Is Ford trolling Tesla with this surprise electric pick-up feature?

A cartoon image of Elon Musk superimposed on an image of the Ford F-150 Lightning
(Image credit: Ford / Shutterstock / thongyhod / TechRadar)

Ford’s first all-electric pick-up truck, the F-150 Lightning, has finally begun hitting driveways in the US – and owners are finding an unexpected accessory in the delivery box.

One of the Lightning's most impressive features is its bidirectional charging capacity – i.e. its ability to send power to other electric Ford models or even an entire home. However, according to recent posts on the Lightning Owners forum (as spotted by InsideEVs), the automaker is also providing customers with an adapter for charging stranded Teslas.

The J1772 adapter, which is “compatible with all Tesla vehicles”, reportedly wasn't previously listed by Ford as a standard accessory to be shipped with the F-150 Lightning – Tesla itself sells a near-identical connector for $50 on its own website – though new owners of the so-called "truck of the future" seem to be welcoming the surprise. 

“If I find any dead Teslas I’ll let my Ford Lightning come to the rescue,” one user joked on the forum, while another wrote: “I’ll add a bumper sticker ‘Tesla Rescue Squad’.”

Check out an image of the adapter in question below:

Telsa charger included with the Ford F-150 Lightning

(Image credit: Lightning Forum / PipeFitter52)

Of course, there’s no knowing whether Ford really is poking fun at its automotive rival – one that remains the foremost name in the electric vehicle market – with the inclusion of this accessory, but it’s hard to look past the move as a subtle marketing ploy (does Ford really care about giving its customers the ability to charge cars from competitor manufacturers?).

Ironically, it’d probably be more beneficial for Teslas to come equipped with Ford-compatible charging capabilities, since the former have access to an extensive network of proprietary charging stations that offer drivers more opportunity to power up than any other electric automaker. 

Still, we’re inclined to think of Ford’s adapter inclusion as nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek nod to Elon Musk’s company. And in any case, it’s far from the most noteworthy thing about the F-150 Lightning.

Borrowing its name from a previous performance-focused iteration of the best-selling F-Series, Ford’s electric pick-up can sprint from 0-60mph in just 4 seconds – courtesy of a 555bhp four-wheel-drive powertrain – and offers drivers a whopping 775 lb ft of torque. 

Naturally, the Lightning is a mightily strong machine, too. The standard, 18-inch wheel variant boasts a maximum payload of 907kg, along with a towing capacity of up to 4536kg. To add some perspective, that means it could comfortably tow an adult Hippopotamus behind it – or two-and-a-half Tesla Model 3s… 

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.