A 2018 Ford F150 pick-up truck moves down the assembly line at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant during the 100-year celebration of the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan, Sept. 27, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

On Tuesday, the electric Ford F-150 Lightning beat out pickups with pure internal combustion engines for MotorTrend's 2023 Truck of the Year honor.

The honor is considered a prestigious title by automakers and is also seen as third-party validation of a new vehicle as the standards for selecting a winner are strict. Everything from overall performance, to safety, efficiency, design and engineering are considered by the judges.

The wins marks the second time an electric vehicle has won unanimously in the history of MotorTrend's Of The Year competitions and the F-150 Lightning is the first electric truck to win by a unanimous vote among the judges.

"Some vehicles change the automotive world by being radically different inside and out. Others change it by being different where it counts and familiar where it helps," wrote MotorTrend when announcing its pick.

The Ford F-150 Lightning carries change not just for Ford Motor, but for the U.S. automotive industry as well. It's the first electric pickup truck that's been mass-marketed for mainstream buyers and is treated as a general test of widespread EV adoption.

Part of the efficiency of the Lightning is that Ford didn't develop a completely new model that would put parts and accessories out of commission, something that would make the switch to an electric pickup just that more expensive for the average consumer. Since Ford repurposed the already existing F-150 bed, that means almost every accessory and part made for the gas-powered F-150 fits perfectly.

While efficiency is the name of the game for the F-150 Lightning, this model isn't capable of being a long-distance tow vehicle. This isn't an engineering flaw on the part of Ford, but a limitation due to today's battery technology. As this technology is relatively new compared to the history of the combustion engine, there's still more to develop and learn. The towing limitations aside, the Lightning still performs better than the other F-150 models.

MotorTrend explained that what the judges look for when awarding an electric vehicle is that "it cannot be only a good EV or a good vehicle; it must be both," and Ford F-150 fulfilled all of MotorTrend's criteria. "...It's just the type of pickup we need to make the coming electric revolution work for most everyone," added MotorTrend.