F-150 Lightning Owner Says Range Is Cut In Half While Towing

Electric Vehicles / 31 Comments

There are some benefits to towing with an electric pickup truck, though.

The Ford F-150 Lightning is perhaps the most exciting pickup to arrive in recent years. The electrification of an American icon has gone down a treat - it's proving so popular that the battery-powered pickup sold out ahead of its official launch. This demand is undoubtedly down to its surfeit of talents.

Ford has ensured the electric variant is just as tough and capable as the ICE-powered model, subjecting it to a series of arduous tests which included strenuous towing evaluations. However, towing has always been a chink in the armor of electric trucks, with range severely affected by heavier loads.

One F-150 Lightning owner recently shared his own towing experience. Nicholas Schmidt hooked up his Airstream caravan, which effectively halved the electric truck's driving range.

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On his blog, geekyschmidt.com, Schmidt provided some details. He notes the caravan weighs around 6,000 pounds and carried just 20 gallons of water, batteries, and some gear. To make life a bit easier for the Lightning, he was the sole occupant and the journey was done on completely flat roads.

He notes that on regular road trips, his F-150 achieves between 1.5 and 1.8 miles per kWh. With the Airstream in tow, this is drastically reduced to just 0.8 miles/kWh. The Lightning has a handy onboard tool that allows it to estimate driving range when towing. It calculates the weight and dimensions and reconfigures the figure.

"I plugged in at 85 miles, and when I finished the calculation, it stated I had 54 miles of range with the Airstream," notes Schmidt. While fine for shorter distances, this will undoubtedly be a source of anxiety for those who need to haul equipment on longer trips.

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Despite this, the owner has plenty of positive things to say about the electric towing experience. Schmidt lauds the F-150 Lightning's strong pulling power and notes "you...forget there is that much weight behind you as you accelerate."

It's worth noting this particular model is the range-topping Platinum, which comes equipped with the extended battery range and tow technology package as standard. The maximum driving range is pegged at an impressive 320 miles.

Based on Schmidt's calculations, he would theoretically be able to travel around 160 miles on a full charge, with a caravan in tow. That's not bad at all, but ICE-powered trucks still rule the roost when it comes to towing long distances. However, Ford has equipped the F-150 Lighting with an assortment of systems that will make towing easier and soothe the nerves of any driver.

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Towing
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Dashboard
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Interior Overview
Source Credits: geekyschmidt.com

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