Ford Lightning Part V

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I managed to get a full charge into the F-150 Lightning  . . . by charging it overnight, at home. I could have done this at the “fast” charger I’ve been visiting regularly, but I didn’t have the time.

The last time I went there, I got 100 miles of charge after waiting about an hour and 15 minutes, which is a long time to wait in a strip mall parking lot. We plugged in and went shopping at the supermarket, got something to eat, came back to the truck – and sat in it, eating, while it charged. Luckily, the Lightning is a nice truck – with plenty of room to spread out for a long wait.

One could easily take a nap in the back, listening to the excellent B&O stereo.

But doing this every day – or even once a week?

Yesterday, I drove my truck down the mountain (while the Lightning was plugged in at home, trickle-charging) because I needed to get the Lightning up to full charge before testing it with a trailer attached and I didn’t have time to do that at the “fast” charger – and even if I did, it would no longer be fully charged by the time I drove it back up the mountain and home.

At which point it would be necessary to wait .  .  . again.

I glanced at my truck’s fuel gauge just once. Having seen it – and knowing I had about half a tank – I didn’t need to think about it at all after that. I knew I had enough range to make it down the mountain and back, irrespective of the day’s temperature or my use of accessories, such as the heater. I knew I could stop and get gas in minutes, too, if I needed to drive farther than I had planned to.

I was able to just drive – and think about other things.

Like how long it would take the Lightning to fully charge at home, where I had the time to wait for it.

Which I did because I had another vehicle to drive, while I waited for it.

As it turned out, I was able to put about 100 miles of range into the Lightning’s battery pack (more about this in a minute) using the supplied-by-Ford home charger apparatus and 120V household current. As I related in a prior report, I discovered the apparatus must be directly plugged in to a 120V outlet. The apparatus will not permit use of a standard extension cord, which isn’t heavy-gauge enough (apparently) to safely use the home-charge apparatus.

This can be a problem if your outlet is out of reach of the apparatus.

It was, for me – because my garage was full and I couldn’t get the Lightning close enough to bridge the gap between the plug-in port on the driver’s side of the truck and the outlet inside the garage. I ended up snugging the truck up as close to my work shed as I could and that was close enough to allow me to plug the truck in, there.

But it brings up an issue people considering any EV probably ought to consider.

If you do not have a shed. Or a garage – with electrical outlets – or are unable to park close enough to wherever your electric outlets are – you may not be able to charge, at home.

At least, not without buying a longer, heavier-gauge cable. These aren’t inexpensive.

Charging at home on 220V is another consideration in that most homes do not have a 220V outlet in the garage. If not, you will probably need to pay an electrician to wire one up for you.

You will need one of these “Level 2” outlets to plug into, if you do not have overnight to wait for a full charge. Which is how long it took me to do using 120V “Level 1” charging. The good news there is it can be done in 120V – which every house has, ready to go. The bad news is it takes . . . overnight.

But at least I was waiting at home rather than at the “fast” charger,” far from home.

These, apparently, also vary in terms of how “fast” they charge – as I have discovered. Some may be able to put a substantial charge into an electric vehicle in the 30 minutes (or even 15) you sometimes hear about. But some take considerably longer to put not that-much-charge back into your vehicle.

This adds an additional planning element to your driving, if you plan on driving in an unfamiliar area. The “fast” charger you roll up to may not be as “fast” as expected. And thus, your wait may be a lot longer than expected, too. Bearing in mind you may not have time to wait.

Be advised, also, about the opacity of what all this costs.

The EVgo “fast” chargers I used told me how long I was plugged in and how much electricity had been pumped in. They did not tell me how much my credit card was charged for what was pumped in. The box wanted me to download an “app” – which would probably allow me to find out the cost of what I just bought. But I prefer being able to see what things cost before I buy them.

The same goes for at home. I have no idea what it cost me to plug in the Lightning overnight. I suppose I will find out – but not precisely – when my next electric bill arrives. It will have gone up, almost certainly. But how much of that is due to plugging in the Lightning vs. turning on the heat pump?

Cost opacity is a real thing with EVs.

We will see about towing, later today – hopefully. I wasn’t able to do that yesterday as I had planned, even though the Lightning was fully charged and ready – because extreme fog rolled in the night before and visibility was reduced to maybe ten yards ahead when on the road. Not good weather for towing using someone else’s truck – and besides, I wanted to do this tow test at normal road speeds, not crawling along at 25-30 MPH on account of the fog.

To read about the tow test, click here!

. . .

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  1. How dare you be nice to me!
    I’m sitting her posting with a steel helmet on,
    and a baseball bat at my side, in case there is trouble.
    ha ha

    I checked out some Motor Trend and Car and Driver vehicle reviews for the past hour. They skimp over battery and changing issues. They might mention the battery range under ideal conditions but it’s not obviously they ever tried to verify manufacturers claims. They are more like cheerleaders for the auto industry rather than unbiased reviewers concerned about the people who might buy the vehicles.
    Maybe they always were auto industry cheerleaders. I never noticed when I worked in the auto industry product development for 27 years.

    My father was an electrician, and we were the first in town with an electric lawnmower (okay for our small yard) and an electric snowblower (a disaster). I also heard about electric cars using batteries from Dad for two decades before there were any for sale. To the point that before I called my father, in another state, I would tell the wife “I hope he doesn’t start talking about electric cars again.”

    • Hi Richard,

      The car press used to be a fraternity – the right word – of car guys. Men who loved and understood cars. Many raced; most owned one or several interesting old cars. All shared a passion for them and for driving them. They hated guys like Nader – and creatures like Claybrook. The Safety Cult was the enemy. That began to change shortly after I became a member of this fraternity, in the mid-1990s. I am now one of the Old Guard, fighting a defensive reaction against an onslaught of “Mommy” bloggers and EeeeeVeeee fanbots.

  2. Its interesting the home charge times you mention. Here in the UK, using our level 2 it takes about 15 hours to charge a tesla model 3 to full. And using level 1 (ie normal socket) it will take about 5 days (based on BILs tesla experience). If you got to fill it overnight its pretty good (using the normal socket)

  3. Fuel economy of the Ford F150 EV truck….

    EPA estimate of 51 kWh/100 miles = getting 1.96 miles of range for every kwh which equates to 16 mpg…in ideal conditions….

    if it is very cold outside this drops 50% = 8 mpg….

    when towing 6000 lb range dropped to 85 miles about a 75% drop = 4 mpg

    How about a gasoline-powered equivalent? Though they don’t really compare in power or price, Ford does sell a Platinum F-150 SuperCrew with a 5.0-liter V8 under the hood. The gas-powered Platinum (which can also run on e85) starts at an MSRP of about $63K, so about two-thirds the cost of its fully electric counterpart.

    Its 5.0-liter V8 engine produces a decent 400 horsepower but offers little more than half the torque of the Lightning at 410 lb-ft.

    The good news is that the V8 isn’t picky about its octane, so regular fuel is fine, and this F-150 is estimated to get 20 mpg in combined driving………hot or cold you still get 20 mpg

    when towing 7000 lb range the F150 5.0-liter V8 engine truck got 9.8 mpg ……with 26 gallon tank = 254 mile range….

    cost per 100 miles

    F150 EV 51 kwh x $0.40 at fast charger = $20.40……. plus battery cost $22.00 = $42.40 total
    the $22,000 battery lasts 100,000 miles (if you don’t use fast chargers) this equates to $0.22 per mile x 100 miles = $22.00

    F150 ice 5 gallons X $3.33 = $16.65

    pay $42.40 to go 100 miles in an F150 EV or pay $16.65 in an F150 gas ice truck….plus the F150 Ev costs far more, has no range and takes hours to refuel/recharge, weighs more so eats tires….and the lithium fire bomb batteries are very dangerous….don’t charge it inside your garage….lol

  4. World Record Set by E. Peters:

    Five articles about a truck and he’s still talking about charging the batteries!
    Never a truck review like this in the history of truck reviews.

    You ought to mention the price in each article:
    The current MSRP is $52,000 for the cheapest Lightening model, plus options, destination charge and sales taxes. Expect higher insurance costs than an ICE truck, probably faster depreciation, and sometimes more expensive repairs.

    I look forward to part 6 and part 7 on charging the Lightening.
    I am anticipating a discussion of performance by part 8 or part 9.

    Anything you have ever heard from leftists on electric vehicles, you should assume to be a deception, or a lie. That advice also applies to climate change, Nut Zero and Covid vaccines — just about everything leftists say is to support the current leftist narrative — truth was NEVER a leftist value.

    • Hey Dick –

      I am doing a detailed/extensive test drive of an electric truck. The recharging/range issue is the single most relevant issue as regards electric vehicles and there is a dearth of real-world data available, as opposed to regurgitating the advertised/touted data.

      If you’re bored, stop reading.

      • I never get bored of getting you all riled up, Peters !
        My very important point was that this electric truck has added a few very important and annoying issues to potential truck problems that no buyer ever wanted: Keeping the batteries charged (preferable between 10% and 90% charged to preserve expensive batteries), knowing when batteries will have to be recharged, where they can be charged, and how long that charging will take. And one has to pay a lot of money to get all these new problems!

        They are such large problems that you, an experienced vehicle reviewer, have had to talk about them for five articles before getting around to the conventional performance aspects of the vehicle, that normally begin in the first article on the vehicle.

        You seem to have slipped by believing the hype about electric vehicles promoted by leftists who seem to love them. Never trust leftists about anything. That’s a good Rule of Thumb for life. Always remember that they are the “useless mask people” who promoted an unsafe and ineffective Covid vaccine.

        What we really need to know most is the price of the Lightening, the reliability (probably much too soon to tell) and how often during normal use, in all weather conditions, will the battery charging issues prevent the driver from enjoying his truck. With the high price and many charging issues, the performance of the truck may be a moot point.

        So far, this truck seems like a disaster unless fast acceleration is one’s primary desire and price is no object. But If you wanted to accelerate fast with great handling and braking too, it seems that a pickup truck is the last logical choice for that goal.

        • Dick,

          You don’t “rile me up.” You annoy me. There is a difference. The “conventional performance aspects of the vehicle”are well-known. What isn’t is how the thing actually performs, as regards its advertised range and recharge times.

          If you’re not finding what’s here helpful, I encourage you to visit Car&Driver.


          • You get annoyed too easily.
            Does every comment have to imply that ‘Eric is the greatest’?
            I did not say there was anything wrong with your articles.
            I implied that something is wrong with any product that requires so many articles on batteries and charging rather than performance. I think that is a very important point.
            It’s your choice on whether to be annoyed.

            • Dick,

              I do not suffer fools gladly. I also do not expect or want you or anyone else to tell me “I am the greatest.” Where do you get this stuff? I simply took you to task for your supercilious complaining about my taking more-than-the-usual time to convey to readers the realities of day-to-day living with this electric truck’s “performance.”

              If you want 0-60 times, Car&Driver has them.

              • The most important point from the first five articles was that you HAD TO spend almost all the paragraphs talking about batteries and charging. Sorry that you get upset so easily, and misinterpret everything I write. Something is very wrong with a product if so much time HAS to be spent on these subjects that never mattered with ICE trucks.
                You are consistently rude in your replies to my comments. You discourage comments that do not agree 95% to 100% with you. You misinterpret other comments to make the commenter look bad, and then insult him. I hope you treat people you know personally a lot better than that.

    • Yeah, Dick! How DARE Eric bring out the most relevant truth relating to a vehicle, especially when no one else has the balls to do so, but instead they all just go with the flow and say what their editors and the fascist gov-corps want them to say, and what the salivating ignorant masses want to here, thus rendering their reviews meaningless and irrelevant.

      Shame on Eric for relating actual factual real-world information about a vehicle which he is in possession of ostensibly for the purposes of doing just that! What a fiend!

      • Calm down Nunzio and don’t blow your top
        My first comment was satire
        The fact that the first five articles were almost entirely about batteries and changing shows the EV truck has added new problems for the owner that no one wants. To me, the subject of the first five articles means this vehicle is a disaster unless acceleration is your primary goal and cost is no object.

        Peters told us how serious the battery charging issues were by having to spending a lot more than a few paragraphs in one article on them.

        Of course we must all start driving electric vehicles soon to save the planet for the children. You do love children, don’t you? Otherwise, scientists say the climate emergency will end life as we know it in 48.752 years, if not sooner. So you will learn to like electric vehicles because in 10 years that will be the only choice. You better learn to love electric vehicles. Just read a book while they are charging. You’ll get to where you are going eventually.

        • Dick writes:

          “Peters told us how serious the battery charging issues were by having to spending a lot more than a few paragraphs in one article on them.”

          Apparently, detailed information is of no use to you. It is, however, to others.

          • My name is Richard, not Dick
            And you deliberately misinterpret my comments like a leftist pretending to be greatly offended by something that is harmless.

            Peters NEEDED five articles concerning the batteries and charging issues.
            That is a fact, unprecedented in vehicle reviews that I have read since the 1960s.
            It tells us this vehicle has some complicated battery and charging problems.

            The detailed information WAS useful for me — I would never comment on the five articles before reading all five of them. How could I possibly NOT read every article by the greatest auto reviewer in American history? (I assume that last sentence will annoy you too, like everything else I write?)

              • You just don’t get it Peters
                I am NOT unhappy with your reviews at all.
                They are way above average
                I am unhappy about the battery and charging problems
                with the product reviewed.

                The Lightening is very expensive
                (now $56,000 for the base model)
                with all sorts of complicated battery and charging issues.
                Based on your hostile online comments,
                my guess is you have an ex-wife or two!

                • Well then, Dick, why didn’t you just say that?

                  Sigh. And then you return to your usual modus operandi – that being to insult while feigning innocence, like OJ. At least when I insult, I am open about it,

                  • The need for five reviews to cover the battery and charging issues was presented by me, in my first comment, as satire. Look up “satire” in the dictionary, and calm down. Five articles on batteries and charging are unprecedented in auto reviews tat Ive read since the 1960s — there were obviously serious problems with the product.

                    Not once did I criticize the quality of your reviews in any way. You just jumped to false conclusions — ready to be offended. There’s nothing wrong with my writing. There’s something wrong with your comprehension. And your temperament. Ban all my comments if they get you so upset.

        • Well Dick, considering that all EVs are almost indistinguishable except for color and shape, what more can one say? What info other than relating the real world performance under real world conditions really matters? And doubly so since most other writers just seem to jump on the electric bandwagon and neglect that very info/personal testing?

          If I were going to be critical of something, it would be about the rest of the automotive press NOT doing what Eric is doing.

          I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember, but back when *they* were transitioning [Eeeww…I hate that word!] from traditional rear-wheel drive cars to the newer smaller front-wheel drive cars in the early 80’s, rags like Consumer Guide and the automotive press in general were crapping all over the traditional cars- often even the very best ones- merely because they got “poor gas mileage”- whether it was a full-size car that got a few miles per gallon less than some 2,000 lb. new econobox, or a massive Lincoln Town Car that got half the mileage of a Dodge Omn.

          Well, where is that press now? ‘Cause these EVs are the equivalent of returning to heavy gas-guzzlers…only without the durability and versatility of those gas-guzzlers- only the automotive press is singing the praises of these rolling boondoggles and telling us how they’re gonna save the world, and virtually none are questioning the official rhetoric nor doing any personal investigation/testing…..except for “Peters”. So if you want to be critical of something, I’d suggest that logic would dictate that almost any member of the mainstream automotive press would be a better target to set your sights on, as opposed to the stand-alone beacon of light.

          • Nunzio
            I am NOT criticizing the PETERS reviews at all.
            I am criticizing the problems with the product reviewed.
            Those problems are simply explained by pointing out that the first five chapters of the review were (HAD TO BE) almost entirely about batteries and charging problems.

            I am NOT blaming Peters for so much information on that subject.
            the information was very important.
            Other reviewers skimp on charging details.

            I am blaming the vehicle for NEEDING so much discussion on those issues.

            Needing to focus so much on one problem (batteries/charging) is something I’ve never seen in auto reviews read since the 1960s, when I subscribed to Motor Trend and Car and Driver. I also worked in the auto industry product development for 27 years and read Automotive News and other free trade magazines at work. And I did plenty of competitive vehicle evaluations. This lightening seems like a bad investment — a turkey, like a Yugo.

            With the EPA demanding 49mpg CAFE for 2026 models, we are getting electric vehicles forced on us. That’s really bad news. High prices and charging inconvenience. Forced on us like those worthless masks, unsafe Covid vaccines and Nut Zero lunacy to make electric grids less reliable.

  5. It wasn’t that long ago that these crazy leftists were talking about how we centered our lives too much around our cars…….

    Electric cars would only make sure we do even more, just to keep them operating…..

    • richb,
      It’s all one and the same. “Too centered on your car? We have a remedy for that. One that takes ALL of your attention, and thus drives you away from being centered on it.”

  6. Eric,

    Concerning “But how much of that is due to plugging in the Lightning vs. turning on the heat pump?”…

    You should really consider purchasing a simply little plug-in unit called the “Kill-a-watt”:

    The above Harbor Freight (have that in the East?) unit costs $28.

    It’s useful for off-grid homesteading applications as well, when you need to find out the true wattage of an appliance, as well as its average consumption when in use. This is a very non-technical way of checking energy consumption.

    Also, thanks for the in-depth review of this truck. Inquiring minds, you know…

  7. Trouble in LiOn land, comrades:

    ‘Lithium, a mineral used in batteries to power electric vehicles, has surged to a record high this year. Battery prices, for the first time since BloombergNEF began tracking the market in 2010, have risen on an annual basis.

    ‘After a decade of deflation, the volume-weighted average price of lithium-ion battery packs across all industries increased to $151 per kilowatt-hour in 2022, a 7% increase from last year. BloombergNEF forecasts prices could continue rising next year.’ — ZeroHedge

    For a decade, it’s been an article of faith among the EeeVee Believers that battery prices inevitably would decline to $100 per kilowatt-hour.

    But now, what with the war situation and the pop in lithium prices, it may be that battery prices bottomed at $141 per kWh in 2021, and now are on an uphill escalator.

    Along with the relentless hiking of electric power tariffs, the props are getting knocked out from under the ‘save money with an EeeVee’ pitch.

    Only the US fedgov — and of course the eurotards across the water — could have collectively fallen for something this stupid.

    • That’s with EVs at 6% of all vehicle sales in 3Q 2022, and far too little investment in back-up batteries for unreliable windmills and solar panels..

  8. **” I got 100 miles of charge after waiting about an hour and 15 minutes, “**

    Ah! The same amount of time it would take to drive 100 miles at 80MPH. So the time it now takes to drive 100 miles just doubled in this wonderful world of the future- 01:15 to charge, and 01:15 to actually drive = 2.5 hours to do that hundred miles. Good thing EVs are fast!

  9. One of the “features” that Ford brings up is that there’s a way to reverse power out of the battery pack to generate power to back up your house. That’s a great idea, but runs into all sorts of issues.

    One of the first things people ask about WRT solar power is “will it back up my house?” The answer for 99% of the installations is no. Not because the systems aren’t capable of supplying power on their own, but because they would have to have an automatic transfer switch (ATS) installed. My system doesn’t have an ATS, it has a “rapid shutdown switch” instead. This is mainly for safety reasons so that the linemen don’t get a jolt from your solar feeding into the distribution line when working on outages. But even if it did backfeed, the neighborhood load would probably overwhelm the system and cause a massive sag, which would kick the inverter offline anyway. An ATS isolates your home panel from the power distrubution lines.

    A solar system designed for backup has a battery bank interconnection. The battery is sized for critical/essential circuts like refrigeration and boiler control, not necessarly to run your whole house (unless you’re in a true off-grid situation). The quote I got for a 10KWh battery was $8,000 (installed) after tax rebates and power co-op incentives, not including an essential circuits subpanel. The battery itself was about half that cost, so I would figure at least $5500 (pre-Biden dollars) for the installation of an ATS and essential circuits sub panel. I ended up with a system that is capable of integrating a battery but would still need an ATS and the battery itself. Even with manual transfer switches and a McGuyver’d DIY essentials panel you’re still in for a few grand if you do it right. Oh, and if you’re not home when the power goes out, you get no backup.

    And you lose the use of your vehicle while the power is out, not to mention trading transporation energy for home energy.

    • >you lose the use of your vehicle while the power is out,
      I remember, when I was a boy, my grandparents coming to our house to get water, because they had a power outage and could not pump water from their own well. Had EVs been the
      “standard” mode of transportation, they would have been stranded, without water.

      Humans die in a matter of a few days, without water.

    • ‘One of the “features” that Ford brings up is that there’s a way to reverse power out of the battery pack to generate power to back up your house.’ — ReadyKilowatt

      Well do I recall the photo at the top of Ford Lighting Part II — the photo of the F-150 Lightning keeping the house lights on, released when the Lightning was first announced. Note the fallen tree limbs on the wet driveway.

      Now ReadyKilowatt has just provided the essential asterisk to that exciting photo:

      *additional electrical equipment required in your house; may cost $5,000 to $10,000.

      Probably no more than a few dozen F-150 Lightnings will ever back up the house power in an outage, as shown in that photo. The electrical mods aren’t worth it.

      As RK said (perhaps to the surprise of many solar victims), home solar panels won’t back up the house either in an outage, unless you splurged for the [typically not included] automatic transfer switch. The inverter will just shut down, even on a bright sunny day.

    • I figure that nobody will power their houses with this truck. With all the costs of making it work, you could just get a real generator that would work far better anyway. Same thing with powering tools on a job site too. Just kind of ridiculous when you think about it a bit.

      A kitchen refrigerator would probably drain the battery as fast as driving.

    • “And you lose the use of your vehicle while the power is out,”

      The US electric grids have 98,6% reliability (no electricity affects about 5 days a year). and it’s likely your EV will have at least a partial charge if the power goes out on those days. Without electric power, gasoline pumps also don’t work.

      • Dick writes:

        “…it’s likely your EV will have at least a partial charge if the power goes out.”

        Says who? Right now, the Lightning in my driveway has very little charge – because what little charge it did have left after towing has been reduced by another 20 miles of indicated range remaining, just sitting there. If the power were out, I would not be able to drive this thing anywhere I need to go.

        Luckily, I have my gas-powered truck. And the gas station down the road has back-up diesel generators. So there’s always plenty available, even when the power goes out. I also keep a few five gallon jugs full and ready. Try that with electricity.

        • Sorry, Eric. I know I’ve said it before…but every time I read things such as what you said above, I just can’t help but mentally screaming: “And this thing is BRAND NEW!!!!!- What’s it gonna be like a year or three or five from now???!!!!” -Or are $50K “trucks” not expected to last that long anymore?

        • Must you disagree with everything I write?

          If a blackout hits, some vehicles will be low on gasoline, with the goal of buying gas in the next day or two

          Others will have a low battery charge, but will be plugged in for charging at home.

          There is no logical reason to believe, when a blackout hits, that many cars will have a full tank of gas or a full battery charge at that moment.

          My parents and I were hit by a 1965 New York blackout. The car’s gas tank was 1/4 full at the time. I was hit by a 2003 blackout in Michigan with only a about five gallons of gas in my tank. Fortunately, I was able to drive one hour (almost five gallons of gas) to an area north of Detroit that had electric power and gas pumps that worked — none worked in the Detroit metropolitan area. I continued North to where my father in law lived and had air conditioning. It gets really hot in August with no fans or air conditioners (no electricity).

          • Dick,

            Is it my job to agree with you just to be “nice”? If I disagree with you about something, I will say so. If that alarms you, what can I say?

            As it happens, my power is out right now and – guess what – I would not be able to go anywhere because the Mach e press car had almost no range left last evening when I plugged it in. On the other hand, my truck is ready to go. I have several 5 gallon jugs of fuel always on standby. Something you cannot do with electricity, at least not inexpensively.


            • “Is it my job to agree with you just to be “nice”?”
              On my birthday each year, I always tell the wife the only present I want is for her to agree with everything I say for that one day of the year. Sometimes that lasts a full hour.

              For the record:
              Peter’s writes the only auto reviews I read these days.
              because of thei quality.
              Now it;s your turn to spin that complement into an insult!

              I’ve given up on Motor Trend, Car & Driver and Consumer Reports. That five articles WERE MEEDED on Lightening batteries and charging is stunning for such an expensive vehicle (now starting at $56,000.

              Stunning because pickup trucks are the primary profit generators in the auto industry (I have inside information) and the Dumbocrats are forcing people into EVs with their 2026 model 49mpg CAFE requirement.

              Launched in late 2025, 2026 model’s engineering began in late 2021.

              Low fuel economy ICE pickup trucks sold in high volumes will not support the CAFE requirements. Unfortunately, most of the engineering expense for 2026 models will be sunk before we get a new President in January 2025.

              We are heading in the wrong direction for the auto industry and their customers.

  10. So, what happens when the only feasible NotsoFast charger “happens to be” in a RBN (Really Bad Neighborhood)? You just might be selected for some involuntary “income redistribution,” Jack.

    • And they surely will be in those neighborhoods – for ‘equity’ and not to mention the chargers themselves have lots of valuable stuff in them

      • >the chargers themselves have lots of valuable stuff in them
        Yeah, attempting to “high grade” the copper might become a common pastime for aspiring Darwin award contestants.

  11. I can’t imagine waiting at a charger, or charging for a minimum of 8 hours at home to drive.

    When I had an 08 Tundra I felt it was annoying to have to gas it up twice per week–or more–depending on my driving. It had a 26 gallon tank. I was pumped when I got my 2016 Tundra because they had the option of a 38 gallon tank, which I happily paid for.

    Of course, I’m one of those people that never fills up until the light turns on unless I know that there isn’t a gas station within 30 miles. I can do that because I’m familiar with my truck. If I’m not towing, I can easily go 50 miles before it hits empty after the light comes on.

    My whole approach to life would have to change if I had an electric pickup. It’s just not the way I’m wired, so to speak.

    • You have to run the gas tank to almost empty, 25 miles of gas left in the tank; when you buy gas, it is all new.

      Gas is under $3.00 per gallon and diesel is under $4.50 out here in the great outback of nowhere which is probably one of the most connected spots on the planet.

      Going to be the start of the summer season down under, Antarctica will have sunshine 24/7.

      When the sun shines down on ocean waters on a clear day, you will see a full sun reflection at open sea using satellite telemetry. Basically one time zone from one side of the reflection to the other. It is a phenomena.

      Only one time zone on Antarctica when the sun shines all day long, daylight time. It don’t get no better.

      The penguins are happy as clams, so are the leopard seals.

      Klaus wants to vaccinate penguins, they have to live in darkness for six months, the poor things, somebody has to do something.

      Klaus wants to be in charge of all of the earth’s inhabitants.

      The WEF wants everything, your land, your assets, your body, your soul, your life.

      All your stuff to us belong.

      Klaus doesn’t know it, but he and his ilk are the problem.

      Your fault they became the problem.

      Buy more gas, it is your only hope.

    • In Michigan we have self service gas pumps. Not very pleasant to be outside on a very cold day, or a very hot day, pumping gas and paying with your credit card.

      I was wondering about charging an electric vehicle outdoors away from home on a really cold or really hot day — a day when your driving range was reduced by using the heater or air conditioner.

      While sitting in your EV waiting for it to charge, can you use the heater or air conditioner to remain comfortable? If you can, how will that affect the charging time?

      “The Idaho National Laboratory study found that at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, an EV battery took in 36% less energy than when the battery was charged for the same amount of time at 77 degrees Fahrenheit – this means the colder the weather, the more time the battery needed to charge”

  12. ‘Cost opacity is a real thing with EVs.’ — eric

    On the EVgo site, ‘Find a charger’ indicates that the units in Roanoke are rated at 50 kW and cost $0.30/minute:

    There’s gibberish such as ‘CHAdeMO,’ an acronym made up by a Japanese consortium. Knowing ‘CHAdeMO,’ you’re in the EeeVee cognoscenti, prepared to converse brightly with policy wonks such as Mayor Pete or ‘Secretary’ Granholm.

    And what’s with the Lara, Brady, Avery designations — these machines have names? Did you hook up with Lara, Eric? /snark She’s the EVho who hangs out behind the transformer, lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.

    Apparently, that 1 hr 15 min charge (for 100 miles of range) cost you $22.50 — the equivalent of 7.15 gallons of gasoline at $3.15/gal.

    So let’s see, 100 miles of added range divided by 7.15 gallons equivalent is 14 miles a gallon … two-thirds of the conventional F-150’s 21 mpg combined rating.

    That is, the three-ton Lightning is costing more to fuel (with electrons) than its IC-engined sister. Sad!

    But hey … your mileage may vary. 🙂

    • A little more maff: spending an hour at EVGo gives you 50 kWh for $18.00.

      $18.00 divided by 50 kWh makes $0.36 per kWh. That’s just under triple Virginia’s average residential power rate of $0.13 per kWh … a 277% mark-up.

      Sure, capitalists gotta charge a hefty mark-up to pay for that capex on cables and X-formers and site rent. I get it. But as a by-product, it destroys the cost saving case for an EeeVee, at least on trips when you can’t charge at home.

      But Big Gov blindly plunges in, oblivious to practicality and deteriorating economics. “Joe Biden” takes a whirl in his ’67 Vette, now converted to a ZEV (“Batteries Not Included”):

  13. How does the charger ‘know’ you have an extension cord plugged into it? And if it then accepts a sufficient gage extension cord, how does it know the difference?

    • Hi Chris,

      I think there’s a resistance sensor or something like that built into the box that is part of the charger apparatus; see the pic in the last article to see what I mean. When I plugged this apparatus into my extension cord – I have one of those shop-type deals that rolls the cord out and in – the box/truck would not “recognize” the power sources. When I plugged the thing in directly, it worked fine… just slowly!

    • This is purely speculation, but my guess is that Eric’s utility is supplying 220 VAC at the meter pan. So a 100′ 16 AWG extension straight off the panel would lose about 13% at 15 A. At the end of the drag cord the voltage would only be 95 V. So assuming the electrican sized the conductors to actually deliver ~110 V at the outlet, using a drag cord will be a problem. And because Eric’s out in the woods all those numbers are best case. At least it wasn’t 90º F, in that case the voltages would sag on the service drop too.

      Step up the voltage to 240 VAC and you keep a little more voltage (12% vs 13%), but since you’re starting out at 120 V the load sees 105 V now. That’s probably “enough” to get a decent charge but will still take all night.

      I’m assuming 15 A because Ford has to assume the lowest common denominator and will limit current draw for safety. My house is wired for 20A circuits everywhere, but it was built in 2000. The majority of homes built before the 1990s were wired with whatever made sense at the time. My parent’s 1959 house has 10 and 15 amp circuits and two prong outlets (which aren’t really a problem, just that there’s only one return path and the lawyers don’t like that), so I’d bet the charger would pop fuses and might even detect that there’s no ground connection, so no charging at all.

      • Hi RK,

        All the circuits in my work shed are 20A – and that may account for the lack of problem charging the truck there. I would try charging it (again) via the garage outlets but the charge cord won’t reach them from the closest I get the truck to them. And I’m not putting the TA outside so that the Lightning can occupy its space inside!

        • Eric, it’s not necessarily the amperage rating but the voltage drop across cables. If you check your outlet with a multimeter you should see between 110 and 120 Volts, but that’s making a lot of assumptions, starting with what the utility supplies to your home, and how long the service drop is. If your breaker panel is far from the road the service drop loop resistance can be substantial. Most utilities will set a maximum distance from the transformer based on drop conductor and material (aluminum is cheaper than copper but has higher resistance so there’s a de-rating formula), but many older homes or grids may have looser standards. Many of the new money gentlemen’s ranches out here go off-grid because it can be cheaper than engineering a drop from the utility if you want a long driveway.

          I just checked the voltage at the outlet feeding this PC and it is 118V, pretty good, and what I would expect to see. Checking an outlet less than a foot from the breaker panel I have 123V. 5 Volts isn’t much of a drop in the big picture, but (again this is all speculation), if the charger cable is monitoring voltage and limiting current, a lower voltage would mean lower wattage and much slower charging (and maybe no bueno). It might be interesting to see what the max current draw is from the charger, to figure out how many KW the thing can pull. Oh here it is: The Mobile Power Cord, capable of 30 Amps (A) charging on a 240V and 120V outlet…

          So max of 30A on 120 V, 3.6 KW? No, probably not. More like 15A on 120V, 1800 Watts. Becuase if you pulled 30A on any household or mystery outlet out on the road you’d pop breakers (or start fires). And that’s assuming your getting the “full load” like right off my breaker panel. If I used the office outlet I’m down to 1770 Watts. Once you get to 100 Volts that 15 A draw is only 1500 Watts, a hair dryer’s worth of power.

          BTW, this is also why your microwave isn’t as good as it could be. Engineers have to design for the lowest common denominator or the lawyers will come after them.

      • I believe RK is right that the original 120v charging problem you had was because of voltage drop. In our biz, electric motor manuf. allow +/- 10% voltage tolerance on their motors. The ford charger can easily see voltage and if it’s below a set amount due to your extension cord loses, it won’t work.

  14. It sounds like an extra worry and a joy suck to me. Like we don’t have enough of that already going on. Basically if you have a 2 driver household and you go all electric, it seems like you really need at least 3 vehicles just to insure one is always at sufficient charge to always have a car ready for each of you. You each need your own, then the third as insurance. So, not cheaper. Then you need to pay the 2+ grand to have an electrician install Level 2 charging in your garage. Then the extension cord unless you want to constantly juggle which car is parked where in your garage. All this just to keep your vehicle juiced so you can drive to work. Using the fast charger when you have to wait for the 4 cars ahead of you to finish and realizing it will never be your turn today. Yeah, your life would revolve around that alright. I can see the fights with hubby when the electric bill arrives each month. Where did you drive this month our bill is through the roof! Then since we live in CA, the summer blackouts and admonishments from PG&E and the governor that we should not charge our cars to to stress on the grid.
    Yeah no thanks. Zero desire for an electric car.

  15. The waiting is the hardest part. You asked the question repeatedly Eric, who has this kind of time to waste. waiting for the thing to be mission capable again? Most Government workers, or those who work for useless NGO type organizations. They would probably be given time (on the clock) to perform such a vital thing as sitting idly by doing nothing. In most instance its what they do all day anyway. Beside I think the biggest market for these EVs will be Government fleet services. Expect the Secret service and the Executive to continue using gas powered vehicles for the children though.

    Great series BTW, I learned a lot. I like doing math in my head, on the fly, but don’t think I would enjoy the anxiety of having to get it right every single time. I sometimes change plans and routes when I’m out driving. Get it wrong and you’re stuck on the side of the road. You cant just walk a little ways and get a can of gas and get back on your way. Seems you’d need a flatbed to tow you to the old ‘filling station’ if you miscalculated.

    Even if I lived in a major downtown I wouldn’t waste my money on one of these. In most instances, the downtowns I’ve spent time in recently, LA and Tucson, everything worth anything is within walking distance.

    • RE: “who has this kind of time to waste. waiting for the thing to be mission capable again?”

      When I lived in The City I would often notice huge lines of cars idling in parking lots, waiting for what seemed like a very long time, just to be able to get that special cup of coffee or energy drink from the newly built tiny coffee huts which had been sprouting up everywhere throughout The City.

      Most every driver had their heads down, eyes focused upon the slave-training device in their hands, oblivious to their surroundings.

      …There’s a large portion of the, ‘who’.
      It’s a mindset.

      • You make a good point. Even in the small ‘City’ near me I see people queued up, like cattle in the chute. Waiting for Starbucks or the new Dutch Brothers. Most days these sheep are lined up 10 cars deep.

        In Alaska they have tiny coffee huts with topless servers. I might wait in line for that.

        • If they had topless servers where live, even in tiny coffee huts, I would have to walk up and enjoy my Joe in person and engage in conversation…

          Unless the server was a dude!

        • RE: “In Alaska they have tiny coffee huts with topless servers.”


          Just, wow.

          I did Not Know that.

          Even-though I never do coffee drive-thus, I feel kinda ripped off or something. …Er, I might be fortunate (?) depending on the barista I suppose. YMMV.

          Such a conflict/contrast of images with that whole notion.
          I’m thinking I shoulda stopped for the night sooner.
          Bad dreams or good dreams?

  16. A lot of homes built in the last 30 years have 120V outlets in the ceilings of the garage for the automatic openers. Two if, like our house, the garage has twin single car width doors.

    Our outlets have spare sockets which I use for nightlights.

    The problem is that, anymore, an F150 doesn’t fit in a standard garage built even 15-20 years ago.

    And just to clarify, by “overnight” did you leave the charger plugged in 8 hours? 12 hours?

    • Hi Roscoe,

      I parked the truck at about 4 p.m. on Friday. I checked it at about 7 in the morning the next day. It had accrued about 85 miles of range in that time.

      • That’s consistent with a Ford or GM web page I saw earlier this year which presented an estimate of ~ 20 hours fur a full charge on 120V for the big EV pickups.

        The point of the web page was to encourage future owners to consider upgrading their electrical service ahead of the truck’s release date, recommending enough capacity to allow the 17 kW necessary to obtain a full charge in 8 hours.

        BTW, your estimate of upgrading an average home’s electrical service may be consistent for The Woods, but I had neighbors in Florida who upgraded service for a custom Prius plug-in conversion, and the scuttlebutt on the street was that they put $50,000 into the work.

        • Of course, once they spent the money, said neighbors immediately became the most anal retentive pinheads imaginable about the deed restrictions for the development in order to protect their “investment” in their home and vehicle.

        • I would consider my house a best case scenario for charging an electric vehicle. The main breaker panel is on a garage wall so drill one hole and run a short 90 into the garage, or run off the 300A subpanel that supplies the living space circuits. Not only that, but my tax dodge solar installation has a dedicated vehicle charger connection that can be programmed to shunt power to it when the system is producing. I have the solar inverter placed in a way that will make it really easy to install a charging cable should I need one.

          But this is definitely the exception. There are millions of homes that aren’t going to ever support home charging. Upgrading electrical service isn’t like installing cable TV, it involves engineering and design, permitting and certified electricians to install. The utility gets the final word if they’ll allow your upgrades to be connected, if they don’t like it you won’t get a meter. I had a friend who’s father was a general contractor, when he built his house he got access to dad’s Rolodex and did work himself too. He finished out the breaker panel himself, but the city made him tear out and redo the feed from the meter pan to the panel because it wasn’t at a 90º angle across the basemement. It wasn’t like a 45º angle, just a little bit of a slope. My guess is extra “screwtiny” because it was a DIY job, but still…

          • I don’t believe my neighbors ever recouped the cost of the electrical upgrade work for the vehicle, having done it in Tampa at the height of the real estate bubble in 2007 and then selling in … 2011 (?)

            Long term, unless everyone is forced into EVs as things are currently heading, my guess is that vehicle charging infrastructure added to a garage will be as desirable an upgrade as a $100,000 kitchen remodel. Sure, it is nice to move in have it there, but most people don’t need it.

  17. Seems like using an electric vehicle is quite a hassle. Always having to plan your trips around “refueling” your vehicle. If I forget to put fuel in my vehicle, I just make quick trip to the neighborhood gas station. In about 5 minutes, I get another 450 miles of range. I will never buy an electric vehicle.

    • Hi Billy,

      Yup. At least, for me – and others like me, who do not live/drive in urban hives, for short distances. I can see this truck working in the case of the latter. If you only needed to drive say 25 miles in a day you’d likely rarely run low enough on charge to have to wait. You could top-off when convenient, as at night. But for people like me, who drive fairly long distances almost every day, running low on range is a hassle because of having to charge, in order to be able to keep going. But then there’s the wait…

      This truck has many interesting attributes but whether it makes sense as a truck is an open question. How it tows – how long it tows – being a big consideration in that regard. Stay tuned!

      • If your experience is like the youtuber Hoovie, you aren’t going to be towing much….. Sounds like he is bailing on the lightning,,, that he bought……

      • Hi Eric

        My son’s boss has an EV…it is almost useless….it can only be used to commute a short distance to work and back….it has no range, for longer trips it is useless….he has 3 other gas ice vehicles that he uses for 90% of his driving…..probably 90% of EV owners are experiencing the same thing….lol

    • Hi Billy, you’re right. I have a friend who bought a Tesla about a year ago. Says his life revolves around the the stupid thing. Do I have enough charge to get there and back, where can I charge if I need to, how long will it take, what about tomorrow, if I drive it today, will I be able to get to work in the morning, if I charge it at work on 120 will I have enough juice to get home, oh but wait, I wanted to go visit Mom in the next town over after work, maybe if I plug in at her house it’ll be ok. On and on. He hates it. Sounds like Eric is having the same experience.

      • Floriduh man,
        A significant number of those who fell for the EV male bovine excrement have considerable buyers remorse, and are bailing out of them. Which means what subsidized and competition destroying government influenced demand for them that there appears to be is not even as high as those lowly numbers indicate.


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