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Here’s How To Maximize Ford F-150 Lightning Range In The Winter

As most are aware by now, there are a variety of factors that can have an impact on the range of all-electric vehicles – speed, weather, grade, hauling, and towing are just a few, though in all fairness, ICE-powered vehicles face fluctuating fuel economy as a result of many of these factors, too. Regardless, with winter settling in across much of the country, Ford F-150 Lightning owners will want to know how they can maximize the range of their EV pickup in cold temperatures, and The Blue Oval is happy to oblige with some tips on how they can do exactly that.

As the automaker points out, the Ford F-150 Lightning underwent extensive cold weather testing during its development in the freezing confines of Alaska and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as well as temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees in FoMoCo’s atmospheric test chambers. Regardless, all EVs experience energy decreases in cold temperatures due to battery cell chemistry, or more specifically, temperatures below 40 degrees. That range causes the electrolyte fluid in batteries to become sluggish, limiting how much power is available to discharge and how quickly the vehicle’s battery can charge.

As such, it’s normal to experience a significant reduction in range while driving in cold temperatures, but there are some things that Ford F-150 Lightning owners can do to mitigate these effects. That includes parking the pickup in a garage whenever possible, and also keeping it plugged in when it’s not being used. Brushing off snow before driving can reduce drag and improve range, as can driving at slower speeds and keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure.

Additionally, when planning to take a long trip, owners can precondition the battery using the FordPass app or the truck’s infotainment screen to set a departure time, which will warm the battery while it’s plugged in. Also, owners can use the heated seats and steering wheel to reduce HVAC energy consumption, and turn the heater off or down while the vehicle is charging to speed up that process.

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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Comments

  1. David Dickinson II

    EVs in cold weather country are a non-starter. Stick with carbon-based fuels and your problems are solved.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Stick with carbon based fuels and transfer your problems into the sky.

      Reply
      1. truth speaker

        until ford can make an viable non participation trophy ev truck, yes.

        Reply
        1. RWFA

          Participation trophy? Why do you think it has to be all things to all people? It has its own duty cycle. It participates in the class that it’s in. It’s up to the buyer to decide if it fits their needs.

          Reply
      2. The Gentle Grizzly

        Or, use the grid to charge your car, and shift the emissions to someone else’s sky.

        Reply
        1. RWFA

          Or look forward to the transformation of the grid away from carbon fuel based generation (renewable and nuke) or CF generation with carbon sequestration technology (a tech impossible to hang on a tailpipe.)

          Reply
      3. David Dickinson II

        All energy generation produces its own problems. As a conservationist, I loathe wind power as it slaughters untold numbers of birds. Hydro power destroys entire ecosystems and puts a hard stop to fish migration. Solar causes the earth to be strip mined. Nuclear (the best option) has many potential hazards.

        But at least I recognize each solution has positives and minuses. Unlike some zealots who think EVs are perpetual motion machines.

        Reply
        1. RWFA

          When it comes to bird deaths, cats are unrivaled as the leading cause. Whereas wind turbines only kill about 234,000 birds every year in the United States, felines kill 2.4 billion, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

          Although it has almost certainly increased sconce the 2003 statistics I saw, wind turbines were about number 7 on the list. Number 1? Windows. Followed by: feral cats, high voltage lines, pesticides, communication towers, cars, hunting and then way down on the list and just a sliver compared to hunting even, comes wind turbines.

          Given that climate change is affecting rain patterns, we probably need to build more reservoirs to compensate just to have water for basic needs. As long as that’s the case, might as well get some kW out of them. Better? Move faster off of carbon fuels and force our trading partners to do likewise. Everything else is a bandaid until we stop burning non renewable materials for power.

          Strip mining for solar? Why aren’t you railing against the same for coal?

          Nuke actually is one of the safest forms of power generation available.

          Of course in your zeal to denigrate EV power sources you fail to account for the pollution of the land, sea, air, the wars, respiratory ailments, and trillions in government subsidies for Big Carbon.

          Reply
  2. William

    Yes, drive like a grandma and let her freeze while driving.

    Reply
  3. Tim

    Talking with my dealers shop manager, the solution for the hard winter months…park it. Using any type of heat greatly reduces distance. New fallen snow and streets that are not cleared greatly reduce the distance.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Park it? Sounds like that dealer has a moron for a shop manager. Or could it be that he’s spreading EV FUD to customers because he has a vested interest in more maintenance intensive ICE vehicles??

      Reply
      1. Will

        Would that be you?

        Reply
        1. Tatiana

          Sounds like him.

          Reply
        2. RWFA

          Oh hi Silly Willi, I see you are still operating at the teenie level.

          Ps to Silly Willi below, actually I speak more than just my native language but don’t comprehend the language of a tiny willi.

          Reply
          1. Will

            That is the only language that you understand.

            Reply
      2. Stu

        Hi RWFA and all on this post.
        I agree that the shop manager has a poor grasp of new technology and should go back on the bench. I worked in a dealership for 11 years and saw good ones and not so good.
        Truth be told, I have owned my Mach E Premium 4EX for 20 months, never garaged, in Canada where winter lasts 5-6 months just like northern New York State. I use seat and steering wheel heat selectively and reduce cabin heat accordingly. I dress for the weather like one should.
        The range effect has been about 60 to 80 miles less in cold weather on average from mid March of 2021. This is where DC fast chargers shine.
        On trips of 1-2 hours, a 20 minute charge while you enjoy a hot coffee and washroom break are usually all that is needed to compensate.
        I learned to drive when I was 12, I’m almost 72 now.
        For all but 20 months of those 60 years I drove ICE powered vehicles, still do occasionally, but a new day is dawning folks and it is electric.

        Reply
        1. Russ

          Well said Stu

          Reply
          1. RWFA

            +1

            Reply
  4. The Crusty Autoworker

    Just wait for the ugly Tesla or the Ram with its promised “range extender” and you’ll be all good.

    Reply
  5. Travis

    Use the heated steering wheel? When are we going to get that back? Seriously, though, when will we get a heated steering wheel back in these trucks? Seems really stupid I know to say that I won’t buy a truck without one, but it’s a non-starter for me. $98K for a platinum with no heated steering wheel while Ford continues to put them in low level vehicles with way less margin than the lightning.

    Reply
  6. Bob

    I get where a ONE to TWO hour trip might require a bathroom break at 72, because I’m almost there now, but extending a trip, when you still have other things to do while your younger, by 30% isn’t really practical for non-retirees.
    And then throw in the fast charger degradation to your batteries, and then getting back into a bone chilling vehicle…I’ll be waiting for technology to catch up to at least the standards we have today in ice vehicles. I hope I have enough time.
    Funny first shot of the Lightning pulling the trailer. That’s a hundred mile pull, at best, in those conditions.

    Reply
    1. joe

      We drove a one way trip of 872 miles and had to stop once for fuel, 30.3 mpg took a 20 minute break and beat the GPS estimated time by 20 minutes. Didn’t have to worry about driving slow to conserve range, finding chargers that are not working. We saw about 10 Teslas and one Mach E. I passed all of them except 1 Tesla. Not speeding, just keeping up with traffic. We are getting up there in age, but time is money or lost vacation time, we don’t want to add a hour or 2 for such a short trip.

      Reply

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