Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were the best of friends. They vacationed together, lived next to each other, and shared many innovation projects — including working together on a battery-powered Model T in 1914. Alas, Ford moved in a different direction after the various batteries used couldn’t allay concerns about range, cost, and durability.

Irony of ironies, Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup truck is built at the “new” Rouge River Electric Plant next to the original Ford complex in Dearborn that built millions of Model T’s and Model A’s. Battery technology has advanced on many levels; only time will tell if it’s enough to make today’s BEVs the transportation of the future. For sure, this Lightning is certainly no Model T.

The Lightning looks like a regular F-150 pickup because consumers want function over wonky form. That this science project goes like a bolt of lightning is more than coincidence.

The Lightning, here in mid-level Lariat trim with the extended range dual E-motor system, is a 580-horsepower rocket ship, blasting from zero to sixty in four seconds flat — muscle car territory. The one-speed direct-drive gear runs through the full-time AWD system (no high or low range 4X4) and chirps the front tires under full throttle, as occupants are whip-lashed into warp drive. The cabin is eerily silent, only the whoosh of the tires is audible.

Every Lightning is a four-door Crew Cab F-series. Base Lightning Pro models use a 98.0 kWh battery and electric motor with 452 horsepower good for 230 miles of range. The dual-motor battery pack, with 131.0-kWH has 320 miles of range. Both systems have 775-pound/feet of back-punching torque.

The rear axle has been replaced by an independent suspension, smoothing out the ride. The complete underside of the truck has skid plates to protect the precious battery pack which spans the whole floor of the truck.

The power front “frunk” — where an engine normally resides — is a 14-cubic-foot storage bin that can hold 400 pounds of whatever. The shaded LED light bar across the whole front end tells your neighbors that this is not the usual F-series.

The Lightning’s dash screen. Tim Plouff

The interior remains conventional Ford — except for the giant laptop-sized screen in the dash. A huge volume knob helps at the base of the screen, but too many basic functions require multiple touches on the screen. Lariat trim provides all the features of FordPass Connect 4G, Class IV towing, a 360-degree camera system, dual-panel sunroof, power rear window, selectable drive modes, power tailgate, as well as a plethora of electronic driving aids — in other words, a loaded luxury pickup. There are also 11 (yes, 11) outlets for powering accessories, tools, or other electric cars.

Yes, the Lightning can charge other vehicles. It can run your household, if properly equipped. It can also weight itself and distribute power accordingly, plus it can tow up to 10,000 pounds of trailer.

And, it drives fabulously. Smooth, comfortable, and so darned fast you will burn through your driving range so fast that you’ll soon experience the dreaded range anxiety.

And that’s the rest of the story…

Day one, forecasted range with 82 percent of battery power soon turned into “can I make it home” as highway miles (75-mph on cruise) from Brunswick ate 1/3 more power than predicted. A stop at the Ford store in Bangor to use their proprietary Level II chargers (they said they had Level IIII, but don’t) added 41 miles of range after one hour of charging.

Day two, quick jaunt into Ellsworth and home — 24 miles — consumed all of the overnight charging range added on Level I charging (110-volts) at home, after 16-hours.

As stated before, Level I charging is irrelevant and, unfortunately, too much money has already been spent on Level I chargers in Maine.

Lariat trim and above Lightnings include Ford’s 240-volt Level II Charge Station Pro for home charging, a $1,310 option for base model trucks. Installation may range from $400 to $4,000 per home depending on what you have for electric-panel capability. This is essential for home charging, as it took four days to charge the Lightning from 30 percent to 99 percent on household 110-volt current. Charge Station Pro is also necessary for the Home Integration System, to power your home, a power-pack panel that is almost $4,000 — plus installation.

Fully charged for the return trip, the Lightning’s gauge stated 262 miles — not quite the 320-mile range Ford advertises. Running the heater (31-degree day) dropped range. Arriving at the ChargePoint “dispenser” in West Gardiner “pumped” range up to 90 percent from 50 percent in 40 minutes for just over $23. Drivers will need to equate miles per kilowatt used to compare EV “mileage” cost.

Lightning pricing has increased significantly. Base Pro models now start at $53,769, while popular XLT trim is $59,474. Our sampled Lariat was just over $80,000 while top Platinum models are almost $100,000. The Lightning weighs 1,300-pounds more than a gas-engine F-150 — a not insignificant 6,855-pounds.

There is a very distinct market for the Lightning. It will stretch driver’s paradigms about what is possible; yet drivers who pile on the miles, tow heavy loads and have limited urban charging access, the Lightning remains just one of several F-series pickups available from Henry Ford’s namesake company. As impressive as the Lightning is, the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid also offers auxiliary electric power, costs less and has no range anxiety and a higher tow rating.

Consumers love choices.

Tim Plouff has been reviewing automobiles for more than 20 years.