How the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning’s Towing Tech Learns From Other Trucks
People have their doubts about towing with an EV, but features like this should help.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is now in production and ahead of the truck's arrival at dealers, Ford has revealed how it plans to streamline the electric pickup's towing experience. A network of software features, the brand says, will work together in order to make it all a lot less stressful than without them. Everything from accurate range estimations to places to stop and charge will be easily calculated into drivers' routes; the more miles real-world Lightning drivers log with their trucks, the more the system will learn, too.
Systems like Intelligent Range, Power My Trip, and the truck's onboard scales can all be used to determine the most efficient way to drag a trailer. Linda Zhang, the Lightning's chief engineer, notes that gasoline-powered vehicles and EVs have similar range losses when dragging something behind them; however, the range anxiety related to electric vehicles means this software is sure to be a big help.
The important part of all this is that the cloud-connected nature means it can be constantly improved, and not just by tweaks to the algorithm. Ford says towing data from other F-150 Lightnings will be used to help make the figures as accurate as possible. So yes, while your Lightning will be pulling information from the surrounding world in real-time to help make a range determination—things like speed, route elevation, and ambient temperature will all be considered—real results from other F-150s will also inform the final tally. In other words, trip data from other Lightnings will be considered by the system to ensure a route is possible and not just a trip to nowhere.
The truck will likewise learn how you drive in order to give an accurate range figure. If you have a heavy foot or the load behind you is near the F-150 Lightning's 10,000-pound max, it'll adjust its estimates accordingly. Using the Power My Trip feature, excessive power usage becomes less of a problem as a charging station can be found and automatically added along your route quickly and easily if you need one. Ford claims this will be trouble-free, as its BlueOval charging network now has over 20,000 locations—you have to imagine it depends on the size of your trailer, though.
Needless to say, the Dearborn automaker has put a lot of thought into this new truck and the entire ecosystem around it. Ford customers also all get free 120- or 240-volt AC charging cables so they can charge wherever a plug is available. Extended range F-150 Lightning owners also get a free 80-amp charging station, although the actual installation of the station must be paid for by the vehicle's owner.
The F-150 Lightning is set to arrive at dealers in the coming months.
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