While it’s capable of towing impressively heavy loads, the Ford F-150 Lightning suffers from the same problem all EVs currently do – when pulling trailers or hauling heavy things in the bed, it loses a significant amount of range. We’ve seen this time and time again via various independent tests, but now, AAA has conducted its own research into the topic, and came away with some more hard data showing just how much of a range hit Ford F-150 Lightning owners can expect to take when hauling heavy payloads.
To test this theory, AAA loaded 1,400 pounds of sandbags in the bed of a Ford F-150 Lightning, which is just 110 pounds less than the EV pickup’s maximum payload capacity. As a result, the truck’s range dropped from 278 miles to 210 miles, a reduction of 24.5 percent.
While even ICE vehicles lose range when loaded down with heavy weight, this difference is more pronounced in EVs, as that extra weight simply takes more energy to move. These numbers can vary greatly depending on the type of driving one is engaging in, however, as EVs tend to be more efficient around town versus on the open highway – quite the opposite of ICE. Additionally, AAA points out that most F-150 Lightning owners likely aren’t going to be testing its max payload capacity on a regular basis, which means that these results should also be taken with a grain of salt.
“Our testing revealed a significant range reduction, but it’s important to note that the Lightning was loaded to near its maximum capacity,” said Greg Brannon, director of AAA Automotive Engineering. “Most buyers will likely use their Lightning with a lighter load, resulting in a much smaller range reduction.”