Ford Lightning Tow Test

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One of the things I wanted to find out about the Ford Lightning is the effect on its real-world (as opposed to indicated) range of pulling a load. This is a truck, after all – and people use trucks for towing.

Ford says the Lightning can pull up to 10,000 lbs.

But how far?

Farther than I dreaded – based on the reports I’ve read and seen, especially the one done by Tyler Hoover, which you may have also seen. But my Lightning did better than his.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is, not much.

I began the test by leaving the truck to fully recharge – at my house, rather than at the “fast” charger, so as to avoid starting the test partially discharged, which it would have been by the time I drove the 25 miles back home (and up the mountain) from the “fast” charger, downtown.

A full charge is important – because even when fully charged, the truck’s indicated range with its highest-performing battery is about 120 miles less than what you’d start out with in the gas-engined equivalent, an F-150 with the 5.0 V8. It has about 442 miles of range in city driving – and 624 on the highway.

After being plugged in to my house for about 15 hours, the Lightning’s range indicator indicated 303 miles of available range. This is just shy of the touted 320 miles of range for the optional – more powerful – 131 kWh battery that my test truck came equipped with. The standard battery’s range is only 230 miles (240 for the ’23 model).


Interestingly, the range dipped slightly before I put the truck in Drive.

This has happened each time I have left the truck unplugged. It’s not a huge loss, but it is a loss – akin to having a pinhole leak in the gas tank of a non-electric vehicle. It could be more than that – over time – which is something to consider if you ever need to leave your electric vehicle unplugged for a week at an airport parking lot.

You might return to a wait.

I also lost about 30 miles of indicated range driving the seven or so miles from my house to my buddy’s shop, which was the fastest/steepest drop I have experienced so far. I don’t know why the drop was so much, so soon. It wasn’t very cold – about 44 degrees – and I hadn’t driven very far.

But there you are.

I arrived at my buddy’s shop with 269 miles of indicated range left. We hooked up his roughly 2,800 lb. trailer – onto which we loaded an older model Nissan Sentra that weighed about 3,100  lbs. – for a total loaded weight of around 6,000 lbs., which is below the rated capacity of the Lightning with the standard battery and far below the 10,000 lb. max capacity of the Lightning equipped with the stronger, optional battery.

So, how did it do?

Or rather, how far did it go?

Well, we drove 56 miles before anxiety about range began to rear its head. The first leg – into town – was on a rural highway (US 221) with a speed limit of 55, us doing 60-ish. The second, home-bound leg was run mostly on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with a speed limit of 45 MPH but some significant elevation gains, which chugged down the range like Eric “Baldlands” Booker downs a gallon of Mountain Dew. 

At the end of the trip, back where we started, the Lightning’s range indicator indicated . . . 112 miles remaining.

So we still had some range to spare.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is we started the tow test with 269 miles of indicated range and only had 112 left after 56 miles of towing. That means we lost 157 miles of the indicated range at the start of the test . . . after just 56 miles of actual towing.

In other words, the Lightning only went a bit more than a third as far as indicated.

If we’d done this test using a Lightning equipped with its standard battery, we’d have just barely made it back to the shop (230 miles of indicated range fully charged; 200 to start the test; 157 consumed during the test – leaving maybe 43 miles of indicated range remaining – which isn’t much of a margin when indicated is often optimistic vs. actual, even without a trailer hooked up).

And what would have happened if we’d hooked up a trailer close to the 10,000 lb. rated capacity of the Lightning with the stronger, optional battery?

My Lightning did have the optional, stronger battery so it could have gone a bit farther – maybe another 20 or so miles – pulling a relatively light 6,000 lb. trailer.

Even so – based on the rate of range loss we experienced during those 56 miles we actually drove –  driving another 20 or so miles with the trailer hooked up would almost certainly have resulted in the electric vehicle equivalent of the Lightning’s Low Fuel light coming on. And because it isn’t the equivalent – you can’t just stop for a couple of minutes to refuel and be on your way – you have to think about it in a way you wouldn’t have to if you were pushing it a little in a non-electric tow vehicle.

My buddy Tim – who let me borrow the trailer and the car we loaded on it – regularly uses his non-electric Ram to haul cars he buys at auctions that are often more than 100 miles away, one way. If he needed to pick up a car say 150 miles away, he’d probably need to recharge the Lightning at least once along the way there – and once again, on the way back.

This assumes he began the trip with a full charge, too.

This is why the Range Question is the question when it comes to electric vehicles – because when the range runs low, it takes time to get range back. This might be put better by saying: When you haven’t got the time, range becomes the problem.

If I hadn’t had the time to wait – overnight – for the Lightning to recharge, I might not have been able to tow even the 56 miles I did. And – having towed the 56 miles I did – I had to wait, again – at home – and overnight – for the truck to recover the range it had lost towing those 56 miles, in order to have sufficient range when I needed to drive it, again.

You may not have these problems if you don’t need to tow much – or far. Or you don’t mind the waiting.

But how many of us have the time for that?

. . .

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

My eBook about car buying (new and used) is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.  If that fails, email me at and I will send you a copy directly!

Share Button


  1. About 10 years ago, my neighbor purchased a Nissan Leaf. This was his commuter car. His wife – a teacher – drove a Forester. His commute into Tacoma each day was 38 mi. one-way. With traffic slow-downs on I-5 and WA State Route 16, it was too risky to try and commute two days on one charge. Simply not possible. So he charged it every night. His electric bill increased, and Puget Sound Energy sent him a letter stating that their records indicated that his usage was much higher than that of his neighbors, and included a brochure suggesting ways to reduce his usage. Turns out his bill had doubled. A family of four with an EV were using the electricity equivalent for two households. In the intervening years, we’ve all read about occasional brown-outs in California, and their Governor calling for people to leave their EVs at home, or suspend use of air conditioning. In an environment where our own government is pushing to abandon anything related to thermal coal, and no new power plants on the horizon, there exists little justification for these cars. 61% of our country is dependent on Thermal Coal, 19% Nuclear, 20% “renewables”. Coal Plant scrubbers are highly efficient and can remove greater than 95 percent of the SO2 from power plant stack emissions. Our Nation’s air quality is already the best in the world. So ….. what’s wrong with this picture?

    • Hi Robert,

      Yup. I can speak directly to this – from experience. My December power bill more than doubled. And why? Because during December I had three EVs, one after the next, to test drive. I spent at least as much on electricity as I would have to fuel up the gas-engined equivalents of these vehicles.

    • Hi Brad,

      Well, there’s that!

      I still like the Mustang, however. And I like even more that Ford isn’t cancelling it – or turning it into an EeeeeeeVeeee.

  2. Yes yes, we know we know. It ain’t about saving the environment, or anything, it’s about controlling us.
    Spoke to a friend about battery cars:
    1. Electricity requires fossil fuel to be generated. Energy loss from the transfer from FF to electricity, not so with fossil fuel powered cars

    2. Damage to the Earth; fossil fueled cars made in the last 15 years have less impact on the Earth.

    3. Fossil Fuel powered cars last longer than battery cars, therefore, they are better at saving the Earth.

    4. Battery cars are not practical, are not reliable, are not a sound purchase, and are tools and toys of the super rich.

    There are no mechanical, environmental, or economic arguments to be made in favor of the mass production of battery cars. So what are we going to do about it?

  3. Lithium ion batteries are happiest around 50% and really unhappy when they sit near zero or 100%. 100% is fine if you plan a long trip and will leave right away. 90% is better. 80% is even better for regular use. If you only charge 2-3 times per week, you can probably limit to 80%. If you drive near the limit every day, you may need 90% or even more.

    • The problem is when you talk about highway driving. You want to charge it from about 10% to no higher than 80%.
      So you’re only using about 70% of the already terrible highway range, which is much less than that average they advertise. So even a “300 mile” range vehicle is probably only like 240 on the highway. Then you’re cutting that again to like 170 at the most.
      So you’re stopping every two hours, for what is hopefully not a full hour, but might be depending on the vehicle.
      And then if it’s cold out, you lose another huge percent?

  4. Who Is Purposely Sabotaging Power Plants All Over America?

    Someone has been attacking power plants all over the country

    food processing plants were burning down too……

    Pushing EV’s will crash the grid, there is no way the grid can supply the power to charge these EV’s, the grid capacity and power generation supply has to be increased 500% to meet the demand.
    The opposite is happening, reliable power generation for the grid from gas, coal, oil and nuclear is being shut down.

    In truth, the nation’s power grid is already on its last legs. It has been for years. In a sobering piece for Smithsonian Magazine, Dr. Massoud Amin, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Minnesota, explained the many ways in which the country’s power grid, “the most complex” one ever assembled, could fail.

    just doing neglected, deferred maintenance on the existing grid is estimated at $5 trillion

    The grid, he wrote, “underpins our economy, our quality of life, our society.” Without it, society will be brought to a screeching halt. Crime will rise. Lives will be lost. Chaos will reign supreme.

    How Critical is the Grid?
    According to a report from the congressionally funded EMP Commission,
    power grid failure for one year would result in the death of nine out of every 10 Americans.
    The first to die would be people dependent on medical assistance with the majority dying from starvation.

    the wef agenda 2030 has a depopulation agenda

  5. Eric,

    Leaving the diminished range aside from hauling anything, do you foresee class action lawsuits coming down the pike from hungry – inflation poor attorneys, for manufacturers claimed range vs real world results? Seems like a no brainer to me.

    Additional question: Do you predict these EV mandates stuffed down our throats will prevail? Or does your gut say, that between recently increased inflation poor consumers, lack of available pwr, and high manufacturing costs, with low to no margin EV’s – just not becoming mainstream?

    • Hi Tim,

      It’s certainly arguable that range is being misrepresented. Not just by the manufacturers but also by the government (EPA). If a non-electric car did not deliver approximately the stated city/highway mileage, there would be a recall/buy-back and possibly a class action suit. This has actually happened; viz, Hyundai getting in trouble for overstating the “range” (i.e., how far their cars went on a gallon of gas). I see no reason why the same principle ought not to apply to EVs.

      On the rest: The EV is being used as the vehicle to get most people out of vehicles. This is my opinion. The goal isn’t “electrification.” It is to use “electrification” to reduce personal mobility, to herd people into government-corporate controlled transportation.

      As you say, EVs are being forced down our throats. And part of that forcing is the forcing of alternatives to them off the road.

      • “On the rest: The EV is being used as the vehicle to get most people out of vehicles.”

        Given the high prices of EVs and the 2026 model 49mpg EPA CAFE requirement, that’s going to happen.

        Tesla Model 3 compact car MSRP = $46,990
        Toyota Camry LE Hybrid mid-sized car MSRP = $28,080

        It does not make sense to reduce the reliability of the electric grid with Nut Zero, while increasing the use of electric vehicles and electric appliances. Only leftisSt could want to do that. They ruin everything they touch. Deliberately. Because one has to ruin what works to change an economy with a “fundamental transformation”.

        • Now yer talking, Richard!

          It isn’t so much about getting people into EVs, as it is about getting them out of ICE cars- first via the disappearance of cheap older used cars (By making ICE cars so needlessly complex via CAFE requirements and ’emissions’ regulations which strain-out an already quadrupely-strained gnat) that cars are no longer economically viable after the warranty period because they are so expensive to repair; then by continually reducing the avilability of new cars. Many people will be forced to give up driving (In the cities first), with the higher-income earners holding on the longest, until it gets to the point where many just tire of perpetually spending large sums of money on EVs only to have them be worthless after a few years when the battery gets to the point where it is no longer useful, even if still technically ‘alive’- Then more and more EV owners will be saying “Honey, ya know, I’m tired of shelling out all of this money for these transportation appliances every few years….the EV won’t hold enough of a charge to get me to work, I think I’m just gonna take the bus from now on”. 🙁

          • Cuba is like a rolling museum of 1950s and 1960s US cars. That could happen here with people keeping cars longer, unless the government outlaws that too.

            Earlier this year I was going to give a 2005 Toyota Camry with over 210,000 miles on the odometer to charity. Had a bashed in rear bumper (the wife), a dead battery, when you jump started it, it would stall after five seconds, I couldn’t find the title and the car needed a paint job. The wife said she would sell the car instead.

            A buyer showed up in one day with cash — said he couldn’t afford to keep driving his full-sized pickup truck 30 miles a day to work at 14mpg (gas was about $5 a gallon at the time).

  6. So the short review with this thing. If you need a pickup truck for real work or drive it more than fifty or so miles a day, you better not touch this with a ten foot clown pole.

  7. Ford did the homework, the results are in, the average drive to work and back is under 100 miles each day. For those who drive that distance or less each day is probably the customer. Survey results were positive, go electric.

    Don’t need no stinkin’ gas. Or so they say.

    Drove the Alaska Highway up in the Yukon Territory, joined in from a goat trail in British Colombia. While driving the highway, was surprised at the number of 3/4 ton pickups hauling fifth wheels for hundreds of miles. Edmonton, Alberta to White Horse in The Yukon is 1500 miles. Travelers on the move like I’d never seen before in the outbacks of Canada. Nobody is out there, wildlife thrives in the Canadian wilderness. Caribou in the middle of the highway is a telltale sign. Mountain sheep slow you down to a crawl.

    Don’t get stranded anywhere along the way. It’s a taiga out there.

    When you finally get to Haines Junction, you know you are a long ways from home.

    Grand Prairie in Alberta is one modern city.

    You can’t get to any of those places without fuel along the way.

    Buy one of those Lightnings and see how it works out.

    You can go to see sights not seen before with an ICEV.

    If you begin in Chicago, you’ll be closer to Tokyo by 900 miles when you drive into Anchorage.

    Go during the summer months, mountain roads, no cold weather, you might be able to go 200 miles per day. 3600 miles distance, it’ll take 18 days to make the trip. If you’re lucky. Plenty of sights to see, you won’t be disappointed with the pristine landscape along the way. Four hours of driving and 20 hours of charging to fill up the battery, you can have a good night of sleep and anything on the menu while you wait.

    Have a small trailer, 50 gallons of diesel fuel and a generator to keep you going. Just in case, it is a good idea, like a spare tire.

    There will be gas stations galore all along the way, you can go when the tank is full.

    You have to make sure the tank is full when you’re way up north.

    Ain’t no way EV’s will go that far without a major problem, the major problem will be the electric vehicle.

    A stationary source of electricity, a coal-fired power plant that will generate electricity night and day, for a reason, is what works, will get you a lot of mileage.

    Hydroelectric dams will have an overhead electric crane that travels an I-beam, will lift a few hundred ton, some as much as 1000 ton. The turbines need to be maintained on schedule.

    Nuclear power plants crank out electricity for your own good.

    Don’t knock resources that provide energy for humans to exist, becomes suicidal.

    If you want a brand new Dark Age, no electricity does it in spades.

    Fly into Anchorage, buy a good used vehicle to drive back to the CONUS, go visit Lake Louise, it’s a nice spot in Canada.

    You gotta live a life. Can’t run around like a chicken with your head cut off.

    A life of Covid, masks, jabs, boosters, constant fear, is an un-examined life not worth living.

    Worse than no power in Kiev.

  8. ‘we lost 157 miles of the indicated range at the start of the test . . . after just 56 miles of actual towing.’ — eric

    Well, no wonder — you’re not using the right truck. Try this one instead:

    ‘The Tesla Semi is a battery electric Class 8 semi-truck by Tesla, Inc. The truck is powered by three motors, and is claimed by Tesla to have approximately three times the power of a typical diesel semi truck, a range of 500 miles (800 km), and operate at an energy use of less than 2 kWh/mi (1.2 kW⋅h/km).’

    This is all guaranteed to be true, because Eeeeeelon said so himself:

    Elon Musk

    Tesla team just completed a 500 mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!
    10:15 PM · Nov 26, 2022


    • I’m all packed and waiting for E-loon to take me to Mars! Only a few weeks of 2022 left…so it should be any day now…… (Just hope the rocket ship don’t run out of juice on the way up there)

    • Was it loaded or empty?

      Maximum legal gross weight is 80,000 # (with additional limits on weight at each axle).

      Sounds to me like Elon owes the state some money, and this idea is not ready for prime time (especially if the truck was empty).

      • I’d be curious to see whats in the trailer. My guess, a bunch of diesel generators and a shit ton of extra batteries. Its either that or a blessing of unicorns

  9. I towed our 6000 lb camper 437 miles in a day this past summer, 8 hour trip.
    By lightning math using Eric’s experience, I would have had to stop about every 100 miles (using 300 miles of range).

    That’s 4 stops to get there assuming 100% charge could be attained at a fast charger.
    Not even sure how long it would take to get that 300 miles back in, let’s say 1 hour.
    The trip is now 12 hours, if I could get a charge exactly every 100 miles.

    Reality is 80% charge = 240 miles. At 33% indicated range = 80 miles
    437 mile trip – 100 mile @ full = 5 stops and still be short 17 miles, so 5 and a top off

    Per Eric’s experience 1 hr 15 min fast charge was around 100 miles range, so to recover 80% would be 2 1/2 hours each stop

    That’s 18 1/2 hours plus getting the last 17 miles in the battery.

    No thanks.

      • Dan, and where do rv campers go most of the time. For me, it’s into the mountains, etc… where there are zero chargers. So on the last leg, I guess we’ll call it ‘last charging leg’, you have to calculate how to get into the mountains and still be able to get back.
        Won’t work for me, not even close to the places we go.

  10. “In other words, the Lightning only went a bit more than a third as far as indicated. If we’d done this test using a Lightning equipped with its standard battery, we’d have just barely made it back to the shop…”

    And that decrease was on a brand new battery. My lithium ion laptop battery severely degrades over time, I bet the same is true for vehicle batteries. I have a new 2 year HP laptop and I have already had to replace the battery.

    And what is the range decrease on a used battery? Does fast charging cause the battery to degrade faster? (Yes)

    What is the replacement cost of the battery pack? How many years does it take until range has been significantly reduced so that driving 100 miles becomes problematic? What is the resale value of the Ford Lightning after 10 years?

    These new electric cars are a rich man’s toy, they represent significant monetary risk to the average working slave who does care about their money, but for money burners they are fun toys to virtue signal.

    • Yukon,
      This became such a nuisance for me I just keep mine plugged in, since I’m an old fart that seldom gets out of reach of an electrical outlet.

    • EV battery replacement costs…….

      VW e-Golf Battery Replacement Cost
      The cost of a replacement battery for a 2017 to 2018 VW e-Golf is said to be $23,442.91 by Pignataro VW in August 2021.

      the tesla battery which costs $22,000 is used up, worn out in 100,000 miles. this works out to $22.00 per 100 miles it is costing you for the battery.
      The tesla battery weighs up to 1800 lb,

      the hummer battery is 3000 lb, will it cost $30,000+ ….lol

      Mach-E battery at $25,319

      Chevy Volt battery replacement cost $26,000

      Ford F150 EV pickup battery cost…..$35,960

      plus there is a $4500 recycling fee some say….lol

      Each EV will use multiple batteries……

      Remember that to get the same level of longevity that petrol and diesel cars an EV will go through three battery packs which is hell of a large carbon footprint, and very expensive the tesla battery is $22,000, it costs you $22.00 per 100 miles just for the battery.

      3 batteries = $66,000, this makes ice cars look very, very cheap to own/run….haha
      3 Ford F150 EV pickup batteries cost……$107,880

      • F 150 EV new about $100,000 after 10 years depreciation = 21% residual value = $21,000

        after 10 years the battery needs replacement…the battery replacement cost is $35,960 which is more then the residual value….just scrap it…lol

        someone wrote this….

        regardless of how many miles you drive per year, about every 7 years those batteries will be dead, useless, nova, and need to be replaced. …

        this makes sense…car lead acid batteries need/should be replaced every 5 years also….that is their life span…..

        another EV owner only got 70,000 miles before replacement needed…if you use fast chargers it reduces the batteries life span too…….

        people are uninformed, misinformed, lied to when they buy EV’s…..

        best idea…….. a 3,4 or 5 year lease then turn it in……get a new vehicle…..

  11. F150 EV towing

    These F150 EV’s get about 16 mpg equivalent fuel economy…..

    you used 157 miles range in 56 miles the 56 miles is about 35% of 157… 35% of 16 mpg is 5.6 mpg….

    that is better then the 5.44 mpg another F150 EV test driver got while towing 6000 lb.

    started with indicated 303 mile range…when towing got 35% of indicated range = 106 mile range…

    the other F150 EV test driver had an indicated 282 miles of range indicated when fully charged…..

    the other F150 EV test driver got 88 mile range with about 9 miles left….so about 97 miles range…….that is about 34% of the indicated range…..

    …the other test driver was doing 62 mph, it was 80 F. degrees out and had air conditioning was on…the trailer towed had worse aero…the worse aero could make the difference…..

    compared to gas ice F150 towing more weight….7000 lb

    when towing 7000 lb range the F150 5.0-liter V8 engine truck got 9.8 mpg
    ……with 26 gallon tank had a 254 mile range….almost double the fuel economy and 2 1/2 times more range…

    • They are lying like crazy to get people to buy EV’s….lol

      This F150 EV is advertised as getting 76 MPGe in the city and 61 MPGe on the highway.

      Test drivers are getting 16 mpg…is there a lawsuit there?

      The trick is it is quoted at the wall plug….electricity magically comes out of a wall plug….made by fairies…lol

      The stupid GM CEO was caught repeating this lie….

      GM CEO Admits Electric Vehicle Is Charged On Natural Gas

      What a moron….lol…she said electricity comes out of a wall plug, when someone called her on it she was forced to admit where it actually comes from, ie burning natural gas far away at a power plant….lol…a lot of fuel was burnt at the power plant to make the electricity….the lying CEO doesn’t bother to tell you this…she just lies…..all the EV bs is based on lies….lol

      Most electricity is generated burning hydrocarbons, how green is that? 95.1% of electricity comes from dirty sources…

      90% of electricity is generated by burning coal, gas and oil, so that is what powers EV’s
      5% is nuclear,
      solar and wind turbines are a joke, less then 1% worldwide? they want to ban almost everything else, so you will freeze to death…lol…that is your future….

      there is a small amount of geothermal and hydro,depending on the location.
      In U.S. 40% is coal.

      EV’s only 25% efficient actually get 20 mpg….lol

      In a power plant fuel is burnt to boil water which makes steam which turns a turbine that powers a generator that makes electricity…

      Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%.

      Then there is average 6% loss in transmission, then there is a 5% loss in the charger, another 5% loss in the inverter, the electric motor is 90% efficient so another 10% loss before turning the electricity into mechanical power at the wheels.
      33% – 6% – 5% – 5% – 10% = 25% efficiency for EV’s.
      (under not ideal conditions, like when it is very cold it might be 12% efficient).

      25% efficiency means to get 1 gallon equivalent energy at the wall plug means 4 gallons of fuel were burnt back at the power plant….

      NOTE: a diesel is 50% efficient….lol…so why are they pushing 25% efficient EV’s (in very cold weather 12% efficient)

      the 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, is capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S…..real mpg not fake EV mpg….lol

      The average EV gets 20.5 mpg….lol

      So they are banning all the diesels….

      • This F150 EV is advertised as getting 76 MPGe in the city and 61 MPGe on the highway.

        Test drivers are getting 16 mpg…is there a lawsuit there?

        you can’t get away with this false advertising, when marketing ice gas powered vehicle fuel economy….they will tell any lie to sell these lithium fire bomb abortions…..

        brought to you by the luciferian wef monsters running the planet now…..

    • What?! Heaqvier, more powerful vehicles require more energy and therefore use more fuel/get poorer MPGs? Preposterous! I refuse to believe it!

      • the luciferian wef monsters will lie 24/7 to ram their lithium fire bomb abortions down your throat….lol

        yes heavier more powerful vehicles burn more fuel…like this F150 EV…but these bastards lie like crazy and say they get 63 mpg….lol….over coming the laws of physics….which is impossible…except in their luciferian mind….

    • 157 miles of the indicated range at the start of the test used up . . . after just 56 miles of actual towing.

      used 51% of the 131 kwh battery capacity ….or 66.8 kwh to go 56 miles… = .83 miles per kwh

      cost for the F150 EV for 56 miles:

      66.8 kwh @ $0.40 per kwh at a fast charger = $26.72 plus $12.32 for use of the battery = $39.04

      66.8 kwh @ $0.14 per kwh at home charger = $9.32 plus $12.32 for use of the battery….. 56 miles @ $0.22 per mile = $12.32….total cost…….$21.64

      the $22,000 battery lasts 100,000 miles (if you don’t use fast chargers) this equates to $0.22 per mile

      cost for the F150 5.0 lt. V8 for 56 miles:
      when towing 7000 lb range the F150 5.0-liter V8 engine truck got 9.8 mpg
      56 miles at 9.8 mpg = 5.7 gallons @ $3.33 per gallon = $18.98

      To tow 56 miles the F150 EV cost $21.64 using a home charger or $39.04 using a fast charger…the F150 V8 gas truck cost $18.98 to tow 56 miles (towing 1000 lb more weight)…..

      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 around $97,000 of its fully electric counterpart.

      • Yup – This jibes with my experience. You can expect to lose about two-thirds of the stated full-charge range if you try to pull a trailer with the Lightning.

  12. Oh, hey Eric, PS.
    A possible reason as to why your test truck may’ve done slightly better than Hoovie’s, is that his likely is a skosh older (Not ‘old’…but likely having been used for quite a few months, whereas yours is likely younger), and yours probably has less miles on it. These things degrade as fast as they drive! (Kind’ve in inverse proportion to the speed at which they charge :D)

    • Hi Nunz,

      That could be! Also, I think Hoover did his run with temps in the low 30s, which was considerably colder than it was here yesterday when I did mine. God only knows what would have happened to the range if it had been in the low 30s – and we’d hooked up an 8,000 lb. trailer to the back of it!

  13. Thanks for taking a look at this truck, Eric.

    I’m not in the income-class to even think of purchasing one of these, but since I see EVs as simply another way to control people, I am not even remotely interested. Test drives like yours just prove my point – that these vehicles really aren’t built to be driven anywhere other than into town on short jaunts.

    I just purchased a gas-powered 2023 Camry a few months ago and I’m glad I did. May be one of the last gas-powered vehicles available down the road.

  14. [Reads article]


    In addition to being so gimped, and essentially doubling the time it takes to get somewhere (Waiting for a charge) or causing one to have to postpone a departure waiting for the vehicle to charge, the next worse thing is never truly knowing how much range/charge ya have, because the indicators are so flukey!

    The charge indicators on these EVs are no better than the charge indicator on my 10 year-old $149 MP3 player, on which if you press the power button to wake up the screen when in use, it almost always shows a full or near full charge. Pause the music and restart a time or two in quick succession, and then the indicator shows the true charge- like 10%. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle, given that the charging time can vary wildly, from 5 or 6 hours, to near 12 hours to bring the battery back to full and automatically cease the charging. Given that it’s a simple MP3 player with a very big battery, and I figured out said quirk, it’s not too bad…but still, ya never really know how many electrons are truly in there.

    With an EV….which is much more complex, but whose battery charge indicator is no more accurate than my MP3 player’s, and given the ease with which one could be stranded, and the expense of rectifying that situation, it’s a whole other ballgame! And good luk figuring out any quirks that might give one a better idea of the actual state of the battery on such a complex pice of Rube Goldbergary…….

  15. Sounds like a lot of mental energy required for something that wasn’t complex to begin with. If the stated range is this, then thus, now adjusted for that, maybe we make it home maybe we don’t. Too many variables for me. I like doing math in my head on the fly, it keeps my brain from getting to much rust. Don’t think I want to think about it while I’m driving down the road listening to ZZTop. If my gas truck ‘Died Suddenly’ leaving me stranded, at least I could listen to the Gulch radio while I’m formulating a plan

      • You know the deal John. No worker, tradesman, or contractor would have any real need for one of these. At least I cant see it. Unless they just wanted to signal their virtue to their customers. In which case they need a better class of customers.

    • Mike,
      Indeed, and as has been done in the past, it gets trotted out again, to give you a glimmer of hope in the world of intentionally destroyed energy resources. Hey, if you can’t do science, let’s try magic.

    • Human induced fusion has been around since Edward Teller’s nightmare machine destroyed Eniwetok Atoll in 1952. Keeping all that energy under control is the tough part.

      • Will be nice if they can figure out how to get more energy out than they put in to get the fusion reaction in the first place. Kind of like adulterating gas with ethanol – a net negative in terms of energy usage.

      • RK,

        Yes, yes it is.

        But I have it on good authority (from the MBA types) that if you can measure it you can control anything.

        I’d like to see a few of them try that.

    • …And where is Mr. Fusion, which will let us power our flying cars with banana peels and beer cans? Should’ve arrived at least 7 years ago.

      • I’m still hoping for my flux capacitor.

        “Sadly the greatest minds were focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.” Mike Judge

  16. It appears your total range with the 6K trailer is the same as most are getting with similar loads, 75-100 miles?
    For me, absolutely unacceptable. For work trucks, absolutely unacceptable. I guess the only acceptable use would be in a city, which we all know, and have been saying for years, is the only practical use for a EV.

    • Chris, I wouldn’t say just city. My wife and I are retired, but still have enough independent activities that it would be tough to get by with just one car. Town is 12 miles away, and the Big City about 50. Since I don’t drive much anymore, I’m thinking something like a Bolt might be handy. Our neighbors love theirs. Probably could even get by with 120V charging in the garage. But then again, there are the issues of battery replacement, setting the house on fire, etc.

  17. Luckily once they start rolling out battery powered transports they will work just as good as the diesel powered variety’s. Funny that we can figure this out but not the general public.

  18. Seems like the programmers who came up with the range-o-meter are optimists. The old gasoline powered F150 transmission has a tow-haul mode that apparently changes the shift points or something to make it more effective. does the Lightning have a tow-haul mode or button? Seems like it would be fairly easy to add a button that would 1) show a realistic range based on a 70% total capacity rating and 2) change the acceleration and regen curves to make the thing handle the added mass. Towing down a hill could recover quite a bit of power if you have an extra 6K of weight pushing and you could set a speed to maintain without buring brakes. Uphill could be set up to be like trying to go up Vail Pass in a double semi… sure people would flip you off as they pass, but at least you’d get home.

    I have a feeling that’s never going to happen, at least with the first generation of these things, because optimization for the powertrain also means highlighting the issues with it. The designers and engineers are doing the best they can to deal with the conflicting instructions, and the marketeers are just ignoring the elephants under the hood. Pretty much like any governement edict.

    • my 21 Ram somehow knows when I hook up a trailer. The trailer plug? but it gets better, it actually knows how long the darn thing is. I hooked up my 25ft trailer, and a little light came on after a few miles “25ft trailer”. Then I had a 15ft trailer on, and it said “15ft trailer”.
      It must be using the myriad of cameras on the truck?
      And I never pressed the tow-haul button.
      So I’m assuming indicated range could be adjusted a little knowing a trailer is on. Of course it would know how heavy it was.

  19. I hope, and I’m sure you have kept a record of your home battery charges, so you can determine a ball park figure of what it cost you to do so when you get the power bill for it. That would be the second most important factor, in my mind. The third being what’s its range when the power is out? Oh, yeah, it’s zero.

  20. I guess the real test of how “sustainable” electric trucks are is if one dies on the side of the road, can another electric truck tow it to a charger 🤣🤣🤣

    • Nasir,

      I don’t know but it’s not rated for anywhere near that kind of poundage. So I wouldn’t assume the answer is yes.

      Also, suppose the answer were yes. Who gets to charge up first, if there is only one charger available?

  21. “You may not have these problems if you don’t need to tow much – or far.”
    In other words, you might not have these problems with this truck if you don’t need a truck.
    Thanks, Eric. You are right to focus on range/charging as it is the issue with these things.

    • Great point, Roland. When I use my truck, it’s used as a truck hauling or towing an 18′ equipment trailer. It isn’t my daily mover; most trucks have become just that.

    • Roland,
      Back when I made my living out of a pickup, it was not uncommon for me to drive 100 miles a day or more without leaving town, with from 500 to 1000 pounds of payload in tools and materials. I never saw pickups as transportation. They were tools. They don’t drive or ride well, although better than they used to, they don’t get good gas, or electric mileage, and are expensive to work on. But I suppose if one has to compensate for other “short comings”, they may be needed.

      • Agreed, John. I used to haul steel bar stock for my CNC shop on a 20-foot gooseneck. We still have a fifth-wheel RV, but most of the time my ’95 Dodge/Cummins just sits. It’s not too pleasant for regular transportation, especially when it’s cold. Takes a long time for all that iron to heat up. Which brings to mind one advantage that EVs do have. I imagine the heaters will give you warmth almost immediately.

      • Forget tool weight, how about the weight of a topper? That’s pretty much mandatory to keep sticky fingers out of your bed these days. Or when the open bed fills up with snow?

        • RK,
          An Aluminum topper can be had, and aren’t THAT heavy, or expensive.
          I once worked on a job where the refrigeration mechanic’s truck was robbed in broad daylight while we worked inside. A Power’s tool bed. After that, I used a tarp to keep off the snow.
          Another incident was carrying my tools down to the sidewalk, from which they were stolen while I went to get the truck. You really can’t defeat a determined thief willing to take a chance, unless you are there.
          Both incidents were 30-40 years ago, so it’s not new thing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here