Ford Authority

Ford F-150 Lightning Beats R1T In Snowstorm Test: Video

The Ford F-150 Lightning – along with every other EV pickup on the market – has drawn some criticism for its loss of range not only while towing, but also in cold temperatures. These things are pretty normal for these types of vehicles – at least for now, until battery technology improves. Recently, Alex Dykes of the YouTube channel Alex on Autos has performed a number of tests on his own Ford F-150 Lightning in recent months, demonstrating that its “phantom” battery drain is minimal compared to competitors like the Rivian R1T, though he also discovered that charging the EV pickup at a Tesla Supercharger is far from ideal, too. Now, Tom Moloughney of the State of Charge YouTube channel is back with another video that set out to determine which model – the F-150 Lightning or R1T – is the best one to get stuck in during a snowstorm.

Ford F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1T Snowstorm Charge Test - Interior 002

This has been a hot topic in the media recently as winter weather led to some major backups in certain areas, prompting some to wonder – what happens if your EV runs out of charge while sitting in the middle of a highway in freezing temperatures? Thus, Moloughney set out to find the answer to this question by parking both trucks in his driveway with an 85 percent charge during a snowstorm with the heater running at 65 degrees for 12 hours and the fan speed set to one.

Ford F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1T Snowstorm Charge Test - Interior 001

Six hours in, the Rivian R1T was sitting at a 76 percent state of charge, while the Ford F-150 Lightning was performing a little bit better at 78 percent. A full 12 hours in, the R1T still had 66 percent battery left, while the F-150 Lightning has widened the gap at 71 percent. In terms of energy consumed, the Rivian used 23.6 kilowatt hours, versus the Ford pickup at 20 kWh. Coupled with the F-150 Lightning’s substantially lower phantom drain, it would certainly last a lot longer in these types of conditions before running out of charge completely, too.

Of course, one could argue that this is based on optimal conditions, as some EV owners may not have an 85 percent charge when they get stuck in a situation like this. But one could also say the same about an ICE vehicle in terms of how much gas it has in the tank, too. Either way, the clear takeaway here is that being prepared – particularly in the winter months – can prove to be a life saver, no matter what sort of vehicle one might be driving.

We’ll have more interesting videos like this to share 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.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Dan

    That’s Tom Moloughney, from Inside EVs and his channel State of Charge

  2. Tom

    Hey guys. How about citing the actual source? Thank you.

    1. Brett Foote

      I would be delighted to do that Tom, and I’ve already fixed it. My apologies for the mistake.

  3. RWFA

    Useful demonstration of how long one can stay warm in a stranded BEV.

    Also nobody who’s ever stuck in a BEV will ever have to worry about CO poisoning.

  4. Shockandawe

    These BEV ‘s are great, where can I buy one?

  5. Chuck

    One can easily carry a 5 gallon can or two in the back of his ICE pickup truck. SOL in an electric one.

  6. Shockandawe

    You are correct sir!

  7. David Dickinson II

    I’ll reiterate that EVs should have an easily swappable smaller secondary battery for people who are in a rush and don’t want to wait and charge and also for emergency situations like the one mentioned. It should be universally adaptable to all EVs too.

  8. Gary in Michigan

    This winter heater test was nicely done, and it was apples to apples. Three variables that could change the results are the small cross draft – via open windows for: 1) necessary fresh air in a confined space and 2) : moisture removal (breathing) to reduce feeling cold. A 3rd variable is the contribution to heat gain from each person. At any rate a car is a visible, dry, wind free space and is your best emergency snow shelter, especially if you keep a couple of blankets on hand. Great article!

  9. Gary in Michigan

    David Dickinson II comment about quick battery replacement (or battery supplement) is very reasonable, but probably won’t happen due to high-voltage complexity and liability. I would just lock down a 220 volt generator in the truck bed as a standby , here’s why.

    The “traction battery” is comprised of single cell batteries wired into an array cell with 8 arrays installed into a multi-part box and internal cooling radiator for the Lightning .
    I’m no EV expert, but replacement involves specialized tools, a specific battery discharge cycle, battery cooling system removal, reprogramming of the vehicle and probably more. The Ford Parts website indicates that the weight of the base battery (traction #1) or extended range battery (traction #2) is 2273 pounds. I think that weight is correct for one or the other, but don’t see how they can be the same

    As of the last week in March 2023 Ford Parts web for Dearborn, Michigan area lists the parts price of a 2022 Lightning standard range traction battery #2 as $34,393.48 and extended range #1 as $ 46, 907.06. (The part listing was last updated 08/30/21)
    (copy paste – search “traction battery” for more parts on that site)

    The Ford parts counter quoted me $50,000 plus $6000 install, then tax on both. Now when you think about it, we don’t have gas tank powered vehicles so we don’t have “battery powered” vehicles. The battery is just a complex gas tank, that should be slow filled and used gently. It weighs the same empty or full and in heavy use will not be unusual to fail after 8 years (Ford warranty, 10 year warranty in some States by law?). Lighter-duty use cars can better that performance, but that’s not a truck or a fast Mustang Mach-E (that battery is $41,000 for extended range). Note that rebuilt batteries often contain over 80% of original used cells and replace only weak cells. Ford warranty approves their use. The clock is ticking, I would sell the vehicle then.

    P.S. Before the hate mail arrives: I’m a power-train engineer. In 2009 I installed solar shingles with batteries on my (off-grid) 40×60 garage running 12v and 120v water, lighting and power tools. My house has solar panels and batteries for 12v LED lighting for daily use in about half the house. I love solar, but wind has not worked well on my property. I know and respect batteries. I think the US first step on energy should have been to convert diesel-electric trains over to grid power like Europe. Gary 4/2/23


Leave a comment