Hello Ford F-150 Lightning; Goodbye Polestar 1 | Autoblog Podcast #729

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. John just got home from driving the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup, and he's got a lot to say about this amazing truck. Greg was lucky enough to take a farewell lap in the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid.

Greg also got a new electric lawn mover, the self-propelled Ego Power+ LM2102SP, and shares his thoughts. Next, our editors talk about the soon-to-arrive Dodge Hornet crossover, as well as Rivian's wild relationship with Ford. Finally, they recap the 2022 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Video Transcript


GREG MIGLIORE: Welcome back to "The Autoblog Podcast." I'm Greg Migliore. We have a great show for you today. This is the podcast where we are going to talk about the long-awaited first drive of the Ford F-150 Lightning. To do that, we have our senior editor for all things green, John Snyder. You heard his dispatch from San Antonio last week. He is back, and he has driven the truck. Welcome, John.

JOHN SNYDER: Thanks. I'm excited to talk about it. I was really eager to drive this truck, especially after getting a ride in it at Motor Bella earlier, like, well, last fall. So it was a pretty good truck.


JOHN SNYDER: Spoiler alert.

GREG MIGLIORE: Spoiler alert, it was a good truck. So you're going to want to stick around and listen to all of John's impressions of that. We've got kind of a mixed bag here, a grab bag of stuff through the podcast. I drove the Polestar 1. This is the electric plug-in hybrid grand-touring Polestar. It was the first one that kicked off the range, up to 619 horsepower. It's pretty wild. I took it to Starbucks this morning. We may talk about it more in the coming weeks as I get-- you know, run some more miles behind the wheel of it. But we'll talk about that.

And then I have an electric lawnmower review that we're going to talk about just for a little bit. We'll run through some news. Ford and Rivian, some stuff going on there, the stock. It's pretty wild. We're going to take a look back at the Miami F1. I really enjoyed that race, not just because it was, you know, a decent race, but just seeing a Miami Grand Prix, I thought, was awesome. Awesome for F1, awesome for the US. We also have some news on the Dodge Hornet. So let's jump right into the F-150 Lightning really big deal truck. We've been talking about this for a long time. It's here. You got to drive it. Just the initial driving impressions, John.

JOHN SNYDER: Well, I mean, it's really something. Like, you can't go wrong here. It's an F-150, right? So America's best-selling vehicle, the Ford F series. And then it's got an electric powertrain, all-electric powertrain, which, as Ford has proven with the Mach-E, can be mega fun. It's got standard four-wheel drive through two electric motors.

And it's also super powerful. There are two batteries. There's a standard range battery, 452 horsepower, 775 pound feet of torque. Extended range battery, which offers up to 320 miles, 580 horsepower, and again, 775 pound feet of torque. So you're getting an F-150. You sit in it, it feels just like an F-150. It's going to be very familiar to consumers moving from the gas or diesel-powered F-150s into this electric one. It's going to feel very, very familiar.

But then, yeah, it's got the electric powertrain, tons of power. Very feature-rich as you go up the trim level. There's BlueCruise, still decent towing and hauling. It can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Yeah, just all around a really great truck.

And yeah, going down the road, so I pulled-- we started in San Antonio, downtown San Antonio, and we pull out of this sort of plaza. And, you know, we're creeping through the downtown, the city streets, and it's this big monster truck. You know, the one I was riding in had-- driving had 20-inch wheels and all that. So it would normally feel huge on the road. But this is Texas, where everything's a truck, and a lot of them very, very big trucks. So it fit right in.

But, you know, you sort of notice that, yeah, it drives just like an EV. It's very familiar, very direct and linear, lots of low-end torque. Then you get on the highway, and you feel the ride, the suspension. It's got an independent rear suspension. But you feel the ride. It's a truck-like ride. It sort of moves around, bounces a little bit. It's not the crashy sort of truck ride. It's more of the premium sort of bouncy sort of truck ride.

But still, you know, a decent amount of movement, some forgiveness there. Because later, we'd go off-road in it. We need that forgiveness in the suspension. And then, yeah, you hit BlueCruise, and then you can take your hands off the wheel. That works pretty well. And then driving it on some of the more rural highways out of traffic, you can sort of open it up a little bit. There's really, at least in the extended range version, there's really no instance where you need to put the pedal all the way to the floor. It's just excess.

There's just so much power all over the place that, you know, you just give it a little bit of a shove from your right foot, and it just goes. It just takes off. Ford quotes the extended range battery will do 0 to 60 in about 4 and 1/2 seconds, mid-four second range, where the standard range will do it in 5, which is still quite quick. So yeah, you're not really giving up a whole lot by going electric. Yeah, I mean, you're not going to tow as much as a diesel dually or something.

And, you know, those longer trips where you might be going beyond the range of the vehicle, you're going to have to find a charger. Ford's working with its partners to make sure there are chargers up and running that can support the Lightning owners. Because, I mean, that's the biggest thing. Most people will charge at home. You know, 80% of the energy that's put into EVs is done at home.

Yet, the tension, the anxiety, the biggest hurdle, I think, for EV consumers, would-be EV buyers, is range and charging. So Ford understands that. Even though we all want to say, look, you're just going to charge it at home most of the time, they understand that that's a barrier to selling them. So they're out there sending fleets out, testing chargers all over the country to make sure they work, and working with, you know, Electrify America and different companies to expand their network.

But yeah, and then there's all sorts of other stuff that this truck does. It's got zone lighting, and it's got tons of plugs. It's got a giant frunk with plugs in it. It has the ability-- if you have the charger, there's a charging station that comes with the extended range battery for your home. If you have that charger, you can also buy it if you have the standard range battery.

And then there's a home integration system that's, like, $30-- I don't know, 3,500 bucks or something like that. You can use this truck as a-- as backup power for your home if you lose power, and it can power a house using 30 kilowatt hours a day for three days. And if you're conserving energy, Ford says up to 10 days. You know, your mileage may vary.

But having that ability to-- I mean, we saw what happened in Texas when they were shipping out the-- the hybrid F-150s with the Pro Power Onboard to power, you know, various things. This thing can power your whole house, which is pretty amazing. But yeah, there's just so many different features in it. It's great to drive. Really capable off-road. It's got a rear locking differential.

It's got good ground clearance, full underbody protection. Not having to shift gears or deal with a turbocharger makes it very easy to modulate the amount of throttle and torque to get over that next rock without, you know, gunning it past it once you're over it. Just very, very nice all around. And yeah, going to be very familiar to, you know, people who are already familiar with the F-150. And I think that a lot of owners will fall in love with all the different benefits that you get with it, too.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I think one of the interesting parts of Ford's strategy is they made the Lightning look very much like, essentially, the F-150. It's an F-150 that happens to be electrified, that is obviously purposefully electrified, which is a bit different when you look at, like, Chevy's approach with the electric Silverado. It has a different design sort of ethos, and it seems like they're differentiating it a little bit, at least as far as just kind of the marketing and, of course, the design. So I think both approaches can work.

I think in the case of Ford, it makes a lot of sense because this is really who they are as a company going back to the days of, like, the Model T, you know, when they just like, here's the Model T. It could be a truck if you rip out the back. It only comes in one color. That was black for years and years. You know, it was even like-- they made a tractor variant of it. Like, that was how they did business then, and you still see that now. So I think that's kind of an interesting approach.

I've seen a few of them on the roads. Like, I guess, they're prototypes. I think they look good. Sometimes I have to do a double take, though, because I-- you know, it's like, is that a Lightning, or what is that? Because, you know, the lighting up front is relatively similar to the rest of the F-150 line.

JOHN SNYDER: It really is. It looks very much like a regular F-150. You look closely, though, you can-- if you familiarize yourself with the grilles, you can sort of tell there. It's got the sort of closed off grille. It's got the badging with the sort of blue-- electric blue outline that looks really cool in person. But, you know, that's pretty subtle otherwise. And yeah, you wouldn't necessarily know it unless you stop and took a look around and noticed the charging door on the front of it and things like that. There are little details that sort of give it away. But otherwise, it's very familiar.

And inside, it's, you know, again, just like an F-150, except the higher trims get that giant 15.5, I think, inch portrait-oriented infotainment touchscreen, like the one in the Mach-E. And, you know, that is set up similarly with the menus, and lots of different customizable things in there. Thankfully, Ford gave it one-pedal driving. You can turn it on through a menu, things like that. You can turn the locking diff on and off through the menu. There's four drive modes in the menu. There's Normal, Sport, Tow/Haul and Off-Road. Off-Road automatically turns the locker on, but you can disengage it if you want to turn it off.

The truck automatically comes with a mobile charger that is capable of both level 1 and level 2 240-volt charging, which is pretty great. So if you don't get the extended battery and don't get that home charger, that wall charger, or don't want to bother with one, or you just want to have a really nice charger to carry around with you, it comes with that.

And that charger can also be used, if you have the 9.6 kilowatt Pro Power Onboard with the extra plugs, there's a 240-volt outlet in the bed of the truck that you can plug an adapter into, plug your mobile charger into, and then charge another EV with your Lightning. Say your buddy in whatever, it doesn't matter what brand of EV, if they run out of electricity on the side of the highway and can't get to the next charging station, you can pull up in your Lightning and save the day.

And there's just so many little features like that, including little features that Ford has been adding to its standard F-150s, like that fold-down shifter with the fold-out workspace so you can do work right there in your truck. You've got a nice little spot to plug in your computer or eat lunch or whatever. You know, the plugs in the bed. This has that gigantic frunk, which, you know, I'm not particularly impressed with EV frunks, in general, especially if-- when the car has enclosed cargo space in the rear.

With a pickup truck, it makes sense. You might want to store something not in the passenger compartment, but want it to be protected from the elements or from maybe thieves. That frunk is big and offers a lot of space to protect stuff in there. And you can charge stuff in there, too, while you're driving. It's got-- you know, if you get the one with the plugs up front.

So just endless features available, and there's just so much you can do with it. You can do all your old truck stuff, plus you can throw the world's greatest tailgate party, plugging in multiple, multiple appliances. And, you know, you can plug in TVs and a sound system and electric-- you know, they had an electric smoker at the hub where we were-- you know, our little home base from when we were driving-- where we were driving from.

They had a basketball-- one of those arcade basketball games hooked up to it. They had an electric fridge/freezer cooler hooked up to it. They had a big wall of amps, the speakers pumping music and a TV. And so you can just throw a huge party. It'd be great for camping.

Obviously, they know that these are going to be used in the field. There's a fleet version of the Pro trim, the base trim, and that will allow people to run power tools off of it, which is great. If you're somewhere, you know, like a construction site that maybe doesn't have plugs available, you've got your truck. And you've got a ton of energy to use. And so you can power stuff for a long time and still make it home.

GREG MIGLIORE: Very cool. I think Ford's really played up the, this is, like, the revolutionary vehicle, almost more so than the Mach-E. And I actually agree with that because the Mach-E is a Mustang. It's a crossover. It probably fits the needs of a wide swath of people. It's still a Mustang. And I think that's-- obviously, that's purposeful. But when you think of just the sheer volume, the sheer number of people who buy F-150s, you're going right at a consumer base that may not be super into electric vehicles. But now their, like, sort of sacred cow, their favorite thing offers you an electric option.

I feel like you're going to, like, walk into your showroom thinking, OK, it's been 15, 20 years. Time for my new F-150. Because that's a lot of times how these truck buyers work is they're super loyal. They maybe not-- aren't even selling their old one. They're just like, we need the new one at this point. And they're like, well, wow, what's this Lightning thing? And, I mean, that's where you're going to, like, start to convert sort of the masses and saying, hey, an electric vehicle can work for you. And I think that's-- it's going to be really fascinating to watch that.

I also think you could get some new buyers in. Like, I don't really need an electric-- well, I would like an electric vehicle. Let me put it that way. But I don't really need a full-size truck. I just-- for my yearly mulch hauling-- I actually had the mulch delivered last year because it was easier-- I don't really need a full-size truck. Most people don't. But, you know, Ford's being very aggressive with the pricing on this, and it's an electric vehicle that could do all of these things. It's really a cliched Swiss army knife, to use that cliche, if you will.

And, you know, the pricing is very, very solid. It's like aggressive even. You know, if you want to get into the electric vehicle space, I can't believe I'm saying this, but the F-150 Lightning is a great gateway to it. So I think that's a really sound strategy. Yeah.

JOHN SNYDER: With the base price of a little over $40,000 for the Pro, and you're already getting, you know, 400-- over 400 horsepower and over 200 miles of driving, 230 miles of range and 452 horsepower, 775 pound feet of torque at that range, five seconds 0 to 60. This is the base truck.

GREG MIGLIORE: I mean, that's what you need. That's more than you need right there, so.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, it's really impressive. And, you know, I think a lot of it will-- a lot of customers will be existing F-150 customers. But like you said, it's one of those things you might not need it, but if you had it, you'd probably use those features. You know, I-- we didn't-- it's arguable whether or not we needed a three-row SUV for our family.

We-- our extreme use case that we tested with was taking-- putting a week's worth of stuff in it and two kids and two dogs and driving-- going on a road trip like that. And once we figured out we were able to do that, now we do that sort of thing all the time. We fill it full of stuff and just go do stuff with everyone, everyone in our family and all the stuff we need, you know, the pack-and-play stroller, blah, blah, blah.

When you have that stuff at your fingertips, you know, it really sort of unlocks a sense of adventure. And I think that the F-150 and its capabilities, you know, its towing, its storage, its ability to power all these things, you know, if you have that available, why not make the most of it, you know? It's a life hack. You're unlocking more adventures and more experiences through your vehicle, which is pretty great.

GREG MIGLIORE: Wow, I think that's your tagline for your-- the next Palisade update we do is unlocking your life, so to speak.


GREG MIGLIORE: Pretty high praise. Any final thoughts on the Lightning?

JOHN SNYDER: There's so much more to review. There's so much more to dive into that you just can't really do over two days driving the vehicle. You know, there's so many more. I towed with it a little bit, but there's-- I didn't hook up the trailer. There's the onboard scales and things like that. There's all these different features that it will take-- you'd have to have a long-termer to really get to know all of them. There's just so much there. So there's a lot of opportunity for getting to know the truck better, and I hope we get some more time in it in the future, in the near future, because, yeah, there's just so much more I want to do with it.

GREG MIGLIORE: This is right up there with the IONIQ 5 with vehicles I'm super excited to drive this year. So let's-- what was the best thing you ate in San Antonio? I'm curious. Got to add a little bit of flavor to this meeting, or drank, I guess.

JOHN SNYDER: Let's see. I had-- I actually had really good-- like I said, they had the electric smoker plugged into the truck, and so I had these smoked vegetables with this fresh chimichurri sauce that they whipped up right there. That was incredible. I need to eat more chimichurri.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds pretty good. Sounds pretty good. Maybe not the most obvious thing you would expect from San Antonio. But, hey, I mean, that's--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, they were grilling up all sorts of meat and stuff--

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good.

JOHN SNYDER: --but I wasn't partaking.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. Sounds good. Cool. So let's stay in the electric situation here, the electric game. The Polestar 1, we've both driven it. You drove it when it was more of, like, a new thing. I am driving what I can only sort of describe it as almost like a victory lap for Polestar.


GREG MIGLIORE: It may even be a '21 model. I haven't looked that close at the spec sheet yet. This is the Polestar 1, the original one that launched the line. It's the coupe, the grand tour, 619 horsepower. It's a plug-in hybrid, so it's-- there's a little bit of irony that they launched their, like, electric line with a plug-in hybrid. But, hey, that's fine.


GREG MIGLIORE: It is-- I think it's a beautiful car. Just, I went to Starbucks this morning to get some coffee, and it-- multiple people were looking at me. One guy put down his window and was like, well, that's gorgeous, what is that? He really liked the color. It's-- it really has presence. It's-- and it's definitely right in my, like, my zone as far as, like, sports cars.

Like, I-- like, Miata is great. I love the Miata. I love, like, the Fiat 124 Spider. I've often thought, like, a Alfa Spider would be cool. But I also like grand tours. You know, you get a little bit of a back seat, the long hood, the short deck, just the beautiful roof lines. Like, you can really, like, make a design presence, like the presence of a brand felt with a grand tour. And this one really has it.

So, you know, initial impressions are that, yeah, I mean, they created an icon. It's a very limited edition car. They only sold, I think, like, 1,500 of them in the US. So, like, not that many. It's super rare. Yeah, man, I just-- enjoying it so far. It's one of those things where I'm literally going to get 24 hours with it. It arrived late last night. I had already sort of signed out of work. I think it's leaving tomorrow morning. So, like, maybe not quite 48. I'm going to drive it as much as I can, though. It's wild.

JOHN SNYDER: It is. It's-- yeah, it's super powerful, super sporty, and it looks the business, too. I love the proportions on it.


JOHN SNYDER: There's some neat little things with it. I don't know, the one I had, you open up the trunk, and you can see a lot of the-- there's a glass panel. And you can see a lot of the electronics through that glass panel at the back of the trunk. It's pretty cool. I think they were even labeled, all these orange cables. And then there's things like-- the one I had had the bright gold seatbelts and the crystal shifter, things like that. There are a lot of things about the Polestar 1 that feel very Volvo, too.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, definitely.

JOHN SNYDER: Like, the infotainment and the, you know, ignition knob and drive modes and things like that feel very Volvo. But, you know, you wouldn't know it looking at it from the exterior. It looks very much its own thing. And yeah, it's very fast. I think it was, like, 0 to 60, four seconds.


JOHN SNYDER: And yeah, 619 horsepower, 737 pound feet of torque is just a ton in a car like that. I mean, a little bit less than that in the gigantic F-150 felt incredibly quick, and this thing is even quicker. I noticed, if I recall correctly, that when you do go in EV mode-- I think they call it Pure Mode-- that it did feel significantly slower. But I did appreciate being able to do some of my driving electric only, you know? Spend less time at the gas station.

But yeah, this is a plug-in hybrid that's more-- geared more toward performance than economy. I think that's fine. That's what they set out to do with this and make a statement and sort of set the tone for the brand going forward, and I think they did a good job with it.

GREG MIGLIORE: I liked, actually, some of the, like, Volvo familiarity, if you will. Like, it's easier to just jump in right off the bat and just make sense of things. I mean, hey, I always like Orrefors crystal, too, for shifters.


GREG MIGLIORE: That's great. I thought the driving modes, where you could do-- like, I, at one point, was doing all-wheel drive, which is one you can cue up. Or you can do-- there's another one where you are only going rear-wheel, which is one of the sportier settings. But driving through one of these, like, this twisty kind of subdivision kind of near my house, I was like, this is pretty awesome. I haven't driven, like, an all-wheel drive sports car like this in I couldn't tell you when. So that was kind of a neat dynamic.

The wires in the back were wild. The guy-- the guy who dropped it back opened the trunk just to-- like, that's how they do it. They check to make sure everything's where it should be. And my son is like, Dad, why are there wires in the back of that car? I kind of did a double take, too. Like, it looks like a fuse box. But--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, that was just like the DeLorean from "Back to the Future," with, like--


JOHN SNYDER: It looks like, should those be exposed? But they're behind, you know, safety glass.


JOHN SNYDER: But it looks-- it catches your eye and catches you off-guard, for sure.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, that was pretty wild. Yeah, this one has the yellow seatbelts, too, the sort of, like, perforated leather design elements on the seats. It may be the same car you drove, actually.

JOHN SNYDER: It's possible.

GREG MIGLIORE: But I'm having fun with it. Steering is really good. It may be one of the best handling, like, Polestar/Volvos I have ever driven, which would make sense because, I mean, I didn't drive, like, the P1800 or anything. You know, I haven't driven their take on the sports car segment. So this is pretty cool, I think.

And I think it was a good way, too, to sort of kick off Polestar as almost a-- like a premium luxury brand of Volvo. And for the first try, I think that's fine. I think sometimes we-- I mean, I drove a Maserati last week with Stellantis stuff inside, knobs and buttons and switches. And I even found myself thinking, why didn't they use the, like, infotainment that they use in the RAM? Because whatever this is, it's not as good.


GREG MIGLIORE: So I definitely think that's OK when you do that. And I-- Polestar is sort of like the luxury brand for Volvo, you know, I think like Cadillac is to Chevy and Lexus is to Toyota. And I think it's a very solid sports car. It's-- I think this is going to be one of those that's going to get maybe mythical status. You know, this is like a future Pebble Beach car because it's so rare, it's so beautiful. Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting at least a couple more drives into it. So we'll see.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, it's definitely one of the cars that I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to drive it because it is such a rare opportunity. I'm glad you're getting some drive time in it, too.


JOHN SNYDER: It's a treat.

GREG MIGLIORE: It is, and it's so much different than, like, the Polestar 2, which we both have driven, you know? It's not just in, like, you know, meaning and function and the electric propulsion systems, but, I mean, it's just so high-end luxury. Like, this is like a SL AMG fighter or something or Audi R8 competitor as far as price and performance. And then the Polestar 2 is just-- like with the one motor setup, that's a relatively affordable compact sedan, you know? So I'm-- you know, Polestar, I think, is definitely one of the more interesting stories in the electric vehicle segment.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, it definitely is.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, so let's transition. I didn't mean for this to be all electric, but I--

JOHN SNYDER: Fine with me.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, that's true. Might as well do this with the green editor, right? But I tested, I guess, an EGO self-propelled lawn mower. I actually-- spoiler alert, this is my entry in our Father's Day gift guide, which it's going to be coming out in the next couple of weeks. And I just kind of got carried away and did a little bit of a review, sort of one of our, like, commerce-style posts. So that should be up now if you're listening to this. And I have been impressed.

I did a lot of, like, research as far as what the right electric lawnmower might be for me, and I landed on this one. It was not cheap. But I also-- like, lawn mowers aren't cheap. And I decided, whether it was going to be $50 or $100, go for the one I wanted, and hopefully don't have to get another lawn mower for 10 years at least. This is my first electric one, so there were some things I was learning, which was-- that's a good thing.


GREG MIGLIORE: This is the-- to be specific, it's the EGO Power+ self-propelled lawn mower, LM2102SP.


GREG MIGLIORE: The name rolls off the tongue.


GREG MIGLIORE: That one. If-- the reason I say that specific is if you just search for, like, an EGO Power+ lawn mower, there's a lot of them. They're very similar. I landed on this one because it was actually the second best pick on the Wirecutter. I looked around at all the different reviewed sites, and this one was almost always on the list. If it wasn't at the top, it was on there. And it's the same as the number one Wirecutter pick. Let me put it that way. It's just you don't get some of the bells and whistles. In my article, I compared it to, like, an Escalade versus a Yukon. Like, you know, it's-- especially, like, we are talking about a lawnmower here, right?


GREG MIGLIORE: It's still work. It's still manual labor. After cutting the grass a few times with it, I was, like, always excited to do that, but also kind of like, well, it's still cutting the grass. It's summer. It's hot out. It's not like it made this, like, fun. It just made it a little less of a chore.


GREG MIGLIORE: But I give this one a very positive remark. It's a 21-incher, so you can definitely cut a good deal of grass with it. Mine has the 56-volt lithium ion battery. I didn't know this when I was buying it, but I'm glad I did this. Mine has the 7.5 amp hour battery. So that gives you, like, a little bit more of run time, and it charges quicker. I also didn't realize I went with the rapid charger, which, again, I'm glad I did. I just throw the battery on there, and, boom, it's charged.

So I'm liking this. You know, it was basically this or maybe go back to the yard service. I did that for a few years. I've been using, like, gasoline lawn mowers since I was, like, 10 or 12. Like, I remember cutting my grandmother's grass at a very young age. Like--


GREG MIGLIORE: --you know, there was no problem. It's like, you're a kid, you're a man, get out there and cut the grass. So there was no ease into it, that's for sure. I was definitely using lawn mowers far before I was driving.


GREG MIGLIORE: So that was pretty old school. But, yeah.

JOHN SNYDER: I like electric lawn mowers. I had one at my old house. I had a Cobalt. And, you know, it's quiet. It's way easier on the ears.


JOHN SNYDER: Like, I-- already, you know, my hearing is declining. Too many concerts and gun ranges as a kid. But yeah, it's a lot easier on the ears. It's-- it's way better for the environment. Those motors in a lot of the lawn equipment just spew out fumes. There's no real filtration. And you sort of don't realize because it's just a little-- one little mower. What's it going to do? But, you know, everyone is using something like that, you know? There's thousands and thousands and thousands of lawnmowers just within a small square mileage of you. And so that adds up quite a bit, especially when they're being used every week during the summer.

I-- definitely getting the right battery is important. I had two smaller batteries. I had a couple of other tools-- I had a weed whacker and a leaf blower that use the same batteries. So I would swap out these smaller batteries. And then I got a bigger battery, and I could do the whole lawn and not have to swap out for a different battery. I didn't have a rapid charger, which would have been similar. Just go and take a lemonade break and come back out and finish it up. But does it have a cup holder? Does yours have a cup holder attachment?

GREG MIGLIORE: It does not, but it has two lights. I think they may even be LEDs.


GREG MIGLIORE: They're pretty small. My goal was actually-- like, we both have young kids. You get up early on weekends most of the time. The question is, how early? So I was thinking like, well, if sleeping in on Saturday might be 7:30, 8 o'clock, I could be cutting the grass at, like, 8 o'clock. And in the summer, it's, of course, light. But also, you know, maybe-- I'll do crazy things, like cut the grass at, like-- start at 8 o'clock in July because you got another hour-plus of light through twilights. So I'm going to try out those headlights, I think. They look cosmetic, to be honest, but they work. So we'll see.

JOHN SNYDER: And with an electric mower, you can do it, like, early morning and not bug your neighbors, which is great.

GREG MIGLIORE: It sounds like a low level hairdryer is where I would put it. It's not totally silent. Like, the Polestar is quieter than my lawn mower. Let me put it that way. I was a little surprised, to be perfectly honest. But it's also, like, you could start cutting at, like, 8 o'clock, I think, you know, and be fine. Whereas, like, a gas lawnmower, if you're the guy, like, 7:57 Saturday morning, and it's, like, pulling the cord and it fires up, like, you're kind of that guy, you know? That's a little aggressive. With this, you can easily slide in at, like, 8:00 AM.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, this won't wake the baby.

GREG MIGLIORE: Right. Right.

JOHN SNYDER: That's the important thing.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, yeah. How's your lawn cutting situation going this year?

JOHN SNYDER: We actually have a lawn service, and they're here as we speak.

GREG MIGLIORE: Well, there you go.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah. We've gone back and forth about getting-- we've got about an acre. So it would be a time commitment for me to do it. And I've wanted-- I've lobbied to get a riding mower--

GREG MIGLIORE: There you go.

JOHN SNYDER: --in the past, but I think-- Kat thinks my time would be better spent doing other things, you know, instead of just [INAUDIBLE] because I would probably just be out there all the time on that thing riding it around. [LAUGHS]

GREG MIGLIORE: It's a satisfying chore.


GREG MIGLIORE: Are there electric lawnmowers, like, that are ride-on? There probably are.

JOHN SNYDER: There are. They're prohibitively expensive.

GREG MIGLIORE: I was going to say, that seems like supercar territory of lawnmowers.

JOHN SNYDER: But I think EGO even makes some. But--


JOHN SNYDER: --maybe someday when-- you know, if prices ever come down, [LAUGHS] or if, you know, battery-powered lawnmowers become more mainstream, that might be something. Especially once Wally's a little older and he can help out with the chores, maybe the time commitment thing on my part won't be as much of a problem for Kat, so.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's interesting, last night, I signed off work a little bit early, I guess, 5 o'clock, if you will. And then my son went up and down the lawn with me in, like, a little Tonka truck. So he likes to cut the grass. So that's where you can kind of make it like a family chore. I'm, like, right on the edge. Like, I have not a huge lawn, not as big as yours, but it's pretty big.

You know, like, we are out in the suburbs, so-- and we back up to a park. So there's a bit of room here. And there's sort of, like, peninsulas on the side. Like, it takes a solid hour to cut. And I've been pleasantly surprised that the battery is more than up for it. I could even do sort of, like, cosmetic lower cuts back and forth afterwards if I want to. But then there's like, OK, the edging, and then there's the leaf blowing. And I'm, like, right on that line. Like, if I had a smaller yard, this would be, like, even better because you could just demolish it in, like, half an hour, 45 minutes.


GREG MIGLIORE: But I was even sort of telling my wife like, when this thing goes-- like, I tend to keep lawn mowers for, like, generational, you know? My last two were hand-me-downs, and I don't necessarily expect to buy another one. By the time this thing gives out, I feel like I may be of an age where I'm like, I don't think I want to cut the grass anymore, you know? I think-- not that I plan on being that old.

But I feel like once you cross a certain age-- you know, you can cut the grass as long as you want. You know, whatever you want to do is fine with me. But I could see myself being like, you know what, it's a great workout for me right now. The time is-- like, I'm right with you there. It's so funny you bring that up because with young kids, it's like, that's an hour that you're doing this when you could be doing something else. But what kind of tipped me over is my son likes it as an activity. So we'll see how long that lasts. It might be--

JOHN SNYDER: That's a good point.

GREG MIGLIORE: --this year, and then I'm going to be cutting the grass throughout my 40s, sweating it out while he's like, yeah, that was cool when I was four, now I'm playing video games. But hopefully, he keeps it up. So yeah, that's the electric lawnmower part of the podcast. But let's run through some news. Why don't we bump up the Rivian-Ford deal. We'll do electric. Then we'll move on to some other things here.


GREG MIGLIORE: Rivian stock dropped-- looks like it was 14%-- because Ford did a big sell-off. Ford, actually, got really hammered in their most recent earnings report because of the Rivian stock had lost so much value. Ironically, I think it was last year they had very rosy earnings because their stock-- their holdings in Rivian, a little over 11%, did so well. I remember we were all kind of laughing like, [LAUGHS] boy, Ford did really well. And then, hey, they happened to own Rivian stock, and it really pumped them up even more.

So, I mean, this is really the stock market writ large here in so many ways, even when you're a big company. I mean, our headline here is 24.77, and they were 179.50 in November. I mean, that's not great, Bob. Let's put it that way. So.

JOHN SNYDER: But there is-- you know, they did get some good news recently, Rivian did, earlier this month. They were awarded a $1.5 billion incentive package to build production in Georgia, near Atlanta.


JOHN SNYDER: So that's a huge incentive for them to build a second plant. But, man, with them bleeding, you know, capital like that, it's hard to tell what's going to go on. I mean, they still have the the Amazon investment, and they're starting to churn out those electric delivery trucks. So, yeah, Ford divesting, yeah, it doesn't look great right now, especially, as the stock market is kind of tumultuous at the time anyway.


JOHN SNYDER: So I don't know how much of it is the Ford news, how much of it is, you know, the stock market in general. But yeah, they also haven't delivered a lot of vehicles yet.


JOHN SNYDER: So I don't know. I wonder if, you know-- I don't have a crystal ball, so I'm not going to try and forecast what's going to happen with them. But I would not be completely surprised if they decided to do the-- go the Bolinger route and just focus on commercial vehicles. I think that's maybe where there's more money to be made. And-- but I don't know. We'll see what happens. I still haven't gotten a chance to drive the R1T or the R1S. And, you know, they're-- from what I've read from our own contributors, the R1T especially seems pretty great to drive.

But-- and, you know, there's so much interest in Rivian. Everywhere I go, you know, when people hear that I'm a car guy, they ask me about Rivian. You know, they're so curious about Rivian. Should I order a Rivian, you know? What do you think of Rivian? Have you driven the Rivian? Everyone wants to know about Rivian. So I think they at least have some some brand recognition. So hopefully, that goes a little bit in their favor at helping them right this ship. But yeah, it's just sort of a bloody week for them with the stock price. But hopefully, you know, there's enough else on the balance sheet to sort of balance them out.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's interesting Ford did this now because with the stock so low, I mean, unless it goes to zero, they almost might be better to hold and see if it might go back up. And then they could-- then they could cash out. It's also a legacy of when there was, like, a minute there we thought Rivian and Ford were going to really partner on products. So strategically, Ford might just be like, whatever, we just took the hit, cut our losses, get out of Dodge, and call it a day. So that appears to be what they're doing here. Like, the strategy isn't there. The money isn't there. Probably should have sold in December, but who can look in their crystal ball?

JOHN SNYDER: I think they had to hold onto it.


JOHN SNYDER: I think they were, like, contractually obligated to hold onto it--

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, interesting. I didn't know that. Yeah.


GREG MIGLIORE: It's-- I mean, it's tough to have to get rid of it at this point, let me put it that way, with the stock price so low.

JOHN SNYDER: Not great for either of them.

GREG MIGLIORE: Right, right. It's interesting how the bloom has sort of come off the rose a little bit for Lucid and Rivian. If you flashback six months, I mean, November, these guys were racking up awards. Everybody was, like, a-buzz with them. I thought the R1T was a really good execution as far as a product.


GREG MIGLIORE: There was some weird things about it, more like they almost overthought the quirky design. Like, how much can we be like Apple or Tesla? But, I mean, overall, there was nothing wrong with it. It was very solid truck to drive. I drove it for a little bit kind of out by you, actually. I was out in Ann Arbor and through the backwoods of, like, Saline and Chelsea.


GREG MIGLIORE: Good in all conditions, attractive. I almost feel like-- and this is kind of how I feel about Bolinger-- it's almost too nice to just be-- to put into, like, fleet use or, like, the commercial segment. Not that that's not a viable lucrative segment. But, like, Ford and General Motors have been very strong in those segments for years, and they're just, like, the watered down, very basic versions of their truck lines. And I look at, like, the Bolinger and then the Rivian, the R1T, and it's like, it's pretty good designs. You know, you're telling me this is just going to be my, like, utility truck or, like, the parks and rec truck?

So-- but, I mean, it might not hurt to have them get in there. And, you know, these things can change. You know, Fisker is back after we thought they were gone. You know, maybe Bolinger can-- like, they have a deal with Roush that was just announced to, like, build their sort of commercial vehicle, parts of it, the chassis, I think.


GREG MIGLIORE: So, I mean, to be clear, Rivian and Lucid, they're both still standing, standing and fighting, you know? This is-- like, we've seen this go far more sideways. But it's been kind of a weird six months for those two.

JOHN SNYDER: And I think they've both shown that they can, you know, get manufacturing built and get people on board with their program. This might just be a little dip. You know, the economy is in a weird, weird spot right now with inflation and everything. So, yeah, it might just be a little dip, and they maybe will bounce right back. Maybe next week, you know, we'll have good news, big good news for both of those companies. Who knows?

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, so speaking of-- we were talking about lawnmowers earlier. I discovered some bees in my-- like, in one of my garden beds.


Yeah, I think they're hornets. But we can talk about the Dodge Hornet. That's a pretty lame transition, but--


GREG MIGLIORE: --Dodge Hornet, man. It's kind of a rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale.

JOHN SNYDER: Almost too much, from what I can tell.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, it's-- I mean, that's maybe OK for Dodge. I don't know how good it is for Alfa. But--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, Dodge is going to get more recognition, at least here.


JOHN SNYDER: But I do like the idea of it, a smaller SUV with a-- probably a plug-in hybrid powertrain.


JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, it could be cool. But I don't know, the spy shots, the latest spy shots, and the latest info, it just, I don't know, in a world where there's much more exciting products coming out, you know, even from Stellantis, this one just sort of falls a little flat for me. I like the name.



GREG MIGLIORE: You can have some fun writing about old Dodge Darts whenever they reveal it.

JOHN SNYDER: [LAUGHS] Yeah. But maybe there's going to be some neat feature or some really smart, I don't know, something it does that will bring me back around to it. But--

GREG MIGLIORE: Cynically, I wouldn't bet on that, to be honest.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, right now, I'm just not too into it. You know, the Tonale, you know, the 1.3-liter turbo plug-in hybrid, and then you know, a 2-liter as well, I don't know, there's-- it just doesn't get me that fired up for something with the Hornet name.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think it's-- to me, in some ways, I think we've buried the lead. The fact that Dodge is getting this kind of, like, compact crossover is interesting.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, it's a good-- it's a good spot for their lineup. It's an empty-- it's a hole to be filled, for sure, which I think is good.

GREG MIGLIORE: I'm a little surprised, too, though, that, like, to me, Dodge was the muscle car brand, outside of the Durango. I'm just a little surprised that Stellantis is sort of giving this product to Dodge. I mean, I think it's-- for Dodge as a brand, it's a good thing. You know, this could give them some volume, which they desperately need, because their plan beyond, you know, Charger, Challenger, Durango is question mark, right?


GREG MIGLIORE: So, I mean, if you have this, it's something. You're getting investment. It's not nothing. I kind of wonder if this might be a little bit like the Dodge Dart, though, which was a pretty good product, I thought. Reviewers were very, like, milquetoast on it. But it was a nice, I think, approximate representation of, like, an American version of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which I actually got to drive that. I think it was Bosch brought some over, and they were Alfas. And they had, like, diesel engines. And it was to promote the diesel tech back then, when we thought that was going to save everything.

And, you know-- but again, that car just felt kind of short. It was, like, pretty good, but pretty good wasn't going to take down the Honda Civic at that point. So I tend to think that's where this is going to fall, even though, you know, generally, I like how Dodges look. And Dodge Alfa Romeos, I think there's some symmetry there. And I think they could look good. You know, a plug-in hybrid would be great. It's definitely the, you know, straight out of central casting engine line-up otherwise. So, you know, we'll see, right?

JOHN SNYDER: You know, you mentioned diesel. That would be something to get my interest in this vehicle, if they were able to put like a 2-liter turbo diesel in it. That'd be cool, you know? It would have a little punch, a little character, and pretty good fuel economy and driving range. Although, the-- I suppose the plug-in hybrid powertrain sort of covers all that without all the-- the nastiness associated with diesel these days.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, yeah. No, that's true. I-- yeah, I don't know. We'll see. I mean, the Hornet, the Dart, Dodge has a lot of great names. But they tend to have some issues, outside of the Challenger and the Charger, making them all come together. So I don't know. I'm still-- to me, this kind of cuts both ways, too, where Stellantis has all these brands, which means they have a lot of mouths to feed. So that means, hey, Dodge maybe gets a crossover they may not have gotten. But also, is it going to be any good or more than just good enough? Hard to say.


GREG MIGLIORE: All right, so let's talk a little bit about the-- about F1. The race in Miami, I thought, was pretty good. You know, and Max Verstappen won. Cool. He's having a good year.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, he's-- he's a whiz kid, man.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. But, I mean, to me, this just-- this was the first US race this year. We're also going to have one in Austin later this year.


GREG MIGLIORE: We've talked about this a few times. It really seems like F1 is gaining traction here. "Drive to Survive" on Netflix, people are really into it. I love that as just kind of, like, evening crack a beer TV watching when nothing else is on, or when I just want to watch it. Just, I mean, I didn't go to this. I really wish I had. It would be on my list of ones to get to. I saw people compared it to almost a Super Bowl atmosphere.


GREG MIGLIORE: I thought they did a good job of capturing Formula One in the United States with a Miami vibe. You know, all the teal was great. Mercedes PETRONAS revealed their, like, special edition watches, which were teal. Alpine showed up with one of their, like, European Alpine models. So, I mean, there was a lot of pomp and circumstance. And, I mean, it was a cooler race. It was a new thing, too, you know?

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, it's America's answer to Monaco.

GREG MIGLIORE: That is an awesome way to put it. But we have Vegas coming up, I think, in '23. So, wow. But those are good settings for cities like this, especially in the United States.

JOHN SNYDER: I was laughing so hard at Lewis Hamilton in the press conference with all his watches--


JOHN SNYDER: --and his rings. That was great.

GREG MIGLIORE: He was like--


JOHN SNYDER: --the jewelry ban. Well, the enforcement of the jewelry ban.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, like, what are you doing, Formula One? Like, why are you-- that's almost like the NFL, you know, where they're like, you have to wear your socks at a certain length or you get a uniform penalty. Like, come on. Don't--


GREG MIGLIORE: Don't do that, especially in Miami, when you're trying to, like, get good positive buzz in the US.

JOHN SNYDER: Like, I get-- I understand that in some sports wearing jewelry is a safety issue. But, you know, this isn't a contact sport.


JOHN SNYDER: And they already wear-- allowed to wear wedding rings.


JOHN SNYDER: They want Lewis Hamilton to take his earrings out and his nose ring, which sounds like they're kind of grown in there pretty permanently. Might be not real easy to get them out.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's what he said. He's like, I can't take this thing out.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah. And, like, I don't know, if you have a wedding ring, depending on what it's made of, that's a far, far worse security-- safety problem. If you break your finger and it starts to swell, if you're wearing titanium, you might have to get your finger amputated if you can't cut through that metal quickly. So I don't know. I think I've-- I've just sort of sat back and laughed at the issue just because it's pretty funny. But after thinking about it some more, I'm sort of landing on Lewis Hamilton's side with this.

I mean, I can understand maybe not allowing, like, necklaces or something that could get caught, you know, if you were in a crash and, like, choke you or tear off a limb or something. But something like an earring or a nose stud is-- you know, especially it's not going to hurt anyone, and he's been wearing it forever already. I don't see the problem.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I agree with you. I agree with Lewis Hamilton. I mean, he's one of the greatest drivers of all time. If that's what he wants to do, like, I think Formula One should just shut up, right? Or just go back to not enforcing it. Like, leave it on the rule books, but don't make a thing out of it. Yeah, overall, cool race, though.

I mean, I just-- the F1 has a lot of momentum. There is-- people are getting into it in the United States. Like, a lot of people are talking about it. It's like one of those things where it's not just, like, the car journalist group anymore. It's, like, people in my broader circle of friends are asking me about it. It's coming up in, like, things I listen to, like other shows, podcasts.

Like, Formula One is just, like-- it's definitely broader than-- I remember when I was essentially the weekend motorsports editor at "Autoweek," when I first started out back in '08. And I would be, like, editing these stories in the predawn hours of the summer and fall of, I remember, '08 because it's European, six hours ahead.

I remember thinking-- I liked it back then, but I was not really that into it. I kind of grew into it using that as a springboard. But, like, nobody cared about F1 back then. It was like-- you know, there was not a US Grand Prix. There hadn't been for a few years. Nobody knew who the drivers were. So it's like-- just, to me, it is a much different situation now, and I think that's cool.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah. You know, I used to follow it more closely. I used to even play fantasy F1--

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, that's cool.

JOHN SNYDER: --which was really, really fun.

GREG MIGLIORE: That sounds awesome.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, yeah. I think the platform that I used is-- has either changed dramatically or no longer exists. But--


JOHN SNYDER: --I'm sure there are others. There's probably a Yahoo one.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. That sounds fun.

JOHN SNYDER: I know they've got other racing series, other fantasy racing series. But now it seems like a good time to sort of get back into it.


JOHN SNYDER: My son loved watching it when he was little. He was just obsessed with cars. We'd watch-- you know, he would sit there and watch the whole race with me and just say "vroom" over and over, and it was great. But then, you know, he got into dinosaurs and--

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, dinosaurs trump everything.

JOHN SNYDER: And my time started being less and less free. But now would be a good time to sort of get back into it because it is sort of re-emerging as a popular spectator sport for Americans. And, you know, I could enjoy it with my peers again, other than-- beyond just my colleagues.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, exactly. I actually liked the early starts. Again, going back to cutting the grass early, it's like, if you're up early with your preschooler, well, hey, you know, maybe he's watching dinosaurs and you can have like F1 qualifying streaming on your phone from Imola because it's 1:30 there and, you know, 7:30 or what here. So yeah, we'll see.

And they've added some wrinkles, too. Like, Imola, that was one they brought back after not having raced there. So the last couple of years have been interesting. I think it helped, too, like, with the pandemic with sports. Like, baseball had a very screwed up 2020 season. The NBA, the NHL had issues. The NFL just powered through, which had some challenges with that, too.

But, I mean, it was a sport that sort of-- you know, they had an abbreviated '20 season. '21 was interesting. '22 has been pretty good. And they've sort of found a way to create this experience that I think people have sort of-- there's been an opportunity, and people have really found a way to get into it, so.


GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. A very gorgeous blue jay just flew into my yard. That was pretty awesome.

JOHN SNYDER: Oh, I love all the birds this time of year.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's a good time of year. I asked Road Test Editor Zac Palmer this last week, but what spring beers are you drinking?

JOHN SNYDER: I've-- there's been a couple from Vivant I've been drinking. There's one--


JOHN SNYDER: --that's-- I forget exactly. It's sour but with apple and--

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, that sounds good.

JOHN SNYDER: --cranberry.

GREG MIGLIORE: That'd be a good fall one.

JOHN SNYDER: It was actually really good. Yeah. And then-- oh, I forgot the name of the brewery. It's some place from Chicago, but they have a really nice sort of-- this sort of German lager style that I really liked.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good.

JOHN SNYDER: I have to go dig through my fridge. And then there is a brewery in Ann Arbor called HOMES, like H-O-M-E-S, like the--


JOHN SNYDER: --anagram for the Great Lakes. And they do a lot of really good sours and, like, hazy IPAs. And so whenever I'm over on that side of town, I get a little 750 milliliter bottle pour to bring it home and enjoy. And then there's-- there's another Ann Arbor brewery called Mothfire--


JOHN SNYDER: --that everything I've had from there has been excellent, from their sours to their stouts. They're a really small operation, but they're super good. They're super cool.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's funny, Zac actually referenced HOMES Brewery as well. So I guess we're-- I don't know if you guys are looking to sponsor of the podcast. Hey, we take them all. We actually did a podcast from Griffin Claw in Birmingham--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, I remember that.

GREG MIGLIORE: --a few years ago. I think it's more of a video thing. But, hey, that was pretty cool.

JOHN SNYDER: It was cool.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I cut the grass, and then I had a Coors Light, which I would say is hardly anybody's, you know, premium lager or anything, let's put it that way.

JOHN SNYDER: It tastes like Corn Flakes to me, which--


JOHN SNYDER: Well, it sort of has like a nostalgic-- it tickles some sort of part of my brain that remembers, you know, when I first had beer and-- you know, with all that corn sugar in it. And--


JOHN SNYDER: --it just sort of has that grain. Or driving through Milwaukee, the smell of driving through Milwaukee--

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

JOHN SNYDER: --it reminds me of that, too, even though it's from Colorado. But yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. Sounds good. All right, if you have any spring beer recommendations, hey, drop them in the comments or send an email to us. Also, you should probably send us your Spend My Moneys. I think we've burned through most of ours. We have a few updates that we'll try to get to in the coming weeks. But if you have a question, great time to get it in there right now.


GREG MIGLIORE: Podcast at autoblog.com. If you enjoy the show, that's five stars on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts, because we are everywhere. Be safe out there. Enjoy the rest of spring.