Ford Authority

Ford F-150 Lightning Range Drops With Heavy Payloads: AAA

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.

Ford F-150 Lightning Towing Lightship L1 EV RV - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

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.

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“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.”

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 ongoing 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. Common sense

    Want a real reduction? Add the same weight in a trailer with some frontal area like a simple camper and see what happens at highway speed…..

    1. David Dickinson II

      Great point.

  2. Paul

    Now add a trailer (210* .90 = (189), going 55MPH on the highway ( 189 * .90 =170) in the winter with the heat (170* .75 = 127). So I’m assuming 90 Miles before you need to start hunting for a charger. This is of course with a year 1 battery. The good news is the Tesla Super Charger access is now open to Ford EVs

  3. Smitty

    Ice Ice baby!!

  4. wright



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