What you want to know: We tested a Ford F-150 Lightning hauling a trailer

J.G.
By J.G. Pasterjak
May 7, 2023 | Ford, Towing, F-150, Electric Cars, ev, F-150 Lightning, Electric Trucks | Posted in News and Notes | Never miss an article

Photography by J.G. Pasterjak

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The Ford F-150 Lightning tows like magic, but can it go the distance?

The towing abilities may not be surprising for a vehicle that weighs 3 tons and has 700 horsepower on tap at any speed, but the dynamic reality is even better than the numbers suggest.

The truck is whisper quiet, and the lack of a transmission means a speed adjustment is just a tilt of the throttle away. No waiting for a downshift, no hunting for overdrive once cruising. Just a smooth, steady pull from any speed.

And the power is nearly bewildering. Need to merge onto the highway with an 8000-pound trailer? Fuhgeddaboudit. The Lightning with a load accelerates with such authority that finding a gap in traffic is the least of your worries.

Ford’s BlueCruise lane management system seemed a bit overwhelmed by some crosswinds we experienced and frequently implored us to put our hands back on the wheel–which, honestly, was fine. When hauling a load, we’re not quite ready to trust the computer with the intricacies of the tow. Maybe (hopefully) we’ll get there someday, but for now we’re fine staying in the game full time.

Braking is likewise exceptional. The onboard brake controller worked seamlessly with our 20-foot, 8000-pound enclosed trailer, and we didn’t have to make any adjustments after setting the initial specs of the trailer in the truck’s control system.

Yes, on the road, the F-150 Lightning's performance with a trailer is utterly spectacular, but that’s not really what you want to know, is it? Okay, here comes the asterisk hammer, headed straight for your heart.

When we hooked up the trailer to the Lightning, we were showing 270 miles of range with a full charge. Once we entered the trailer specs into the computer, the system revised its estimate to 163 miles of range.

At 6.7 miles into our test loop, the truck informed us that because of the ambient temperature (85 degrees) and the load, it was revising its estimate to 97 miles.

Our test circuit started with a 20-mile drive up a busy I-95, where we had the cruise set between 65 and the speed limit of 70 mph for most of the run.

Next, we exited onto a state highway and spent some time cruising through residential streets, doing some stop-and-go driving, and pausing to post witty things on the internet. This was maybe 5 to 6 miles of the trip.

We then got back onto state and county highways and continued the rest of the way home. Our speed remained between 55 and 65 mph, with the cruise set for probably 75% of it.

On the highway, the estimated number of miles remaining dropped slightly faster than we were actually covering them. Under stop-and-go use, however, the truck seemed to lose expected miles more slowly than we covered them.

This kind of makes sense when you account for the additional energy recovery of stop-and-go driving and the lower overall speeds of in-town use.

Towing at a continuous high speed is kind of a worst-case use for an electric truck, unfortunately. After 60 miles of testing, it indicated 55 miles of remaining capacity. That number probably would have ended up closer to 50-52 if it were all freeway towing–or 58-60 for around-town creeping. Ultimately, we were looking at somewhere around 100-110 miles of freeway towing for our 8000-pound trailer.

Let’s do some math to figure out what that actually means.

On the loop we drove, our test Lightning returned an indicated average of 1 mile per kWh. If you’re charging at a commercial charging station like Electrify America, you’ll pay $0.41 per kWh as a guest or $0.31 per kWh as a member (plus a $4 monthly membership fee).

We’ll assume that if you own a Lightning, you’re an Electric America member. So that means you’ll pay $0.31 per mile for your “fuel.”

Charging at home saves some bread. In Florida, we’re currently paying $0.11 to $0.14 per kWh, depending on time of day and local demand.

Let’s compare that to the 5.7-liter 2010 Toyota Tundra in our fleet. It towed this very same trailer with the very same load barely a week ago. It ran 10 miles for every $3.29 gallon of 87-octane unleaded.

That’s a fuel cost of $0.33 per mile, depending on local fuel prices. Also, Tundras get fairly lousy fuel economy, so a less thirsty truck could probably approach the commercial charger cost per mile pretty easily. Still, you’ll never come close to the efficiency of charging at home on a cost-per-mile basis.

Scaling these numbers for better fuel economy is fairly linear as well. Our Tundra gets about 10% better mileage when towing a smaller and lighter open trailer, dropping its per-mile fuel cost to around $0.28. Assuming the Lightning sees a similar 10% improvement, commercial charging costs drop to around $0.26 per mile, and it also gains another 10 miles of range.

So let’s talk about range. Yeah, 100 to 120 miles isn’t much. And this is where any goodwill the F-150 accrues through efficiency or proficiency breaks down when it comes to towing.

The Tundra, gas hog though it is, still has a 26-gallon fuel tank that can be filled in less than 10 minutes at almost any highway exit in the country.

Topping off an empty Lightning with a DC fast charger takes more than an hour, although if you’re the guy hanging out at the DC fast charger for over an hour, you’re about as popular as Nickelback.

And that’s if you can find a DC fast charger, as most outlets featuring them have only one, and that one isn’t always working. Plus, most DC fast chargers won’t actually top you off, not wanting to overload the battery with too much juice too quickly.

A more likely scenario has you using a Level 2 charger, which takes about 14 hours to go from zero to hero. Even Ford’s 80-amp Charge Station Pro will take close to 8 hours to return a tapped battery to full charge.

When we plugged our 220-volt Level 2 charger into the Lightning upon returning home, the onboard computer said needed close to 9 hours to top it off from its roughly 50% charge.

So yeah. It tows well–truly, truly well–just not very far.

Want to load up the car for a trip from GRM’s Central Florida HQ to Solo Nats in Lincoln, Nebraska? Eh, probably not doable.

Looking at the map of available stations, driving an unladen F-150 Lightning to Lincoln would be fairly easy and add just a few extra hours to the overall trip.

But as soon as your range drops to 100 miles or so, and if your charging solution at the end of that 100 miles is a very low-amp charger, driving the Lightning to Lincoln is kind of off the table.

Certainly, lack of infrastructure shoulders a huge part of the blame for this. The technology of electric vehicles has improved far more quickly than our ability to properly support them on the roads (Tesla being an exception, but no one is holding their breath for the Cybertruck).

And the infrastructure that’s already in place is not cut out to accommodate someone towing a trailer. Most charging spots are pull-in/back-out, so unless you want to be a real jerk, you’re going to have to unhook the trailer.

Bottom line: The truck as a tow rig is absolutely outstanding, but it’s really no more than a preview of a brighter future that will require more battery capacity as well as better and more reliable public charging infrastructure.

In the meantime, for regular, non-trailer truck stuff and around-town use, the F-150 Lightning makes a strong case for being efficient and user-friendly.

Of course, we haven’t mentioned the price. That’s because it’s a whole other ball of wax, complicated by an absolutely toxic dealer environment, a chip shortage, the proliferation of car loans nearly as long as mortgages, and the fact that apparently everyone is eating lead paint chips off their walls.

When we were finally able to find a dealer willing to sell us a Lightning equipped like our extended-range Lariat test vehicle, the cost was, no kidding, $113,000. MSRP is closer to $73,000, so our math shows a $40,000 markup–so more than 50%.

The Lightning, and trucks like it, are absolutely a huge part of the future landscape of utility and tow vehicles, but it’s not the future yet. For now, they’re exceptional, economical-to-operate vehicles that work well within a limited scope of use for the few willing to pay exorbitant dealer fees to be early adopters.

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Comments
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QuikMcshifterson
QuikMcshifterson New Reader
11/1/22 11:42 a.m.

It's kind of an interesting problem as even if battery technology improved and battery prices declined, for the near term they are still relatively slow to re-charge and weight quite a bit.

Even if we could double the range of the truck for nominal cost in batteries, it would add quite a bit to the weight of the vehicle and then simply increase the length of time to reach a full charge (although, obviously increase the range between charges).

Obviously the energy density of batteries will most likely continue to improve but I'm just not sure it will ever rival the energy density of gasoline / diesel / hydrogen.

In addition, while charge rate will improve, there's just nothing to show that it will even get remotely as fast as simply filling up a gas tank.

For non-towing applications electric seems more and more compelling all the time but for towing (any distance greater than in-town), I'm just not sure it's the right technology for the foreseeable future.

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 12:04 p.m.

Towing involves a lot of energy, so the ability to replenish that energy becomes more important that it does in other modes. The amount of time you spend towing will determine how much of a priority that is - we tend to over-emphasize it because that's how people think. Does an extra hour on a trip you do a couple of times a year matter more than having fuel up a few times a week? It really shouldn't. Does it matter more if you do that trip every week? Obviously, yes. Where you draw that line is up to you. 

Sarah Young
Sarah Young Copy & Design Editor
11/1/22 12:21 p.m.

In reply to QuikMcshifterson :

For non-towing applications electric seems more and more compelling all the time but for towing (any distance greater than in-town), I'm just not sure it's the right technology for the foreseeable future.

Yep, I think that's a fair tl;dr for the subject.

 

fschlottau
fschlottau New Reader
11/1/22 1:54 p.m.

Another big part of the problem is the absolutely horrendous aerodynamics that trailers have. With a few rare exceptions they are massive air-brakes that happen to hold some cargo. Aero vault and others are the rare exception. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
11/1/22 1:54 p.m.

Yeah EVs are still clearly a compromise, and towing exacerbates the gulf between what works and what's reasonable.

I'd say we're at the point now, though where most EVs are highly suitable for most drivers on most trips, which is a lot more than we could say even just a few years ago. Infrastructure continues to be a major issue, as public charging is ridiculously expensive and the tiny fuel cost savings will never offset the additional buy-in required. Sorry, apartment dwellers!

Towing is an even more specialized use case, and the argument really breaks down there. Currently the best argument I can see for a Lightning as a regular tow rig would be for someone using it for in-town service duty. Like a lawn service or a contractor. Someone who's making short, local trips and returning to a common stop every day where they can recharge using residential-cost electricity. I wouldn't question for a minute if my lawn guy showed up with a Lightning or Rivian one day, except that maybe he ws charging me too much. But I'd probably just let him use my L2 while he was there and have him shave something off the bill.

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
11/1/22 2:11 p.m.

Did I see a great opportunity for a comparison between the aero vault and a conventional enclosed trailer? Equal cargo weights say 4K lbs, same routes/ distance behind the Lightning!

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/1/22 2:14 p.m.

First real-world towing test I've seen, nice. 

I've always been confused by the hype around EV tractor trailers that seem to be intended as over-the-road trucking segment. My understanding of the technology is poor, but I thought they would be among the last segments to use EV, largely b/c the reasons JG outlined.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 2:14 p.m.

What's your view of the cost of public charging versus the price of liquid fuel? Last time I checked, I was paying roughly the equivalent as a car making 30 mpg on a car that likely would be making 30 mpg if it was powered by gas.

ICE is a compromise too, it's just the one we grew up with so we accept those compromises. For example, I'm working on a project that's requiring me to idle a Miata for long periods in the garage. That's a way to kill yourself or at least make all your clothes stinky. And the Mini sitting beside it has probably been inactive long enough that the carb needs another rebuild. 

I don't think cost savings are the best reason to buy an EV, although they are real if you can feed off your own supply. They bring a bunch of different attributes to the table. For example, if your lawn person was plugging in to charge every night, the time spent refueling disappears. Even if it only takes 15 minutes to detour to a gas station and pump in a tank, if you're doing that four times a week that's an hour's work gone. If you've got a fleet of 8 trucks, that's a full person's workday in a job market where it's hard to find workers. And then there's the maintenance aspect...

It takes a full examination of costs to determine if there are actually savings, not just "public charging costs money".

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 2:15 p.m.
madmrak351 said:

Did I see a great opportunity for a comparison between the aero vault and a conventional enclosed trailer? Equal cargo weights say 4K lbs, same routes/ distance behind the Lightning!

GRM has a connection at Aerovault, this would be a really useful test and I suspect Aerovault would jump at the chance. Heck, GRM is in Vegas RIGHT NOW. They could do this test tonight. Find a Lightning. Go rent an equivalent U-Haul and do a back to back test.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 2:20 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

First real-world towing test I've seen, nice. 

I've always been confused by the hype around EV tractor trailers that seem to be intended as over-the-road trucking segment. My understanding of the technology is poor, but I thought they would be among the last segments to use EV, largely b/c the reasons JG outlined.

Agreed, but they also can be used for highly predictable routing so that mitigates a lot of it. I don't know how far the average rig travels and if it's limited by cubes or mass. I suspect most companies will have a mix - if you're hauling straight across the country, you burn liquid fuel. If you're trucking from LA to Vegas, you burn electrons.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 2:26 p.m.

Well, that's not what I wanted to hear though it was what I expected to hear. 

Not to mention that $113000.00 will buy enough gas to take a gas truck half a million miles. 

 

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/1/22 2:36 p.m.

I just don't think EV's are a proper replacement for ICE vehicles at all.  It's a political decision that's not based on any sort of reality.  Who's going to pay for the infrastructure needed?  Where's it all going to go?  How's it going to be implemented as the construction of the necessary charging stations will be massive and very disruptive.  Unless battery charging time changes, the amount of space needed for the chargers will be huge, where's all that space going to be found?

What about people living in apartments or condos that can't have a charger at home?  What about the fact that electricity, for the most part, is supplied by fossil fuel burning power plants?  How about the fact that batteries for them need rare earth minerals, which the mining of causes environmental damage plus the fact that they're found in countries that have opposing interests to us? Or the fact that building and disposing of electric cars is also a dirty process?

Yeah, EV's don't do it for me.  If a solid state battery ever comes out where it can be fully charged in 5 minutes or less I'll be more interested but only if the infrastructure has caught up.  If the charge cost to me costs the same as a tank of regular gas, what am I really gaining in function?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
11/1/22 2:46 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

What's your view of the cost of public charging versus the price of liquid fuel?

I think the cost of public charging—not to mention the needless complexity and difficulty of access—makes EVs pretty unrealistic for anyone who doesn't have access to a level 2 charger at residential electrical prices. Which is sad. Public charging has basically adopted the cord-cutter model of "Oh, you don't want to pay the cable company $150/mo anymore? Okay we can fix that so all you have to do is pay $30/mo to these five different companies." 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
11/1/22 2:49 p.m.
docwyte said:

I just don't think EV's are a proper replacement for ICE vehicles at all.  It's a political decision that's not based on any sort of reality.  Who's going to pay for the infrastructure needed?  Where's it all going to go?  How's it going to be implemented as the construction of the necessary charging stations will be massive and very disruptive.  Unless battery charging time changes, the amount of space needed for the chargers will be huge, where's all that space going to be found?

What about people living in apartments or condos that can't have a charger at home?  What about the fact that electricity, for the most part, is supplied by fossil fuel burning power plants?  How about the fact that batteries for them need rare earth minerals, which the mining of causes environmental damage plus the fact that they're found in countries that have opposing interests to us? Or the fact that building and disposing of electric cars is also a dirty process?

Yeah, EV's don't do it for me.  If a solid state battery ever comes out where it can be fully charged in 5 minutes or less I'll be more interested but only if the infrastructure has caught up.  If the charge cost to me costs the same as a tank of regular gas, what am I really gaining in function?

Still, though, most of your complaints here are infrastructure complaints, not actual EV complaints. The non-Tesla EV infrastructure in the US is a hot flaming dumpster full of infected clowns, and even that is giving it too much credit. And a lot of really good cars will come and go because of poor infrastructure supports when they could be making a lot of drivers very happy.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/1/22 2:57 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Not really.  The building and recycling of EV's isn't an infrastructure problem, neither is where the energy to create the electricity comes from etc.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/1/22 3:09 p.m.

PHEV trucks probably make way more sense for towing. Imagine a battery 1/3 the weight, cost, and range, with the torquey EV motor for acceleration and regen, but also a little turbo engine to keep the highway MPG's up. Oh wait, Ford makes a F-150 hybrid... though with only a 1.5 kWhr battery vs the Lightning's 98, it falls short in EV-only usage like commuting.

I think in general there should be more plug-in hybrids with just enough battery for a typical commute (50 miles or so). If the engine is only used for longer trips or towing vs 95% of the time when it's EV-only for in-town errands, isn't that a good enough solution? We are in this stupid race to build bigger, heavier, more monstrous EV batteries, spending that 80% to solve the remaining 20% of the problem. PHEV's are the low hanging fruit, but we aren't satisfied with good enough.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 3:22 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:
Keith Tanner said:

What's your view of the cost of public charging versus the price of liquid fuel?

I think the cost of public charging—not to mention the needless complexity and difficulty of access—makes EVs pretty unrealistic for anyone who doesn't have access to a level 2 charger at residential electrical prices. Which is sad. Public charging has basically adopted the cord-cutter model of "Oh, you don't want to pay the cable company $150/mo anymore? Okay we can fix that so all you have to do is pay $30/mo to these five different companies." 

Complexity of charging if you don't have electricity at home is fairly easily solved by putting chargers where people go for extended periods on a regular basis. That's why EA putting chargers at Walmarts doesn't make sense for roadtrippers, but it's ideal for people who want to charge while they do the weekly grocery run. We have fast chargers at our local mall and Tesla has a specific charger for "urban" use that runs about 75 kW if memory serves - if it's too fast, you don't get your errands done :)  With that sort of deployment, charging becomes similar to filling an ICE but more convenient because you can incorporate it into your daily routine. I have a friend who runs an EV and doesn't charge at home, he just plugs in and grabs a coffee on the way to work once in a while.

High speed charging on road trips takes a different kind of infrastructure design, but it's the one that everyone thinks about.

I agree that the big non-Tesla players are mostly just burning up infrastructure incentive money with no attention to maintenance. It costs approximately 5x as much to install a non-Telsa charger as a Tesla one, because they have no incentive to do it any cheaper. This is definitely going to hurt EV adoption overall, although the Tesla network will be opening up to other cars soon. As a Tesla owner, I'm not excited about that but as a human being I recognize it's the right thing overall. Once there's some real competition, maybe EA and friends will start taking this seriously.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 3:36 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

That would make more sense to me. For a service truck, I need 50-100 miles of range without towing 80% of the time. The other 20% I need towing and or 300 miles of range. 

 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/1/22 4:00 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Not really.  The building and recycling of EV's isn't an infrastructure problem, neither is where the energy to create the electricity comes from etc.

It's far easier to control pollution from a point source like a power plant than it is to control pollution on a dynamic source like a bunch of cars. One power plant should pollute less than then the number of ICE cars the EVs it feeds would replace. This argument feels like perfection getting in the way of progress to me. EVs aren't a perfect solution, but they are oftentimes better than continuing down the ICE path. And they'll continue getting better. After all, they've only been out in scale to the public for like a decade. 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
11/1/22 4:13 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

PHEV trucks probably make way more sense for towing. Imagine a battery 1/3 the weight, cost, and range, with the torquey EV motor for acceleration and regen, but also a little turbo engine to keep the highway MPG's up. Oh wait, Ford makes a F-150 hybrid... though with only a 1.5 kWhr battery vs the Lightning's 98, it falls short in EV-only usage like commuting.

I think in general there should be more plug-in hybrids with just enough battery for a typical commute (50 miles or so). If the engine is only used for longer trips or towing vs 95% of the time when it's EV-only for in-town errands, isn't that a good enough solution? We are in this stupid race to build bigger, heavier, more monstrous EV batteries, spending that 80% to solve the remaining 20% of the problem. PHEV's are the low hanging fruit, but we aren't satisfied with good enough.

PHEVs are also a great way to get more total EV miles driven because you're splitting up rare battery materials into more vehicles rather than sequestering them in a single huge battery that rarely uses all of it's capacity.

Lower environmental footprint in production, more miles converted from ICE to EV, and no range anxiety to dissuade people from purchasing.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/1/22 4:19 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

PHEV trucks probably make way more sense for towing. Imagine a battery 1/3 the weight, cost, and range, with the torquey EV motor for acceleration and regen, but also a little turbo engine to keep the highway MPG's up. Oh wait, Ford makes a F-150 hybrid... though with only a 1.5 kWhr battery vs the Lightning's 98, it falls short in EV-only usage like commuting.

I agree that EV big rigs seems crazy at first, but from what I've read it's actually a pretty good fit for this fairly specialized niche, although not in the same way that it is for normal cars.  Long-haul trucks have a very long life and are often driven a million miles before being replaced.  That means that compared to the average car it's much easier to reduce total cost of ownership by spending money up front in order to reduce per-mile costs.  Also, most of those miles are driven along standard routes, with federally mandated rest breaks at known locations.

So what that means is that as long as you have enough batteries to get from one truck stop to the next and those truck stops are outfitted with sufficient chargers to charge it back up during a mandated rest break, you're all set.  It's also OK if those batteries add a bunch of cost to the truck, because they mean you're not buying diesel fuel or doing (expensive) diesel engine maintenance on it.  That's a fairly simple calculation to make and if the numbers line up, then great.

At its core, the biggest downside to an EV on long trips is that it costs you flexibility.  Instead of driving to any random gas station and filling up in 5 minutes you need to plan your trip around charging stops with adequate facilities to charge your vehicle and figure out how to productively use the charging time.  "bigger, heavier, more monstrous EV batteries" are about adding some of that flexibility back, by allowing you to further before forcing a charging stop.  The thing about long haul trucks is that they don't need that flexibility.

WebFootSTi
WebFootSTi New Reader
11/1/22 5:18 p.m.

In reply to CrustyRedXpress :

Two decades ago when I was  working for OEM truck suppliers the rule of thumb for class 8 trucks was they needed to rack up 12,000 miles a month to be profitable.

This is the reason they are looking at driverless trucks.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 5:49 p.m.
STM317 said:
maschinenbau said:

PHEV trucks probably make way more sense for towing. Imagine a battery 1/3 the weight, cost, and range, with the torquey EV motor for acceleration and regen, but also a little turbo engine to keep the highway MPG's up. Oh wait, Ford makes a F-150 hybrid... though with only a 1.5 kWhr battery vs the Lightning's 98, it falls short in EV-only usage like commuting.

I think in general there should be more plug-in hybrids with just enough battery for a typical commute (50 miles or so). If the engine is only used for longer trips or towing vs 95% of the time when it's EV-only for in-town errands, isn't that a good enough solution? We are in this stupid race to build bigger, heavier, more monstrous EV batteries, spending that 80% to solve the remaining 20% of the problem. PHEV's are the low hanging fruit, but we aren't satisfied with good enough.

PHEVs are also a great way to get more total EV miles driven because you're splitting up rare battery materials into more vehicles rather than sequestering them in a single huge battery that rarely uses all of it's capacity.

Lower environmental footprint in production, more miles converted from ICE to EV, and no range anxiety to dissuade people from purchasing.

Do you really think the environmental footprint in production is smaller? After all, you're having to build a complete second drivetrain.

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
11/1/22 6:10 p.m.

I have yet to see a charger that has enough room to pull up with a trailer. Even if there was space, if it wasn't a pull-through spot, that would be a giant pita.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 6:15 p.m.

In reply to Cactus :

They're starting to show up on new builds.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/1/22 6:34 p.m.

Nice article.  It also confirms other reports I've seen. The tech is impressive, however I am still anxiously awaiting the leap in battery tech that will put it all together.  Signs are it may be close too,

Adam Grabowski
Adam Grabowski New Reader
11/1/22 7:15 p.m.

What a great discussion by everyone! I have thought a lot about all of these scenarios before and concluded that BEV is the only answer, and while that opinion hasn't changed, there is room for further discussion. Some mentioned PHEV as being better, and it is for now while batteries are so heavy and expensive, but having an EV drivetrain and an ICE backup is also very expensive and heavy and you miss out on the low maintenance advantage ov BEVs. PHEV is a good compromise for those who feel they have to have more range, but they will have to pay for it. In the mean time, this is a thirty year process to eliminate ICE vehicles, 13 more until California bans sales and then another 10-17 until gas is not sold to the public. There will be plenty of choices by then, technology will improve. Remember, in the end we have to stop burning things that emit CO2, no gas, no diesel, no coal, no wood*. Then it will take another hundred years for the CO2 we put in the atmosphere to break down, and then global temperatures can decline again. This is a long game for sure! Do your kids and grandkids a favor and do your part, please. They will be the ones dealing with the wars, famine, mass migrations. Sorry to get a bit heavy, but it's real and we need to act like it. I love cars, but I will buy the first affordable EV sports car that comes along! Here's hoping for a eMR2 soon!

Renomiata
Renomiata GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/1/22 7:20 p.m.

Call me an old curmudgeon, but I don't see how the US's ancient, decrepit electrical grid will support the massive amount of EVs coming down the pipe from all the manufactures. We have rolling brown outs in the West every summer now, imagine that system weighed down with 60-70% of the cars charging daily. And when I take a trip, usually 400-600 miles long, I don't want to sit at a charging station for 45 minutes to an hour at a Walmart or mall. I want to get to where I'm going as quickly as I can.

RonB001
RonB001 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/1/22 7:21 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Also, with PHEVs, you don't care if you use your entire battery before you get home.  The vehicle will then automatically convert to regular hybrid operation. 

With a pure EV, you have to make sure you have enough juice to get you there and back, plus the all-highway premium, plus the cold-weather premium, plus whatever variable you forgot to account for. 

By figuratively dipping my toes in the water with a PHEV, I've been able to calculate that I need a rated EV range of 200 miles to reliably complete my 80 mile highway commute.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
11/1/22 7:39 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
STM317 said:
maschinenbau said:

PHEV trucks probably make way more sense for towing. Imagine a battery 1/3 the weight, cost, and range, with the torquey EV motor for acceleration and regen, but also a little turbo engine to keep the highway MPG's up. Oh wait, Ford makes a F-150 hybrid... though with only a 1.5 kWhr battery vs the Lightning's 98, it falls short in EV-only usage like commuting.

I think in general there should be more plug-in hybrids with just enough battery for a typical commute (50 miles or so). If the engine is only used for longer trips or towing vs 95% of the time when it's EV-only for in-town errands, isn't that a good enough solution? We are in this stupid race to build bigger, heavier, more monstrous EV batteries, spending that 80% to solve the remaining 20% of the problem. PHEV's are the low hanging fruit, but we aren't satisfied with good enough.

PHEVs are also a great way to get more total EV miles driven because you're splitting up rare battery materials into more vehicles rather than sequestering them in a single huge battery that rarely uses all of it's capacity.

Lower environmental footprint in production, more miles converted from ICE to EV, and no range anxiety to dissuade people from purchasing.

Do you really think the environmental footprint in production is smaller? After all, you're having to build a complete second drivetrain.

I think it's quite possible. It depends on battery chemistry, size, sourcing, and how clean the energy is that's used to produce/assemble it. And I suppose the ICE powertrain design matters too. Something like a Toyota/Ford eCVT transmission is just two motors in a case like a similar EV might have. So the comparison could be as simple as manufacturing of the ICE, fuel tank, exhaust, and a bit of the cooling system vs production of say 60kwh of extra battery capacity. Something like the Jeep 4Xe stuff uses the electric motor in place of a torque converter with a conventional automatic, transfer case, driveshafts, etc which will obviously be more carbon intensive than the Prius style. But EVs are already coming with their own multi-speed gearboxes, etc too which increases their manufacturing footprint and complexity. So just like ICEs, there are efficient and inefficient EVs. But I'd say if you're trying to compare vehicles that are as similar as possible (efficient PHEV midsize sedan vs efficient EV mdsize sedan, or PHEV half ton truck vs EV half ton truck), the PHEV is likely cleaner than comparable EV production.

MIT estimates that an 80kwh Model 3 battery is responsible for 2400kg to 16,000kg of CO2 depending on how clean the energy used to produce it is, and where it's sourced from.

And the EPA says that battery production and end of life represent a combined 35% of EV lifecycle CO2, while an ICE production and end of life represents 9%

I need to do some digging into their data set and play with their estimator a bit to see what assumptions they're using for the "300 mile EV" here. I'm guessing their estimate is based on an efficient EV rather than an electron guzzler. For example, I bet their estimate above is similar to a 310 mile Model 3 which uses an 82kwh battery and will have far lower emissions than a 310 mile Hummer with a 200kwh battery pack. But the point is that battery production is really carbon intensive. Reducing battery capacity makes a significant reduction in manufacturing  footprint. So I'd expect a PHEV with say 20kwh of battery capacity to have production footprint lower than the 80kwh EV, even after the ICE stuff is accounted for.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/1/22 8:25 p.m.

For many of the recreational towers, even if you could get from A to B in one charge, campgrounds will need to update their infrastructure so that vehicles can charge overnight.  Campgrounds are a far, far, far superior place to recharge than a Walmart- you are there for most likely 8 hours or more. Let alone it being your destination- so there's no hour break waiting on the way there.

There are a few motorhome makers that are working on EVs.  And they, too, will need on site charging.  

Time to send letters to your state reps to get them working on the state park campgrounds.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 9:18 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Using percentages for those lifetime CO2 emissions is inappropriate, given the radical difference in the total. Looking at that graph and squinting, the battery roughly doubles the production CO2 output compared to an ICE. Maybe slightly less. So yes, from that I could see how there's a crossover point on the PHEV where production creates more CO2. Interesting, thanks. 
 

Alfa, campgrounds are already able to charge cars pretty handily since many of them are wired for RV hookups. And state parks around here are installing chargers. That's an evolution that's already underway. 

This whole thing is going to happen slowly, simply because it takes a long, long time for the fleet to change over. So there's lots of time to work on infrastructure. We don't need to invent new tech or build a new distribution network from scratch, it's just incremental work. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/1/22 9:47 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

That's assuming that having multiple RV's charging at the same time is possible.  From what I understand, many of the systems are not designed for too many people to pull their rated amount at the same time.  50A service should be ok, since that's also 240V- but the 30A service is a 3600W charger if you are pulling at full blast.

Maybe for private campgrounds that commonly have 50A service, but here in Michigan, 50A isn't that common at state parks.  It's there- just not quite as much.

And there has to be a splitting system to power the camper as well as the truck.

edit- looked up that the F150 has a 98 kW-hr battery.  Half fill of that would take 15 hours on the 30A service if nothing else is drawing.  4 hours for the 50A if you can pull 50A at 240V.  

But my other point is that for your state parks, you need the DNR to make sure the campgrounds are capable for your state.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/2/22 11:09 a.m.

In reply to Adam Grabowski :

No way is gasoline not going to be sold anymore in 10-20 years.  You honestly think everyone will be driving an electric car in 10-20 years?  Not a chance!  It'll always be available to the public.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/2/22 11:22 a.m.
docwyte said:

No way is gasoline not going to be sold anymore in 10-20 years.  You honestly think everyone will be driving an electric car in 10-20 years?  Not a chance!  It'll always be available to the public.

"always" is a long time, but yeah, at a minimum it would be 20+ years beyond point where gas-powered cars cease being sold.  The *average* age of the vehicle fleet is 12.3 years, and many of the people with the oldest cars are the ones who can least afford to buy a shiny new EV.

 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
11/2/22 11:42 a.m.

When was this design finalized?

And what will change in Gen 2 ?

is there a much better battery pack  or motor design  coming , 
 

will 800v  be a standard like Porsche is using ?

Since pick ups , SUVs etc are the profit center  there is going to be some neat designs coming !

 

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
11/2/22 1:48 p.m.

Hah, I just did the same test over the weekend for Out Motorsports. Haven't put all my thoughts together yet but it is good to see very similar results despite our routes and terrain being different.

FWIW I have had 90% or more positive experiences with public charging stations while testing EVs over the past few years. Outright failures/out-of-service seem rare though I've had some that promise X charge speed and only deliver Y. That is frustrating as it adds to your travel time. Biggest complaint while towing is that exactly zero stations I've ever visted have been set up to allow trailers, and that is a huge miss.

 

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/2/22 2:35 p.m.
JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
11/2/22 2:51 p.m.
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) said:

Hah, I just did the same test over the weekend for Out Motorsports. Haven't put all my thoughts together yet but it is good to see very similar results despite our routes and terrain being different.

FWIW I have had 90% or more positive experiences with public charging stations while testing EVs over the past few years. Outright failures/out-of-service seem rare though I've had some that promise X charge speed and only deliver Y. That is frustrating as it adds to your travel time. Biggest complaint while towing is that exactly zero stations I've ever visted have been set up to allow trailers, and that is a huge miss.

 

Yeah I'll be curious to see your results in an area with some gentle terrain. I'm guessing the additional energy expended on the uphills was mostly offset be the additional regeneration on the downhills, so now the trick is to find a route to the track that's downhill both ways.

Did you do most of your towing in one-pedal or with the regular brake mode? I LOVE one-pedal for towing. Well, for everything, but particularly for towing.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
11/2/22 3:43 p.m.

I'm curious, has anyone run a Lightning to empty to see what the actual mileage is?  I'm sure the gauge on the dash is really accurate, but how much fudge factor is built into it?  MPG gauges, while better, aren't perfect and can be fooled by driving styles.  Granted, going to "no charge" would mean you'd need a tow truck to get you to a charging station as opposed to grabbing a fuel jug like in an ICE, but it would still be interesting to know. Is 10% charge left really only 10 miles or is it really 10 miles plus a fudge factor of another 30?

I really like the Lightning for what it offers, especially if I was buying one for weekend warrior home improvement runs and daily driving. Which would probably be what 90% or more of most of them would be used for.  It just seems like for long hauls and towing, they're not quite there yet.  Both as a result of battery density and, potentially, high level charging sites.  I figure, however, that will be less and less the case over the next couple of years.  Especially in the charging site aspect. 

EV's are still in a bit of a tough situation, but one they can, and are, getting through.  It's the chicken and the egg scenario.  More EV's will create more places offering charging stations and more charging stations will make people more likely to move to EV's.  I think we're on the cusp of it and if EV prices continue to drop, you'll start seeing an exponential growth in EV sales. 

-Rob

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/2/22 4:06 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

No, it'll *always* be available.  People will *always* have gas powered cars.  They might not be daily drivers anymore, but people will have classics or race cars or something that uses gasoline to power it.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/2/22 4:14 p.m.

so... a BEV truck could do what most people need day-in-day out.

every once in a while, though, they need to tow a load a long ways away.  So... why not add range capacity by adding additional battery storage in the trailer you're towing?

also solves some of the issue of "splitting" the recharging power delivery.  and then, hey, you've got a house back-up battery / load-leveler for when you're not towing.

now I just need to figure out how to sell the sleepywife on this idea.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/2/22 5:00 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

No, it'll *always* be available.  People will *always* have gas powered cars.  They might not be daily drivers anymore, but people will have classics or race cars or something that uses gasoline to power it.

A thousand years from now?  Ten thousand?  "always" is a long time, and I'm not going to try to predict that far ahead. :)

 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
11/2/22 6:42 p.m.
rob_lewis said:

I'm curious, has anyone run a Lightning to empty to see what the actual mileage is?  I'm sure the gauge on the dash is really accurate, but how much fudge factor is built into it?  MPG gauges, while better, aren't perfect and can be fooled by driving styles.  Granted, going to "no charge" would mean you'd need a tow truck to get you to a charging station as opposed to grabbing a fuel jug like in an ICE, but it would still be interesting to know. Is 10% charge left really only 10 miles or is it really 10 miles plus a fudge factor of another 30?

-Rob

EV range depends on a ton of factors (weather, HVAC usage, terrain, speed, etc) so it's difficult to get a true apples to apples comparison. That being said, Edmunds does their range tests in a consistent manner and I like how they show both EPA rated range and their test results:

 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/2/22 7:01 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Interesting how many vehicles are actually beating the EPA estimates. And no one is really that far off in either direction. 

I also noticed the extended range F150 Lightning (#9) has less range than the normal one (#5)? Gotta be a typo in the names right? 

No Time
No Time UltraDork
11/2/22 7:35 p.m.

As for charging rates, they are all over the place: 


 

Chart source

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/22 7:58 p.m.

Charge rates also vary by battery state of charge and temp. If you roll up to a fast charger with a nearly full, cold battery, it'll charge slowly. Show up with 5% charge and a preconditioned battery and it'll rock and roll. 

Our car is bang on the EPA rated numbers over three years of varied use, which tells me they're pretty accurate. 

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
11/2/22 9:59 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) said:

Hah, I just did the same test over the weekend for Out Motorsports. Haven't put all my thoughts together yet but it is good to see very similar results despite our routes and terrain being different.

FWIW I have had 90% or more positive experiences with public charging stations while testing EVs over the past few years. Outright failures/out-of-service seem rare though I've had some that promise X charge speed and only deliver Y. That is frustrating as it adds to your travel time. Biggest complaint while towing is that exactly zero stations I've ever visted have been set up to allow trailers, and that is a huge miss.

Yeah I'll be curious to see your results in an area with some gentle terrain. I'm guessing the additional energy expended on the uphills was mostly offset be the additional regeneration on the downhills, so now the trick is to find a route to the track that's downhill both ways.

Did you do most of your towing in one-pedal or with the regular brake mode? I LOVE one-pedal for towing. Well, for everything, but particularly for towing.

I put it in Tow mode at first, which disabled the 1-Pedal mode in favor of a "blended" braking setup that requires you to use the pedal. Didn't love that so I popped it back to Normal and towed with the 1-Pedal driving. Much more "EVish" and I love 1-pedal driving in general. My favorite game to play with EV loans is how little I can touch the actual brake pedal in a week of driving.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
11/3/22 5:42 a.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:

In reply to STM317 :

Interesting how many vehicles are actually beating the EPA estimates. And no one is really that far off in either direction. 

I also noticed the extended range F150 Lightning (#9) has less range than the normal one (#5)? Gotta be a typo in the names right? 

It's not clearly labeled in the graphic, but the Lightning ranked #5 and the Lightning ranked #9 both have the big, "extended range" battery. The difference is that the "Platinum" trim level is heavier and has bigger wheels with more rolling resistance. Notice that not only are the real world ranges different, but so are the EPA rated ranges.

The "Pro" series Lightning (ranked #36) has the standard battery pack and shorter range. It's my understanding that there is, or will eventually be a "Pro" trim level with the big battery as well but Edmunds hasn't tested one, and they're rated the same as the Lariat with Extended Range Battery.

bratte
bratte New Reader
1/31/23 7:05 p.m.

I think a big improvement in EV towing will come with the arrival of EV powered trailers.  A single axle could be powered to provide assistance to the tow vehicle, utilizing a large (100 kW) battery mounted in the trailer.  The battery could be charged while the trailer is not in use, and ready to go when needed.  The control of the EV assistance could be handled with a combination of the trailer brake control signal, load cell in the hitch, and an on board accelerometer, like a modern version of a surge brake but in reverse.  
For some perspective, one year ago I traded in my 2019 Miata RF Club on a 2022 Porsche Taycan.  I've put 16,000 miles on it in that year, and I couldn't be happier.  My commute is 50 miles round trip, 4 days a week. I charge primarily at home on a Level 2 charger.  I have free Electrify America charging for 3 years, which I have used only a handful of times.  I never had any issues charging with the 350 kW stations.

We still retain our ICE SUV for towing the Miata race car in its enclosed trailer to the track.  Once things turn the corner on towing range, I predict we will be a two EV household. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/31/23 7:37 p.m.
bratte said:

I think a big improvement in EV towing will come with the arrival of EV powered trailers.  A single axle could be powered to provide assistance to the tow vehicle, utilizing a large (100 kW) battery mounted in the trailer.  The battery could be charged while the trailer is not in use, and ready to go when needed. 

That's bigger than a Model 3 battery, which costs $15K and weighs over a thousand pounds.  I don't think that's really feasible for most trailers.

Danny Shields (Forum Supporter)
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/31/23 7:59 p.m.

I nominate J.G. for Best Discussion-Generating Road Test Report of the Year.

dps214
dps214 Dork
1/31/23 8:10 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
bratte said:

I think a big improvement in EV towing will come with the arrival of EV powered trailers.  A single axle could be powered to provide assistance to the tow vehicle, utilizing a large (100 kW) battery mounted in the trailer.  The battery could be charged while the trailer is not in use, and ready to go when needed. 

That's bigger than a Model 3 battery, which costs $15K and weighs over a thousand pounds.  I don't think that's really feasible for most trailers.

I mean it depends on your definition of feasible. We have an enclosed trailer rated for 10k that I'm not sure we've ever had past 7.5k total. Plenty of room for 1500lbs of motor and batteries there. Probably the bigger issues are space, both fitting the motor without raising the floor and the fact that you'd have to split the battery up a bunch to keep the weight distribution reasonable and fit amongst the existing trailer structure.

RV trailers have high floors and even with all the stuff under it there's still usually a fair amount of space left. Could fill out the bottom with batteries (and probably slightly improve aerodynamics at the same time) but they tend to be more overloaded and/or not built as strong to begin with, so weight might be the biggest issue there.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/31/23 8:25 p.m.

Don't forget to account for any temperature management hardware that battery might need. Oh, and some way for the two vehicles to communicate which implies some sort of standard protocol or a marque-specific trailer. Handing could get interesting if the trailer starts driving the tow vehicle too hard. Cost is a factor as well, but that's a moving target. It's going to be a while before 100 kWh of battery is cheap, though.

I don't think powered trailers are likely to be a good option. I think we just have to accept that towing takes a lot of energy and there is no magic bullet to "fix" that. We're used to paying for that energy with the cost of fuel. With EVs, that cost moves more towards paying with time. Planning an EV towing trip will be different than planning an ICE towing trip. Not impossible, different. Maybe you nap more and stretch out your day. Maybe you don't try to eat a Big Mac while driving, but sit down instead.

Or maybe you find some other solution, such as accepting the compromises of running an ICE instead of an EV when you're not towing so you have the ICE when you do tow. The alternative is to accept the compromises of towing with an EV so you can drive an EV when you're not.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/31/23 9:01 p.m.
dps214 said:

I mean it depends on your definition of feasible. We have an enclosed trailer rated for 10k that I'm not sure we've ever had past 7.5k total. Plenty of room for 1500lbs of motor and batteries there. Probably the bigger issues are space, both fitting the motor without raising the floor and the fact that you'd have to split the battery up a bunch to keep the weight distribution reasonable and fit amongst the existing trailer structure.

A lot of people overload their trailers as it is, but as Keith says the biggest issue is cost.  It's proposing putting a model 3 drivetrain into the trailer, so figure $15K for the battery alone and probably $25K once you add motors, controllers, cooling, etc.  All for something that you would only use while towing?  Maybe you could sell that to people buying $200K luxury RV trailers, but I doubt you'd get many takers on this forum. :)

Trailer aerodynamics are not likely to change much either.  Getting complex shapes like cars have down to reasonable price levels requires a lot of expensive tooling, meaning it really only works for large volume products.  Trailers are generally built by small vendors making a few at a time, so they're built out of cheap sheet materials and that makes them boxes on wheels.

 

BoulderG
BoulderG GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/31/23 9:32 p.m.

I've seen ads for a camper trailer that included a 'pretty big' battery that could be connected to the EV tow vehicle. Sorry I don't have more details, but does a battery in the trailer as a range extender for the EV sound like it would work?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
1/31/23 9:36 p.m.
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) said:

I nominate J.G. for Best Discussion-Generating Road Test Report of the Year.

Technically the story came out in 2022, so I think we missed award season.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
2/1/23 11:03 a.m.

Towing (and most heavy, sustained work) is a duty cycle where we can't simply "add more battery" to fix the issue because that battery is both costly and super heavy. There's not a business case for it, and even if there were, you're talking about adding thousands of lbs to the trailer which means the tow pig has to work harder, and the load has to be lighter.

There are mountains of money being dumped into hydrogen as a diesel replacement for these types of duty cycles without the range/charging time issues of batteries. But we're still a couple of years from that being an option on the market, and even more years from the infrastructure being in place to support it (at least in North America).

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/1/23 11:37 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

It's going to be a while before the hydrogen plan separates itself from the train plan. Until there's even a little bit of infrastructure, hydrogen trucks are going to be limited to runs between specific points - and trains already do that very well.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
2/1/23 11:39 a.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

First let me thank you for your complete and though report.  Well done.  
   Early release Ford showed an in bed generator. Whatever happened to that?  A really decent one would be less than 1000 pounds. Could it be plugged in while driving to extend range from 100 miles to 200 or more?  

  Now me, 

     The lightening has 2 problems I can't overcome.   First it won't fit.  My current 150 regular cab is tight.  The crew cab version would be condemned  to remain outside in the arctic tundra.Temps can drop to -40f and then there is the subject of snow. I cleaned 8 inches off the last time and we've had more than 24 inches in a single storm. ( on Halloween).  So even with electrons flowing into it, charging it and keeping it warm.  There is some additional work involved in outside storage.  
     Second?  I'm 75, semi retired and made my last payment on the current low mileage truck.  Taking on another $85,000 debt? ( Prices will come down soon).   Just ain't happening.  
         If I did win the lottery,   I could make it work for me.   Elkhart  lake is 355 miles away. 100 mile range gets me an hour+  into Wisconsin.  Nice time for breakfast. Stretch the legs.  Back in the truck for a couple of hours.  Next stop,    Sight see while charging.  Maybe read a book. ( retired remember? I left a day early).   Rinse and repeat.   Only one charge stop up to Brainerd. 
      My advantage is I won't bring a garage with me.  The race car is going to be 2000 pounds, the trailer 500.  Tools and spares? Maybe 500#  so I'd do better than  quoted range. As if it matters.  

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
2/1/23 2:54 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I get what you're saying, but trucks can use the expansive network of roads that we have, while trains are limited to a much smaller and less flexible network of rail lines.

Infrastructure will take time. And there's no guarantee that it happens at all on any large scale in the US.

New tech (be it hydrogen, battery trucks, alternative fuels, etc) needs to have customer interest (demand) and government backing to establish a foot hold. In North America, there's currently only one of those for hydrogen at best. However, in India, East Asia, and Europe there's more of both. That's where hydrogen is likely to be accepted initially. IF it's shown to be viable there, then I'd guess that it's more likely to get the support it needs in the US to have a viable business case.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
2/1/23 4:35 p.m.

In reply to Renomiata :

Two points you missed.   One vehicles  sit in the garage at night when demand is at its lowest,  the battery gets charged. So instead of additional drainage  it will level out demand. 
plus states that are subsidizing solar panels etc  (20) won't need new power generating plants   During the day home use is down while industrial/office use is at a maximum draw.  Plus power plants aren't put where the energy is used they are put out of the way.  It's called transit losses but if a solar panel is generating excess energy  there isn't much transit loss because the excess is used right nearby.  
   My point is?  Things will be better in the future  especially if your politicians care more about the people they represent than big industry like the utilities  

 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/1/23 4:37 p.m.
frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
2/1/23 4:41 p.m.
rob_lewis said:

I'm curious, has anyone run a Lightning to empty to see what the actual mileage is?  I'm sure the gauge on the dash is really accurate, but how much fudge factor is built into it?  MPG gauges, while better, aren't perfect and can be fooled by driving styles.  Granted, going to "no charge" would mean you'd need a tow truck to get you to a charging station as opposed to grabbing a fuel jug like in an ICE, but it would still be interesting to know. Is 10% charge left really only 10 miles or is it really 10 miles plus a fudge factor of another 30?

I really like the Lightning for what it offers, especially if I was buying one for weekend warrior home improvement runs and daily driving. Which would probably be what 90% or more of most of them would be used for.  It just seems like for long hauls and towing, they're not quite there yet.  Both as a result of battery density and, potentially, high level charging sites.  I figure, however, that will be less and less the case over the next couple of years.  Especially in the charging site aspect. 

EV's are still in a bit of a tough situation, but one they can, and are, getting through.  It's the chicken and the egg scenario.  More EV's will create more places offering charging stations and more charging stations will make people more likely to move to EV's.  I think we're on the cusp of it and if EV prices continue to drop, you'll start seeing an exponential growth in EV sales. 

-Rob

I thought Ford had that figured out?  Pre-release they showed a generator  in the Fords truck bed.    

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