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Ford Lightning e-pickup—Beats estimated EPA range, but you pay for it

Do RVers have a future with electric vehicles? If they do, Ford wants to make sure it’s ahead of the pack. Almost a year ago the venerable American manufacturer announced its entry into the e-pickup truck world—Ford Lightning. A major concern of RVers wanting to tow with an electric vehicle is range. Ford just announced the official EPA range estimates—and they beat Ford’s own estimates. Pity that range isn’t the only dynamic.

Range up to 320 miles

Ford trumpets that the EPA estimated range of its F-150 Lightning can run up to 320 miles. That beats the company’s original estimate of 300 miles. But your range, says the EPA, may vary. Much depends on how much you invest in a Ford Lightning, that is, which trim package you buy. Here’s the lowdown.

The “entry level” Ford Lightning is the Pro fleet model. At an incredibly low cost, $39,974, the EPA estimated range is at the low end, 230 miles. This is exactly what Ford originally promised. However, the tow capacity of the Pro fleet unit is a pretty paltry 5,000 pounds. Bump up the price with the optional Max Trailer Tow package, your towing capacity jumps to 7,700 pounds. Trouble is, unless you’re a fleet buyer, a new Pro fleet model isn’t available to you. Hang around for a while—maybe you’ll find a used one retiring from a commercial buyer.

Move up the line to trim packages available to the average mortal, and towing capacity increases, as does the drain on the wallet. Entry level consumer buyers can pick up a Ford Lightning XLT for $54,669, after adding destination charges. You may be able to get it for less, after applying government incentives. Still, your EPA estimated range on this rig is 230 miles. But tow capacity is still nothing to crow about, weighing in at 7,700 pounds.

To reach the top estimated EPA range in this model, you’ll need to fork over the big bucks for the extended-range option. It gives 320 miles, and shows a tow capacity of 10,000 pounds. A small financial setback of $74,179 here. You can get the same tow capacity and EPA range by jumping up to the super-trimmed-out Platinum model for $92,569, including destination charge.

RVers’ range may vary

Of course, towing will affect the real-life driving range. Just how much will no doubt vary, based on trailer weight, aerodynamics, and a variety of other factors. We’ll have to wait and see just how this all shakes out in the real world, and just how practical Ford Lightning trucks are for towing in the RV world. Recharge times, too, will make a huge difference on how users react to e-towing. If you’re out on the road and happen on a commercial charging station, Ford says its e-trucks can accept up to 150kW. At that rate, charging from 15% up to 80% would take 41 minutes for the standard battery, and 44 minutes for the extended version.

All images courtesy Ford

But what if you plug in at a campground or at home? Things get a little bit slower for sure. Depending on voltage availability, you’ll be looking at 10 to 14 hours for the standard battery pack. If your rig has the extended range battery install, expect it to take anywhere from 13 to 19 hours.

What are your thoughts? Does Ford’s e-pickup line sound practical for your use? Tell us what you think. Fill in the form, and include “Ford e-truck” on the subject line

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Steve
6 months ago

E-vehicles will improve just like cars and trucks have in the last 100 years. But they are not ready for towing yet. We will keep our ICE motorhome, but we will consider an e-vehicle as the toad. That seems like a practical way to go!

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve
captain gort
6 months ago

All great -until you tow a big trailer in the mountains or across the endless desert. Then- watch your range drop like a stone! And charging?? Good luck with THAT, with your trailer attached. I’ll stick to my ICE for RVing even though paying through the nose for fuel thanks to these “Al Gore/AOC” brainwashed “all or nothing” dreamers. But electric is great for local around town.

Tommy Molnar
6 months ago

I think it’s silly for all these car manufacturers to jump into the e-car pool. As others have mentioned, there just isn’t enough electricity to go around. And yes, what happens to the millions and millions of ‘regular’ vehicles if you all of a sudden outlaw them. It’s just like ‘outlawing’ fossil fuels – with no backup or replacement power supply in place. Typical dumb government thinking, which is to say, lack of thinking. Or, thinking of stuff we want no part of but fits their plan.

Marc Stauffer
6 months ago

It would seem that we are getting the paverbial cart before the horse with all the e- vehicle hysteria. The state of Washington has even signed a bill that will outlaw all new fossil fuel vehicles by 2030 and will not allow registration of existing after that date. If we continue careening down the current path I fear that we will find a cliff at it’s end. One has to ask what will we do with the millions of current vehicles, construction and farm equipment and how are we all to afford said changeover?

Capt. Jim
6 months ago
Reply to  Marc Stauffer

Existing gas/diesel vehicles can still be registered and driven after 2030. The law only bans the sale of new.

Dane Smith
6 months ago

E vehicles have improved over the last few years but as far as just jumping in your vehicle and driving 6 , 8 or even 10 hours stopping for lunch and switching drivers and going on is out of the question let alone there are zero to very few places that have high rate charge stations. California is already telling E vehicle owners to not charge during certain times of the day as the electric grid is overloaded. We ain’t there yet Clyde.

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