Drivers of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck will soon be able to choose to navigate with Apple Maps, if that’s what they prefer, and receive guidance on where to charge along the way.
The news comes via CarsDirect, which noticed the feature mentioned in a Ford dealer communication sent out this week, disclosing that all Lightning owners would have access to the feature, although it requires Apple iOS 15.4 or newer and Ford Power-Up 6.3.0 or higher.
The Apple Maps EV guidance isn’t completely new to Ford EVs, but it is to this model. It came to the Ford Mustang Mach-E last spring, covering all 2022 and 2023 models, as well as some models going back to the 2021 model year, depending on the Sync 4A infotainment system’s software version.
Apple CarPlay EV guidance
As Ford explained then: “Apple Maps will use your iPhone to read vehicle and battery data when connected to CarPlay and assist you on your journey by adding chargers into your trip as necessary.”
Green Car Reports hasn’t yet tested charging-stop functionality with Apple Maps versus Ford’s native navigation features and utilizing the BlueOval charging network.
Other EVs are, like Ford, letting Apple Maps tap into their state-of-charge data in order to aid navigation on the fly—but they appear to allow it to varying degrees.
Apple Maps in Porsche Taycan
Porsche, for instance, boasts that Apple Maps in the Taycan tracks energy use every step of the way and will adapt the route to elevation changes and other factors. It notes that the Taycan’s built-in Charging Planner activates battery preconditioning for a high-power charging stop, whereas navigation with Apple Maps won’t.
Apple has permitted this feature set since 2020, and BMW was the first brand to declare that it would be enabled in a U.S.-market EV—the 2022 BMW i4.
Google first added electric-car chargers to its navigation in 2018, but they were essentially just points of interest at that time. Only earlier this year did it announce a deeper level of data on charging stations, allowing some EVs with Google built-in access to their state-of-charge and range estimates, and thus similar dynamic navigation with charging stops. Those models, as of earlier in the year, were the Polestar 2, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volvo C40 Recharge, Cadillac Lyriq, and GMC Hummer EV.
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
If you’re not on the Apple ecosystem you’re not missing out on anything in particular in the Lightning, other than another interface choice. Ford notes that a number of features remain available through its embedded navigation, when connected to the FordPass app, that aren’t offered through Apple Maps—including charging station availability, whether or not a station is Plug & Charge capable (with payment details linked to a unique vehicle identifier), and whether charge stations are part of Ford’s BlueOval charge network. Ford’s native navigation system also allows users to see BlueCruise-enabled roads.
Ford is also adding a Charge Assist feature that allows drivers to use the infotainment system’s screen to find, start, and pay for a public charging station rather than having to use the FordPass app or the charging network’s app. That feature started to roll out in batches of vehicle updates pushed starting Sept. 4.