Ever imagined what it would be like to seed a massive American truck with electric technology and outfit it for police work? Well, Ford has, and the result of that line of thought is this prodigious Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Service Special Vehicle (SSV). The Ford F-150 Lightning Police SSV is a special version of the new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup, except it’s specially tweaked to serve as a police response vehicle.
This cop car is the latest rendition of the Blue Oval’s over seven decades of experience kitting out police vehicles. The current milestone is that the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV is America’s first electric police truck.
The Lightning will serve alongside the recent Ford Explorer Police Interceptor utility, which like the Lightning, is also the first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police SUV, and the world’s only vehicle engineered to meet the 75-MPH rear-impact crash test. Ford unveiled the 2023 Ford F150 Lightning cop truck on July 28, 2022, with specific features to make criminals and outlaws uneasy.
The Ford F150 Lightning Pro SSV Unveiled
For a company to have more than twelve thousand police departments as customers, it must be getting something right. After 70 years of developing versions of its vehicles to serve the specific needs of the U.S. law enforcement agencies, the Blue Oval is finally turning to the inevitable electric propulsion technology to meet the police transport needs of the future.
Actually, the new F-150 Lightning Pro SSV’s unveiling is not the first Ford EV to be called up and kitted for police duty. Besides the hybrid Interceptor Utility we mentioned earlier, the City of New York has ordered 184 Ford Mustang Mach-Es to assist in keeping the city safe. This comes after the Mach-E passed the Michigan State Police testing with flying colors to become the first all-electric vehicle to pass the test, the ultimate industry standard, for speed, braking, and pursuit.
The Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility remains America’s fastest cop car until the Mustang Mach-E joins full service. Others ready to serve alongside Ford includes Tesla’s Model 3 vehicles and the recent debut Chevrolet Blazer SS EV. The City of New York already signed the dotted line to purchase 250 units of the police-enabled Tesla Model 3s. But unlike Ford’s Explorer Interceptor and F-150 Lightning, the Teslas aren’t pursuit-rated.
However, Chevy’s SS EV will serve as a gas-powered pursuit-rated police SUV. Like the Blue Oval, Chevy’s GM has been furnishing local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with police-ready versions of its vehicles – including the Suburban and Tahoe – for years. In the meantime, Ford’s Lightning takes the lead as the latest terror for troublemakers and fugitives.
Don’t be fooled by the regular F-150 Lightning that’s an electric full-size light-duty truck unveiled in May 2021 as part of the 14th-gen Ford F-Series. The police version comes with either a 332kw powertrain with 775 lb-ft of torque or the extended-range version that offers 432kW and 775 lb-ft of torque.
The lower-powered version can tow 7,700 lbs. “We’re proud to offer America’s first electric police pickup truck to local government customers who can use the truck’s game-changing technology to help improve their productivity,” said Nate Oscarson, Ford Pro national government sales manager, in a press release.
Why Bad Guys Should Keep An Eye Out For The F-150 Lightning Pro SSV
Bad guys yelling “douse the light, douse the light” is pointless when the F-150 Lightning Police SSV shows up. That’s because some of the SUV’s standard features, such as the lockable Mega Power Frunk storage area and the ability to use the van as a mobile power source to light up a crime or crash scene at night, can be very handy for policing.
“Pro Power Onboard can serve as a mobile power source to light up evening accident scenes on the highway,” Oscarson said, “the electric powertrain helps to potentially reduce costs associated with fuel and scheduled maintenance needs and the Mega Power Frunk provides extra lockable storage on top of purpose-built police additions our customers have come to expect from the leader in police vehicles.”
Granted, as an SSV (Special Service Vehicle), the Lightning Pro functions more in a support-role than a pursuit vehicle, but that also means it is very good at the supporting role. Of course, the truck comes equipped with police-spec features besides the standard. They include police-grade heavy-duty cloth seats with reduced bolsters, making it easier for holstered personnel to enter and exit the vehicle. Others are steel intrusion plates in the front seatbacks, LED warning beacons, an upfit-friendly instrument panel, and vinyl rear seats with vinyl flooring.
If you’ve watched real-world footage of police chases and thought, “what if he runs out of gas?” Then you understand why a fugitive’s prayer is for the cop car to run out of gas or be too slow to keep up. The electric propulsion Lightning SSV should keep up and maintain the pursuit, thanks to the 452 horsepower (for the standard battery range) or 580 horsepower (for the extended battery range), 775 lb-ft of torque, and a max payload of 10,000 lbs with the bigger battery. It can vroom from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Also, the police Lightning truck can keep going for 230 miles on the standard battery and 320 miles on the extended battery range. However, these are current figures as Ford says mileage ranges might change in the future.
It will also be rarer to have a cop car break down while on duty, thanks to the Blue Oval’s E-Telematics system, which the U.S. police departments are also interested in. In fact, the Interceptor Utility is already utilizing Ford’s E-Telematics that, among other things, log power usage, vehicle health, locations, and more. It also helps that the Lightning Pro SSV can be serviced at any 650 Ford Commercial Vehicle Centers, and the fleets come with consulting services to manage all the data.
Inside, you get the standard 12.3-inch landscape-style infotainment display plus the 12-inch digital instrument cluster, the Mega Power Frunk with power ports, the Sync 4 and Ford Co-Pilot 360 with automatic braking, and blind-spot indicators and cross-traffic alert.