You have the right to remain electric. Anything you put in the bed or rear seat can be used your driving range. You have the right to a charger. If you cannot find one, one may be installed for you.
Consider these the new Miranda rights for police forces across America, which soon will have access to Ford’s new F-150 Lightning Pro SSV police truck. The new cop pickup is spun off the all-electric Lightning, and while that part is novel, the package is, for the most part, modeled after the regular F-150 Police Responder rig.
One thing the Lightning Pro SSV is not is pursuit-rated. This is purely a patrol and response vehicle, even though the standard-range battery version’s dual electric motors combine for 452 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, and the big-battery, long-range model gets 580 hp and the same mighty torque figure. In that latter configuration, Ford claims the Pro SSV (that’s Special Service Vehicle) can hit 60 mph in under four seconds, a claim largely backed up by our test figures for the new Lightning. In extended-range battery form, but without the range-topping Platinum trim’s bigger wheels and extra equipment, an F-150 Lightning Lariat model scooched to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
Okay, so “technically” the police Lightning won’t be used for chases or other action. For those tamer missions, it’s well equipped. Take the “Pro” part of its name. That’s a reference to the entry-level Pro trim level on the civilian F-150 Lightning, which already is geared toward work duty with vinyl seats and flooring and a more basic interior layout. Ford swaps in cloth-wrapped front seats for the SSV, which also include steel “anti-intrusion” plates in the seatbacks and slimmer bolsters to make it easier for cops and their nifty tool belts to slide in and out.
And then there is the frunk, which offers 14.1 cubic feet of space under the power-opening hood in the truck’s nose for storing cop things. There also is a 220-amp DC-DC power source under there, which any number of upfitter attachments can be wired to. Oh, and the top of the dashboard is reinforced so it can withstand use as a mounting point for various add-ons.
Ford also will install the requisite red-and-blue or white-and-amber roof lights for departments that request it. And beyond the lighting on the truck itself, Ford points out that the ProPower Onboard power sources in the frunk and bed can be used to power accident-scene lighting, emergency equipment, or mobile doughnut makers just as easily as the welders, fridges, and other stuff ProPower can handle for civilian Lightning customers.
So far, the police Lightning’s range figures are TBD. Regular Lightnings can travel between 230 and 320 miles on a charge, depending on which batteries they come with. We’ve found that that range can vary wildly depending on what the truck is being used for (i.e., just noodling around, or towing a heavy trailer). More details will arrive later this summer, both for the Pro SSV and, it seems, the 2023 model-year Lightning generally. That gives you a few more months of police vehicles that can’t sneak up on you silently.