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Old 06-29-2022, 10:29 AM   #1
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Towing with an F150 Lightning?

Interesting video. The range of the lightning while towing is of course a huge consideration when deciding between gas and electric.

https://youtu.be/-e55Vued028
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Old 06-29-2022, 12:01 PM   #2
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Interesting but used every possible way to add advertising into it.

160 mile range? That would creep me out. Wish they'd have used something like a Ford with a 3.5 ecoboost instead instead of the GM.

My 2.7, which would be too small to tow that heavy beast of a trailer, gets almost twice that range towing the 21. While I have no qualms about using an EV for most uses you're never going to see me heading off to the boonies with an electric pickup.

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Old 06-29-2022, 12:04 PM   #3
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Interesting video.
Thanks for posting.

No revelations or surprises, but for a 'real world comparison' IMO the experiment was reasonably well designed / conducted so the anecdotal info is indeed interesting, 'product placement' notwithstanding (at least these folks are very up-front about the commercial nature / necessity of their channel).

Obviously still a way to go before EV's offer 'towing flexibility' comparable to ICE/hybrids. But first steps have to be made to reach that end, kudos to Ford for being among those taking those steps. IMO the Lightning certainly has some desirable attributes as it is, within its limitations.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:16 PM   #4
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I agree. Kudos to Ford for making it. But there's a long way to go. 90-100 miles towing range just doesn't cut it.
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Old 07-06-2022, 07:07 PM   #5
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Cybertruck Deposit in

We are not considering F150 Lightning because of the range. We have our deposit in on a Tesla Cybertruck, and we currently plan for the dual-motor AWD model.

“The base-model rear-wheel-drive Tesla Cybertruck can tow 7,500 lbs, the dual-motor mid-level all-wheel-drive Cybertruck can tow 10,000 lbs, and the top-of-the-line tri-motor all-wheel-drive model can tow 14,000 lbs.”

With our E19, we expect a 250 mile towing range, hopefully more with the rumored range extension. If we can use a Tesla DC Supercharger, once or twice a day for 30 minutes each, and top off at night, that works well for our travel style.

For what its worth, in Tehachapi, CA, we encountered our first Tesla towing a travel trailer. The owner said he normally gets 150 miles to a charge. This day with significant elevation gain and high (40+ mph) headwinds, he got closer to 100 miles/charge.

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Old 07-06-2022, 07:53 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

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... We have our deposit in on a Tesla Cybertruck, and we currently plan for the dual-motor AWD model....
Kudos to 'early adopters', another essential driver for the wheels of progress!
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:10 PM   #7
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We are not considering F150 Lightning because of the range. We have our deposit in on a Tesla Cybertruck,
The Ford range isn't adequate for RV towing, as most RV users tow for long distances at a time. But at least the Ford F150 Lightning exists.

At this point I'd regard the Cybertruck as largely speculative as Tesla removed all specs from their website and delayed it by 2+ years. All of the media speculation from 2020 or 2021 is just that.....speculation.
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:54 PM   #8
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Go figure
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Old 07-06-2022, 09:05 PM   #9
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The f150 lightning is really designed for corporate fleets in an urban and suburban environment. Ideally with a central depot with dc charging. If you think in those terms the range limitations are not an issue. Think contractors and corporate delivery especially with future body variants. For rvs I’d like to see more hybrid trucks with fuel effeciency versus performance. The tundra is really optimized for performance rather than efficiency.
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Old 07-07-2022, 09:33 AM   #10
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I placed an order for a Lightning shortly after Ford opened the floodgates. All the talk about 12-14,000 lb towing capacity suddenly hit the wall of reality after one truck test showed a 90 mile range towing a 2,000 lb. trailer.

I cancelled the Lightning and bought RAM etorque 5.7L.

But, my wife’s VW ID.4 just arrived in the US so all is nit lost on the EV front.
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Old 07-07-2022, 09:46 AM   #11
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Check you spare tire on that new Ram, mine was a "temp" spare, not useful while towing. Now have a full sized wheel/tire in my truck bed taking up useful space and weight....
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:01 AM   #12
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CyberTruck is it so far

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The Ford range isn't adequate for RV towing, as most RV users tow for long distances at a time. But at least the Ford F150 Lightning exists.
Agree, Lightning is a first step for light duty trucks in an urban environment. We have looked at the Mercedes Benz e-Sprinter van, but it is short range, urban fleet intended, as is true for the Rivian R1T.

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At this point I'd regard the Cybertruck as largely speculative as Tesla removed all specs from their website and delayed it by 2+ years. All of the media speculation from 2020 or 2021 is just that.....speculation.
Agree, but there is nothing in announced development for any vehicle carrying or towing a RV-like load and having an actual range > 300 miles (500 km). We can hope Cybertruck will deploy in 2023, since there are > 1M reservations.

73/gus
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:23 AM   #13
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If you look at the energy and range that can be carried by the two vehicles we own:

A 2012 Nissan Leaf 24kwh. Gets 70 miles of around town driving on a full charge. 24kwh=<2/3 gallon of diesel

A 2021 GMC Canyon diesel 22gallon tank. Gets about 400 miles towing a 5.0. 836kwh of energy, Diesel fuel = 38kwh/gallon

So it takes over 2kwh of energy to tow an Escape 5.0 a mile. With the correct hitch, we could use the Leaf to tow the trailer a little over 10 miles.

This is an extreme example, as battery packs have gotten larger and high speed charging more common. If you do the reverse calculation to see how much range the truck should provide driving unladen around town, it would be about 2,500 miles of range on a tank of diesel. No comparison on efficiency.

As battery packs get lighter and larger, and high speed chargers are more common, the electricity wins. I think we are still another decade out though, and that’s why we went diesel to tow our 5.0. My stepson has a Tesla cybertruck on order.
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Old 07-07-2022, 12:35 PM   #14
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The f150 lightning is really designed for corporate fleets in an urban and suburban environment. Ideally with a central depot with dc charging. If you think in those terms the range limitations are not an issue. Think contractors and corporate delivery especially with future body variants. For rvs I’d like to see more hybrid trucks with fuel effeciency versus performance. The tundra is really optimized for performance rather than efficiency.

Yes, that is really about the only use for the short range F150 Lighting. But, that covers I would say about 75% of people who need to use a truck in business. To a job site or so a day. I will stay with my Tacoma for a long while. They last forever, & would be MUCH easier to fix. I am looking to get a Prius, as 1st vehicle. But, for a long while, that is as far as I'll go into electric.
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Old 07-07-2022, 04:32 PM   #15
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Need a BIG, heavy battery

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A 2021 GMC Canyon diesel 22gallon tank. Gets about 400 miles towing a 5.0. 836kwh of energy, Diesel fuel = 38kwh/gallon So it takes over 2kwh of energy to tow an Escape 5.0 a mile.
Like you I find that US automotive diesel fuel contains about 40 kWh per gallon, and your 22 gal tank contains about 880 kWh.

That's about 2.2 kWh per mile, where the kWh is the raw kWh in your tank.

However, the very best, high efficiency large diesel engines today are about 43% efficient in energy conversion. A pickup truck diesel (medium duty) engine is on the order of 36% energy conversion fuel efficiency. So the energy per gallon to pull your Escape 5.0 trailer is about 320 kWh. The rest (560 kWh) is lost due to heat and other mechanical inefficiencies.

So you need about 800 Wh/mile drive energy to tow your trailer.

Tesla vehicles display a "Battery-to-wheels” efficiency, i.e., Wh/mile number displayed on the trip meter. For regular non-towing Tesla sedans, drivers report 220-280 Wh/mile.

Seems reasonable that towing requires 4 to 5 times the wheel energy, Wh, to move vehicle and trailer.

The big Tesla battery, 100 kWh, equates to 125 mile range. We know other EV functions use battery, so maybe 100 miles EV towing per 100 kWh battery (1 kWh/mile) is a good rule of thumb.

According to an electric.com article, "the Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla Model Y drive system has an efficiency of around 97%." Seems you would need Cybertruck to have about 325 kWh in battery storage to achieve the same towing distance. Add another 10-15% to run other things in the truck, and this is ≥ 350 kWh battery to be equivalent to your 22 gal diesel engine truck.

The 100 kWh Tesla battery weighs 1377 lbs (625 kg). For 350 kWh, you need about 4800 lbs of batteries. That's a LOT.

By these rough numbers, EV towing our E19 remains a few years out.

73/gus
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Old 07-07-2022, 05:12 PM   #16
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Check you spare tire on that new Ram, mine was a "temp" spare, not useful while towing. Now have a full sized wheel/tire in my truck bed taking up useful space and weight....

It is full sized. One if the first things I confirmed before we bought it.
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Old 07-07-2022, 07:57 PM   #17
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Like you I find that US automotive diesel fuel contains about 40 kWh per gallon, and your 22 gal tank contains about 880 kWh.

That's about 2.2 kWh per mile, where the kWh is the raw kWh in your tank.

However, the very best, high efficiency large diesel engines today are about 43% efficient in energy conversion. A pickup truck diesel (medium duty) engine is on the order of 36% energy conversion fuel efficiency. So the energy per gallon to pull your Escape 5.0 trailer is about 320 kWh. The rest (560 kWh) is lost due to heat and other mechanical inefficiencies.

So you need about 800 Wh/mile drive energy to tow your trailer.

Tesla vehicles display a "Battery-to-wheels” efficiency, i.e., Wh/mile number displayed on the trip meter. For regular non-towing Tesla sedans, drivers report 220-280 Wh/mile.

Seems reasonable that towing requires 4 to 5 times the wheel energy, Wh, to move vehicle and trailer.

The big Tesla battery, 100 kWh, equates to 125 mile range. We know other EV functions use battery, so maybe 100 miles EV towing per 100 kWh battery (1 kWh/mile) is a good rule of thumb.

According to an electric.com article, "the Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla Model Y drive system has an efficiency of around 97%." Seems you would need Cybertruck to have about 325 kWh in battery storage to achieve the same towing distance. Add another 10-15% to run other things in the truck, and this is ≥ 350 kWh battery to be equivalent to your 22 gal diesel engine truck.

The 100 kWh Tesla battery weighs 1377 lbs (625 kg). For 350 kWh, you need about 4800 lbs of batteries. That's a LOT.

By these rough numbers, EV towing our E19 remains a few years out.

73/gus
Correct on the fuel and efficiency. The electric is more efficient than the diesel or any internal combustion engine, as those exhaust so much energy in the form of heat, something electric motors don’t do.

One thing I should have mentioned in my earlier post is fuel and maintenance costs. My leaf has almost 100,000 miles on it, and I’ve spent less on fuel/maintaining it than I have on the truck, which is almost up to 10,000 miles.

So, when you can go electric, do it, as your wallet and the environment will thank you. I love driving a silent vehicle too.
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Old 07-07-2022, 09:17 PM   #18
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However, the very best, high efficiency large diesel engines today are about 43% efficient in energy conversion.

Not absolutely relevant, but since I recently worked for a HD diesel engine company I'll clarify that HD engines are hitting ~49% BTE at best point and can probably manage ~46% across a road load highway cycle.


But that is engine efficiency. You will lose another 2-3% percent for the driveline.



Quote:
The 100 kWh Tesla battery weighs 1377 lbs (625 kg). For 350 kWh, you need about 4800 lbs of batteries. That's a LOT.

By these rough numbers, EV towing our E19 remains a few years out.

73/gus
The Rivian R1 large pack is around 130 kWh, for example, and towing range is around 150-170 miles depending on trailer etc.


This is why it's annoying (to me) for people to cross compare real vehicles (Rivian R1, Ford Lightning 150) to vaporware like the Cybertruck.


Will the Cybertruck tow 300 miles, be available in 2021 and cost $39,900? Probably not!


Making it worse, Elon Musk is a serial prevaricator who's only constant is that he does always say whatever is most self-serving.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:02 PM   #19
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Great video & article. Thanks for the posting!

Apparently all-electric tow trucks are not yet ready for prime time!

The first person to take possession of the new F150 lightning owns an Airstream. Can’t find the news article I read, but he took it camping with his Airstream almost immediately. Interestingly, his biggest problem/complaint was not range, but finding charging stations in the boondocks.

This is a problem that eventually will solve itself. The recently passed infrastructure bill includes $$$ for charging stations. Main highways & freeways will take priority. Hopefully, rural areas that camping trailers frequent will be given priority next.

Range doesn’t bother me as much as fast charging time, and the availability of individual charging stations that can accommodate trailers (would not want to unhitch to recharge).

I like to keep hydrated & usually need to stop every 1.5 hours to relieve myself. So, needing to recharge every 2-3 hours is no big thing for me. What’s important is the ability to recharge completely within 20 minutes. Relieving myself, buying a drink/sandwich, phoning or texting the office, getting on the internet to find a camping spot for the night, and airing the dogs will fill that 20 minute break.

Secondly, gas stations are not all that numerous on rural sections of major arteries. I’ve towed up Interstate 15 when going to Idaho & Montana. I really have to pay attention to gassing up sooner than later as the next gas station down the highway may be 50-75 miles away.

Personally, the savings from towing with an electric vehicle, coupled with environmental advantages is worth the extra time it would take to reach our destination. Over time the range issue will improve. What’s important is getting charging stations close to our camping destinations.

Because of our dogs, I’m hoping for in the introduction of an all electric Suburban (built on the Ford 150 or Chevy Silverado frame) with a tow package.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:31 PM   #20
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my last road trip was 1 300 mile day up, and 1 300 mile day back. much of it was extremely rural/remote and there were no hookups when I was going. I did have to stop and fuel my diesel part way home.
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