Ford Authority

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Towing Tested At Davis Dam And Ike Gauntlet

As we inch closer to the official launch of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning this spring, FoMoCo is providing more and more details regarding the grueling testing the all-electric pickup has undergone to get to this point. Most recently, that includes some extreme cold weather testing in Alaska, but Ford also wanted to ensure that the F-150 Lightning was able to tow heavy loads up steep inclines in those same frigid temperatures, as well as in the heat of summer in the desert. Thus, it headed out to two of the toughest real-world towing routes in the U.S. – the Davis Dam and the Ike Gauntlet – to do just that.

This 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning tow testing started last summer at the Davis Dam, which is located on State Route 68 between Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam. The particular section Ford was interested in covers 11.4 miles and ascends from 550 feet elevation to 3,500 feet in that span, which is a rather grueling test for any vehicle, whether it be ICE-powered or an EV. During testing, temperatures reached 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next up, Ford took the F-150 Lightning up the frigid Ike Gauntlet, an 8-mile stretch of I-70 in Colorado that ascends at a 7 percent incline to a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level. Ford’s team started out in Boulder, Colorado, and ended their trip in Frisco, Colorado with ambient temperatures hovering around -2 degrees. They piloted pre-production pickups equipped with both standard and extended range battery packs, towing 24-foot long double-axle SAE-graded test trailers with frontal areas of 60 square feet that weighed in at the Lightning’s maximum towing capacity of 10,000-pounds. According to Ford, the truck reportedly performed “flawlessly” throughout both tests.

Meanwhile, the first examples of the F-150 Lightning – which remains one of the most considered electrified vehicles on the market – have already been scheduled for production, while the next wave of order conversions is set to go out this summer. The EV pickup’s official EPA estimated range figures were also just released yesterday, and in some cases, beat Ford’s targets.

We’ll have more on the F-150 Lightning soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 newsF-150 Lightning news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Rick

    Ford’s taking the wind out of TFL’s sails..

    1. Explorer ST

      Haha. My immediate thought as soon as I read “Ike Gauntlet”



  3. Steve

    So Boulder to Frisco is 83 miles. You went 83 miles and you’re excited about that. How far can you drive this load in total? I know bicyclists that ride that, in a day. Or is 83 miles it? Time to recharge. That’s nothing to brag about. Still not going to spend 70 plus grand for a “truck” that cannot pull a travel trailer or 5th wheel as far as a real truck.

    1. Thurston Munn

      100 % spot on. Many of our RV friends and us travel to some remote and rugged areas and 83 miles is just barely a starting point.

    2. F-150.Prius

      An EV pickup is not designed for long distance (driving or towing) so it’s the wrong tool for the job.
      Towing costs about 50% of range and generally requires longer charging because more kWh is needed and there’s less margin for error (even small uphills or light headwinds can sap the battery.)
      I doubt the first 250,000+ buyers of EV pickups are replacing their trust tow vehicle for the family road trip or camping vacation … all the 2022 thru 2024 EV pickups (including Cybertruck) are weekenders and second or third vehicle in the household … great for commuting or heavy hauling or anything in-between, but miserable for road trips or towing more than about 200 miles.
      I have a Rivian R1T arriving in a few days and don’t expect it to tow on a freeway, but I am expecting it to tow about 120-150 miles, charge for an hour (!) and tow another 100 miles with plenty of margin for error, and take about 30-40 minutes longer than my F-150 Hybrid.
      For just about any other “utility” work, the F-150 will continue to be the go-to tool in the garage. Some time after 2025 – who knows? – I expect EVs will have much better batteries and there will be more charging at higher speeds, and then an ICE pickup won’t be necessary for my purposes.

  4. Jim

    Just curious how many kWh were used in these two tests!

  5. F-150.Prius

    Would be useful for these sorts of articles to include details on the testing.
    I assume a Lariat can cover 300 miles real world (about 10 more than a Rivian did recently in a real 70 mph continuous freeway test) so it can probably tow a double axle 7000lb trailer on level ground at 60 mph for about 50% or 150 miles.

  6. Frank Barrett

    Have lived in Denver for 50 years and driven what you call the “Ike Gauntlet” many, many times. Have never heard it called that, but you probably mean the approach to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Evidently they took the easy way, through the tunnel (11,000 ft), but they could have done it right and gone over 12,000-ft Loveland Pass.

  7. SL

    and the government wasn’t forcing you into a cell phone by mandating land lines go away in X# of years.

  8. SL

    There are tougher passes, but the IKE, done the way TFL does it has the ability to compare vehicles because the traffic seems to be predictable, or at least they only run the test when the traffic allows pre-determined speeds and a consistent load between tow vehicles. It is a tough road that provides good data. The Ford might provide faster climb, the Dodge may not run away downhill, the GMC may use less fuel, and you may choose the Toyota anyway because of the headlight system. But the Ike Gauntlet provides good data.

  9. Dave Mathers

    ‘which is located on State Route 68 between Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam’? Uh, NO. The Davis Dam is down by Laughlin way below the Hoover Dam.


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