Ford F-150 Lightning Winter Towing Tests and Interview with Engineers

Ford F-150 Lightning Winter Towing Tests and Interview with Engineers

Ford has acquired just a few hits within the media on the F-150 Lightning tow line, so we thought it will be good to check it out ourselves after which get some context from the oldsters who constructed the Lightning, particularly on the method of winter. Along with Ford’s public relations staff, we have been joined by:

  • Dapo Adewusi, F-150 Lightning Engineering Supervisor
  • Gitanjli McRoy, Chief Engineer, Electrical Automobile Vitality Administration Programs

This is the dialogue with first-hand towing impressions beneath in New York and Detroit.

I needed to see how a lot vary I might lose whereas towing, as there have been current movies exhibiting solely low double-digit distances popping out of the Lightning.

It is exhausting to quantify how a lot vary you’d lose on account of a ton of essential elements, like trailer weight, aerodynamics, and effectivity, in addition to regular EV vary elements just like the altitude, local weather, pace, and so forth., that are amplified when towing. a trailer.

So I did two totally different tows: one with an open trailer with a pal in New York and one with an enclosed trailer in Detroit – two very totally different experiences.

Towing F-150 Lightning within the hills of New York

After receiving the mortgage of the F-150 Lightning, I instantly went to a with a friend to attempt a little bit towing. He has a small Airbnb house in upstate New York, which requires carrying a great deal of firewood up the mountains. Because the climate will get colder, the tiny home mini break up heater requires 240V energy, and we needed to see if the Lightning might energy it.

His trailer measures about 7×5 ft and weighs about 5,000 kilos loaded. Utilizing the rear and above digicam views makes it simpler to hitch the trailer.

With none outdoors instruction, we have been in a position to enter the knowledge into the Lightning’s tow configurator and have been off in minutes.

The journey was principally uphill, and after about six minutes our already dwindling quick vary dropped by about half, which was initially very scary. I had began the journey with about 180 miles of vary and some miles uphill we have been at about 140 miles of vary. The truck recalibrated us as much as 68 miles of vary, which was a little bit scary since we had deliberate on attempting to energy house whereas we have been there and in addition needed to come again.

The truck continued to lose vary sooner than we have been utilizing all of it the best way to the highest of the mountain the place it evened out the vary. It gave us a number of confidence to attempt to energy house as a lot of the return journey was downhill and we might be with out the load of wooden.

Lightning powers a small house, together with heating, simply

This train would not actually must do with towing, however whereas we have been on the Tiny Home we determined to attempt powering the entire home, together with the mini break up heater, utilizing the Professional Energy from the F -150 Lightning on board and 240V generator socket.

It really works. Often this requires a generator or a really giant photo voltaic/battery array, however not solely are you able to tow a Tiny Home (or Airstream/RV) out in the midst of nowhere, you too can energy and warmth it with the F -150 Lightning. I believe I could have bought just a few F-150s only for that.

With the warmth on full blast, each energy outputs stabilized at simply over a kW, which means we might have powered this factor for a full day utilizing round 25 kWh of battery.

The cool factor in regards to the journey again is that we ended up with about the identical vary we began with, so we needed to regenerate almost 10 miles of vary from the downhill journey.

Towing F-150 Lightning on flat floor

In Detroit, we drove an 8,000-pound trailer, 8×8-foot entrance finish, about 15 miles on the freeway, with about 5 miles on the town, then 15 miles again. Initially, on the freeway, I saved it at round 55-60 mph (just below 100 km/h). Many of the Detroit space is fairly flat, so elevation is not an element right here, and it was round 40 levels with some rain. Throughout this time, I noticed energy consumption at 1 mile/kW, which suggests we will extrapolate over 130 miles from the usable 131 kWh battery. I might use that quantity as a benchmark for towing. You would possibly get higher in hotter, drier circumstances with a smaller trailer, however beginning right here is simple and environment friendly, and you may nonetheless descend at this pace when towing on the freeway.

Driving round city with stops and begins, I noticed the mi/kWh drop to 0.9, so take into account that driving round city with an 8000 pound load will not essentially prevent any autonomy.

On the best way again, I attempted hitting 65-70 mph for transient intervals, which diminished energy consumption to 0.8 miles per kWh. So by driving simply 10mph sooner the vary went from round 130 miles to round 100 miles.

Conclusion: Pace ​​kills vary, however it kills it much more with a 64-square-foot entrance trailer. I think about movies the place the F-150 Lightning solely will get a low double-digit vary are staged or poorly deliberate at greatest.

I ended up with the next numbers after blended driving:

F-150 Lightning Towing

F-150 Lightning towing sightings

  • Most likely the most important takeaway for me is that towing is extremely depending on outdoors variables, lots of that are inside the driver’s management. Simply going from about 67 mph to about 57 mph, for instance, added about 30 miles of towing vary. My F-150 Lightning’s off-road trim drops about 50 miles from the no-tow vary, so prioritize accordingly.
  • Preconditioning the automobile in chilly climate can forestall nearly all climate losses. Towing places increased strain on the batteries, however this warmth retains the bag heat and helps warmth the inside of the automobile.
  • One attention-grabbing factor I’ve observed within the NY hills is that you simply lose quite a bit on the best way up, however the regeneration going again down usually compensates (which the ICE vans do not).
  • On freeway driving, so long as the trailer is properly constructed and maintained, weight IS NOT an enormous consider flat highway driving, however aerodynamics IS. This is smart as a result of after you have inertia enabled, the load would not actually exert a drive on the automobile (so long as the pace is fixed), however the drag of the trailer is a continuing, sturdy drive, which will increase exponentially with pace.
  • Plows (would forestall frunk) and camper backs are at present not formally supported on the F-150 Lightning, however Ford is contemplating this for the long run. Ford additionally notes that that is your truck and you are able to do no matter you need with it. Plus, Ford formally helps placing 400 kilos within the trunk, which is way lower than most plows.
  • The general towing expertise is so easy and easy in comparison with the ICE that drivers would possibly neglect they’re towing. There isn’t any audible sign of excessive revving and struggling engines. The electrical drive system makes slowing down and rushing up really feel like a traditional drive. Sarcastically, forgetting you might have a trailer can really be an issue when manoeuvring/turning, so keep alert!
  • There isn’t any strategy to sugarcoat it: the Lightning’s towing vary is not as strong as its ICE counterparts. For those who’re towing a tiny home up an remoted mountain, you would possibly wish to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, for over 90% of towing use instances, the Lightning suffices, particularly whether it is provisioned accordingly with load stops.

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