pilot vehicle or testing as part of the Michigan State Police 2022 Model Year Police Evaluation in Sept 2021.

The pilot-test program with the Michigan State Police as a benchmark for Ford while it continues to explore purpose-built electric police vehicles in the future. The automaker said that law enforcement demand for all-electric vehicles is growing worldwide.

The Mach-E police vehicle is paving the way for more zero-emissions law enforcement vehicles to be deployed and is part of the automaker's $30+ billion investment in electrification through 2025.

Ford said that more information on 2023 F-150 Lightning SSV, including range figures, will be shared later this summer.

FutureCar Staff
FutureCar Staff
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