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Ford F-150 Lightning RHD in Australia

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I’m having a road trip to Brisbane this week and I saw something very unexpected at Thrumster… a RHD converted Ford F-150 Lightning!

As I was driving towards the Superchargers I saw a massive white Ute parked across 2 stations and was mulling over saying a few choice words to the bloke once I parked, but as I got closer I saw the charger cable plugged in and realised what it was and was gobsmacked.

First, this thing is massive. It’s a block of flats on wheels. The F-150s are imported by AusEV and the RHD conversion is done by Advanced Manufacturing Queensland. The owner said the conversion only takes a day to do, but it isn’t cheap (on top of an already extremely expensive imported vehicle) and not perfect. They can’t get the Nav to work in Australia and the CCS2 charging is flaky. He couldn’t get it to charge on the V3 chargers at Thrumster but apparently V2s are OK.

Battery is about 130 kWh 😱. He said the range shown on 100% charge is about 450 km and it gets about 320 Wh/km, but towing big trailers (which he’s done) can halve that to over 600 Wh/km. It was very weird seeing such a massive ute drive off nearly silently 😄.

Photos taken with permission and I obscured the plate. I have other photos but the owner is in the frame so I won’t post those.



PS. Thrumster is a much nicer SC site than Cassegrain.

The power outlets are not changed. They're actually sold with plates covering the points, but you can take those off.

Any device that can take 110V to 240V (e.g. those bricks for laptops, etc) can plug in and work fine with either a travel adapter or suitable US cord. There's power points for these in the frunk, bed, front console and rear console. So, powering the easy stuff like laptops, etc won't be a problem.

There's a 240V outlet in the bed, but it's NEMA 14-30 (or 50 can't remember which). I haven't found a solution as yet to see if that can be converted/adapted to the AU 240V plug. And even if it was there's the issue of 60Hz vs our 50Hz.

Another option is to find a step up transformer for the 110V outlets, but I suspect this won't be cheap.

There's no sim/LTE card in the unit, so you miss out on features related to that. The advanced BlueCruise isn't available, but you get the TACC and lane keeping. You can use Android Auto which is excellent - for just getting proper pronunciation of places it's worth it over the Tesla nav system.
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I've done some driving in it now - a few hundred kms over a number of trips. Some observations, most probably no surprise:

  • Lightning TACC and lane keeping is generally better than Tesla. I've had no phantom brakes, no stupid speed adjustments, and better pick up in speed, etc. Lightning is a bit more sensitive on the "hands on steering wheel" check which can be annoying.
  • I prefer Android Auto to Tesla for navigation - better voice. Tesla wins though for the charge display/estimates.
  • In the city or tight windy roads - the Tesla is more fun to drive and easier to park.
  • The build quality of the Lightning is better than the Tesla.
  • V2L options are great in the Lightning.
  • Cabin noise levels are about the same. The Lightning is mostly affected by the AT tyres, while the Tesla has in cabin rattles and low profile tyre noise.
  • The ride is better in the Lightning than the Tesla, but that's to be expected with the more sportier setup of the Tesla.
  • Buttons. I like the Tesla minimal approach except for the wipers/lights, and perhaps it could do with some extra stuff on the steering wheel itself to make life easier. Lightning is more like a traditional vehicle and probably could do with a reduction of a few. It's steering wheel controls are great for cruise control. It's media controls are not as good - at least I haven't as yet found the pause music option (just skip back/forward).
  • Displays. Lightning has 2 - center and in front of driver. For me, I actually have no strong preference either way. I have become used to the Tesla display and it's fine.
  • I do love the view from the cabin in the Lightning. You can see over so many cars in front of you. :)
  • 1PD is effectively the same, so my driving style is similar. Given the weight and size of the Lightning, I notice I might have to touch the brakes a bit more - that may reduce over time as I become more familiar.
I would be careful where you use Ford Bluecruise. I can’t imagine it has been modified for driving on the left.

It's not Bluecruise - that's not available - and afaik that is for specific routes only in the US (and maybe Canada). What I have is just the basic lane keeping and TACC equivalent. The lane keeping works very well for marked roads and I don't trust lane keeping for anything else so I won't use it (Tesla or Lightning).

Why do you say that ? Have you tried the V2L function? Did a V2L cable come with the vehicle ?

It still has the Power stuff onboard (although it's covered for the sale, so I have removed the covers), although it's mostly 120V US - so I need a travel adapter. Useful for the laptop. There's a 240V outlet in the bed, but I need an adapter for that, which I hope to get this week (it'll still be 60Hz vs our 50Hz, but modern devices can generally handle it).
More observations:

  • Tesla wins on the infotainment side. Spotify, when it works (network connections I assume since I live a bit rural), is nice. The games are good too (Vampire Survivors!).
  • Naps. Although the Lightning's seats are more comfortable overall, the Tesla wins here as I can lower it further back towards horizontal.
  • Tesla has easy entry mode which is great and I haven't found an equivalent in the Lightning.
  • Tesla presents the % battery charge more prominently than the Lightning. I need to go to a specific display screen to see the percent in the Lightning, although I have heard that a more recent update changes that for the better. I should mention you do see a guage elsewhere, but the percent number isn't displayed there. It's like the old style fuel gauges.
  • Software updates. They're both mysterious about what you get and when it's coming. Don't have enough data about frequency, etc of updates, but I suspect Tesla is going to be better here from what I've read in various online sites.