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Sonoma County is known for its abundance of vineyards. Rows of grape vines traverse the California hills in the world’s most sustainable wine region. Recently, Ford decided to add the F-150 Lightning to the terroir of winemaking country. The all electric pick-up truck will soon help several of the county’s winegrowers and harvesters maintain their eco-friendly title. Fleet Equipment was on-hand for the ride-and-drive press event that covered all of the F-150 Lightning equipment details and the services, like charging and telematics, that surround the battery electric truck launch. Take a look at the pics from the event and stay tuned to Fleet Equipment for even more F-150 Lightning updates coming soon.
We started off the day at Vino Farms, but the breathtaking views couldn’t distract from the real attraction. Lined up to welcome us was a row of new 2022 F-150 Pro Lightnings sitting at the top of the hill.
I was eager to get behind the wheel, but there is no better place to start than with a cup of coffee and an overview of the telematics and charging systems created to enhance fleet operations. The introduction was presented by Marissa Ledbetter, owner of Vino Farms, Ryan Southwick, manager of Ford Pro Telematics and Muffi Ghadiali, general manager of Ford Pro Charging.
Fun fact: a fully charged truck could support the energy demands of an average-sized home for up to three days!
Ford continues to roll out as many as 12,000 service vans by 2025 as its uptime goals continue to reach new heights. The implementation of these mobile service hubs allows mechanics to go directly to the customer and get them back on the road making for a rapid turn-a-round time, Ford noted.
Before hitting the road, we were greeted by Linda Zhang, chief engineer, Ford Pro, who was eager to share some of the new and unique features of the very first fully electric F-series. This EV is equipped with eight 120-volt outlets and eight USB ports making for an easy and accessible recharge no matter the job.
With the push of a button, the hood opened up to reveal an impressively sized frunk that provides 14 cubic feet of additional storage and a 400-pound weight capacity.
Transforming the tailgate into a workspace is no longer a make-shift task. With a media holder, built in measuring stick, additional lighting and outlets near by, Ford has truly re-defined the meaning of remote work.
There is no shortage of work/storage space for the do-it-yourselfers. With the largest frunk of any EV pickup truck, 10,000 pound tow weight and 2,235 pound payload, all models in this series are equipped to be sustainable and Built Ford Tough.
The leather seats paired with the traditional, yet technologically enhanced dash made for an ideal experience. The center stack touch screen acts as the truck’s information hub providing real-time estimates of cargo weight, remaining range, a digital compass, and drive mode options.
Speaking of, each model in the series comes with four different drive mode options including normal, sport, tow/haul and off-road.
After a two-hour route tour, I made my way to Dutton Farms where we were escorted up to the top of the hill to listen to a panel discussion.
Moderated by Cynthia Williams, global director of sustainability, homologation and Ccmpliance, Ford, the topic of discussion was the future of sustainable transportation. The responses provided by Ted Cannis, CEO, Ford Pro; John Buckley, president and CEO, Wilbur Ellis; Jason Glickman, EVP, PG&E; and Karissa Kruse, president, Sonoma County Wine Growers, were nothing short of electrifying.