The Ford F-150 Lightning is quick, highly capable, and able to tow a respectable load. However, if you plan to use it to tow, you should be aware of how much range to expect. Thankfully, there is already an overabundance of range tests and towing tests online. This latest video from Chillin’ with Chet not only tests the Lightning’s real-world towing range, but also shows how well (or not) the electric truck can jump.
When most people buy a gas-powered pickup truck, or any car for that matter, they probably aren’t concerned about its range, let alone its range while towing. We’d venture to guess that the vast majority of owners don’t have a solid idea of the cruising range of their vehicle, the fact that it changes with the weather, or how much it’s impacted by passengers, cargo, and towing.
With electric vehicles, we’re much more aware of range since it takes longer to charge than it does to fill up a tank with gas. Moreover, there are many more gas stations than there are public charging stations, so we need to plan accordingly.
Chet explains that his Ford F-150 Lightning has the Extended Range battery pack and about 300 miles of EPA-estimated range. He’s towing a boat to learn how much range it will lose. His educated guess is that the boat and trailer weigh about 4,500 pounds combined. For reference, the Lightning electric truck is rated to tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped.
In most of the tests we’ve read about, watched, and shared thus far, electric trucks and SUVs tend to lose around half of their estimated range while towing. However, there are many variables involved, including the weight of what’s being towed, the style of the trailer, the weather, and much more. This is why it’s helpful to consult many different tests to come to a reasonable conclusion.
Chet says the F-150 Lightning tows really well, but you probably don’t want to use it for out-of-town road trips while pulling a load. There’s no reason you can’t tow your boat to the lake or use the truck for all sorts of local towing excursions, but if you’re hitting the highway for a period of time, you’re going to have to plan on stopping to charge more often than most people might appreciate.
Chet was able to tow the boat about 150 miles, so you’ll have to do the math and figure out how far you’ll typically need to tow before you decide if an electric truck will suit you. If you don’t plan to use it for towing at all, or you just tow locally, this is likely a non-issue.
To add a bit of fun to the video, Chet takes the advice of some of his subscribers to see if the F-150 Lightning is capable of jumping. This is definitely something we suggest avoiding for a number of obvious reasons, but Chet is known to do some wild things from time to time (this is the guy who took his Tesla Model S Plaid swimming).
That said, thanks to its battery pack, the truck is simply too heavy to jump very successfully. While its ridiculous torque and acceleration do help it get a bit of air, it’s not going to jump like the General Lee (or a Ram TRX). If you plan to buy a truck for jumping, an electric truck is probably not for you.