Ford F-150 Lightning EV: High Tech Truck Deep Dive

Bp968

Posts: 228   +160
This is the first electric vehicle that I would like to own. It would be great to have this and a small camper given its tow rating. However, the infrastructure just isn't there yet to support that. Finding a charging station gets pretty complicated in remote locations. Hopefully state and national parks will install some charging facilities in the near future, maybe some already have them. I wouldn't rely on remote, small gas stations to have them for quite some time still.

You can get a portable gas generator and toss it in the back of the truck. It requires some diy and some electrical knowledge right now (or paying for a stupidly overpriced model from a company that then charges you a monthly fee to use a generator you paid for that uses gasoline you purchased. Who thinks up these ideas?!).

But I suspect as more ev pickup trucks arrive you'll see more and better custom solutions for range anxiety. For back country driving people often carry extra fuel so its not really a surprising idea.

Another option for those in the right climates would be a large fold out solar panel(s). Youd need at least 1.2-2.5kw of panels (at 300w a panel thats 4-8 panels) and if you spent your outdoor time out west youd likely get 6+ hrs of full sun. At 2-3 miles per kw you'd get 18-36 miles per day. 90 miles returned over a 3 day trip wouldn't be bad, but it would only really be feasible for a truck.

I expect to start seeing portable generators designed to charge at level 2 fairly soon and fairly inexpensively. But the reality is most people won't need it.

Lets say I wanted to go to the RRG near me (its a 2-2.5 hour drive, or about 120 miles I think). With the f150 I could easily get there and almost back. There is a major(ish) city at the halfway point I could charge at so I could arrive at my campsite with 75-80% charge so I could safely burn 25-33% of the power for camping equipment so 23-30kw of power. You could seriously bring a bunch of gaming laptops and have a lan party on a camping trip! Lol

I think what needs to happen is the feds setup some sort of subsidies for gas stations to add lvl 2 or 3 EV chargers. Make it part of the infrastructure bills biden wants to do or raise the gas tax and use that to fund them in the short term (that wont work for long because the income will decrease as EVs become more popular).

I'm a petrol head. I was a bigtime EV skeptic a decade ago because I just didn't see the lithium battery tech coming down in price enough to make it feasible. I was wrong, batteries have plunged in price and the rest of the car is *cheaper* (and cheaper to maintain, which very much excites me). The tech is here or almost here for most passenger vehicle segments. Its time for the gov to suck it up and kickstart the charger network.

As an aside note, I actually expect popular camping areas and parks to start getting EV charging locations sooner rather than later. National parks are an easy way for the .gov to directly fund chargers and anything that reduces noise pollution in parks is a win for me. Id be estatic to see a ban on gas/diesel powered vehicles in national parks as soon as reasonably practical. I *hate* hearing Harleys reverberating through the gorge all summer. I think the bikes sound awesome, just not in a deep natural gorge and national park. The higher pitched buzz of EV motors won't even carry a quarter mile, much less the dozens of miles away you can hear the bikes or modded diesel trucks. (Rant over)
 

Bp968

Posts: 228   +160
As soon as they come up with a vehicle that will travel 1000 miles on a single charge, or be able to charge the battery to full in 10 minutes, they can take these electric cars a put them some place where the sun doesn't shine. When you live in rural areas, electric cars just are not an option. When I travel to see family, I want to get there in the 11-12 hours it normally takes to get there. I don't want to spend 3 days getting to the destination. Electric vehicles will never happen for me in my lifetime.. Sorry.

Either your dying soon (sorry) or your really old (and dying soon). Otherwise they most definitely will. Right now a lvl 3 charger can fill a EV to 80% in 20 minutes. If your EV has a 300 mile range thats 12 miles per minute. It means for a 12 hour trip (600-700 miles) you need to make the same 3 stops and they add 1 hour to the trip total. Since most normal people actually stop for 20 minutes every 4 hours anyway (you should be anyway, Its unhealthy not to) its adding almost nothing to the trip.

The only weak link here is the charging network and thats something that needs improved, but considering the timeline the automakers and the world governments have for phasing out gas vehicles, things will look *much* different in another decade.

No EV needs a 1000 mile range. Thats silly. No production gas car has that, and 300 mile ranges are fairly common.

The charging infrastructure will be so much easier to develop than gas stations. Over the next decade you'll see restaurants adding mutliple chargers to spots for paying customers (ie, plug it in, go inside and the waiter flips a switch) to help draw in more customers. Now granted, those will probably be level 2 chargers at first (cheaper) so 12-60miles per hour, so not really a good choice for the super long road trip folks but still an option. Hit the lvl 3 charger like you would a normal gas stop and then use the restaurant to top it off past 80% while you eat.

It certainly won't take 3 days. But it will be vastly cheaper, your vehicle will last significantly longer, and your maintenance cost will be significantly less than they are for a car now. Thats the biggest thing for me. After 100-150k you start worrying about automatic transmissions, a 2-5k$ repair, and then 150-200k you start worrying about the engine, which will need replaced or rebuilt at substantial cost (or time and effort) and thats ignoring the ongoing oil changes, other fluid changes and gasoline costs, none of which are there on an EV. EVs even tend to get about 4-5 times the brake life (I get 30-40k a set in our SUV and probably 20k or less in our performance sedan). An EV motor has about 20 moving parts compared to over 2000 on a modern engine. And to meet EPA guidelines those engines are getting even more complex (look at infiniti's direct injection, *variable compression*, turbocharged engine. It looks like a rube Goldberg machine!).

Tesla's batteries seem to hold up extremely well with 5% range loss over 100k miles on average so far. And average EV battery replacements are down to 5500$ in 2021. So your "fuel" and engine all in one cost less than a new engine or new transmission, and thats today with vastly less manufacturing scale. EVs will scale better because a manufacturer will use the same batteries for their entire lineup, instead of a dozen+ different engine designs. And multiple manufacturers will all be using roughly the same (or outright the same) cells even if they build the battery packs differently. The economy of scale will only get better and better.

Id have agreed with you 10 years ago. Now I expect new model gas/diesel cars to be very rare on the showroom floor by 2031 and many automakers to have none at all by 2035. Gas cars will be those kept alive by the used car market and petrol heads who want to keep their favorites alive as long as possible.

Actually I expect motorcycles to most likely be the last holdouts due to lack of room for batteries. Heck, the only yard tools I have anymore that are gas power is my mower. And when it dies ill replace it with an EV mower. Going to a elec weed wacker was the best thing ever. Near zero maintenance and its been flawless for 5-6 years now.
 

Tantor

Posts: 188   +331
You can get a portable gas generator and toss it in the back of the truck.

Here's my 2 cents.

Generators take up space. Most day campers are not going to toss one in the back of the truck. Same goes for solar cells which are fragile.

Question: What happens if you run out of charge and you're 50 miles out in the country? Unlike with a gas vehicle, you can't just hitch a ride to the closest gas station. You're going to need a tow. Or have somebody bring a generator to your truck and spend 10+ hours charging.

There is no 'can of gas' that you can bring to your EV for a quick recharge.

A 5 gallon gas can costs $20. It weighs a pound. Filling takes a couple of minutes.

In contrast, a battery pack that holds the same amount of energy is between 20 and 40 times larger in volume, weighs hundreds of pounds and takes hours to fill.

I was an EV proponent, but have reverted back to gas!
 

Bp968

Posts: 228   +160
Here's my 2 cents.

Generators take up space. Most day campers are not going to toss one in the back of the truck. Same goes for solar cells which are fragile.

Question: What happens if you run out of charge and you're 50 miles out in the country? Unlike with a gas vehicle, you can't just hitch a ride to the closest gas station. You're going to need a tow. Or have somebody bring a generator to your truck and spend 10+ hours charging.

There is no 'can of gas' that you can bring to your EV for a quick recharge.

A 5 gallon gas can costs $20. It weighs a pound. Filling takes a couple of minutes.

In contrast, a battery pack that holds the same amount of energy is between 20 and 40 times larger in volume, weighs hundreds of pounds and takes hours to fill.

I was an EV proponent, but have reverted back to gas!
Your really harping on an edge case. Ive run out of gas once in my life and it was a new car that had 2 gallons when the light came on, not the 4+ of my previous car. It happened once. And those cars have gas gauges that are needles with colored boxes. Modern EVs tell you your exact range, know where all the charging facilities are and will warn you if your nearing a distance that puts you out of range of recharging locations. If you ignore it it will get progressively more aggressive about telling you your a bozo and your going to be stuck. If you just ignore all that and drive till it runs out is that really the EVs fault? Its not like you can stop paying attention and then suddenly realize your "gas" light is on and your 50 miles from a station. That just doesn't happen in an EV.

How often do day campers drive hundreds of miles away from any infrastructure? If your doing that then stick with gas a few more years, but again, your choice wont be a option for many more years.

And the generators are not that big, we are talking a f150 truck here, not a tesla roadster. Again, your scenario requires you to knowingly drive 50 miles from the nearest charging location with your car screaming at you the entire time that you wont make it and will be stranded. And then when your 50 miles away from a charger who's fault is that really? I mean I wouldn't have much sympathy for someone who had a gas car that screamed at them that they were driving away from the only fuel location, and that they wouldnt have enough to get back and yet they just kept going anyway.

And again, your 11 hours to charge it for 50 miles? Are you using a treadmill? A generator you (or a roadside assistance van) would carry could do 30-50 miles of charge per hour. So an hour or two gets you to a better charger and then your back on your way (and hopefully you learned how to do basic math or at least listen to the cars alerts).

Those 10-12 etc hour charge times your hung up on just are not the norm. Lvl 2 chargers can do 60 miles of range per hour (a portable generator isn't going to get quite that good, but not 3-4 miles per hour) and a level 3 charger which will be the "gas pump" of the EV world mostly fill up in 20 minutes.

The scenario is just a huge stretch and not a concern for 99%+ of drivers (based on actual driving habits of the majority of drivers). If you live and play in some of the very empty spots of the western USA you *might* have concerns. You'll also account for a tiny tiny minority of the driving public (since those places are, you know, empty and remote).

Honestly the problem will quickly stop being a concern for finding a charger and will become a concern for finding a empty charger (if people usually take 5 minutes to fill up and suddenly need 20 minutes then your filling stations will need 4x the spots to have the same capacity).
 
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Joey Rakas

Posts: 20   +11
As soon as they come up with a vehicle that will travel 1000 miles on a single charge, or be able to charge the battery to full in 10 minutes, they can take these electric cars a put them some place where the sun doesn't shine. When you live in rural areas, electric cars just are not an option. When I travel to see family, I want to get there in the 11-12 hours it normally takes to get there. I don't want to spend 3 days getting to the destination. Electric vehicles will never happen for me in my lifetime.. Sorry.
100% Agreed, heaven forbid you're hauling a trailer or other load of sorts. Just not even a close to what a diesel pickup such as the new Chevy half ton with the 3.0L Duramax can offer. They are downright impressive! no comparison. Heaven forbid you compare to what a modern full size 3/4 or 1 ton can do, with downright godly amounts of torque(especially when deleted), There is simply no comparison. I do believe these electric trucks do however have their place. There is probably a large amount of people who do not "use" a truck to it's fullest extent and capabilities, but live lifestyles that make having a truck bed far more convenient then an SUV. I think of someone like my sister as a perfect candidate! She'll likely never tow anything, but may need to get a load of gravel, or mulch, ect, ect, and have the ability to tote things around. For someone who doesn't travel great distances, these could be great trucks. Up until there power is out for extended periods of time lol. For me, I'll stick with my diesels :)
 

mbk34

Posts: 196   +128
Why do Americans like trucks anyway? I can understand that some people might need them for work but the highest selling vehicles in the USA are all trucks. Is it just great marketing or does everyone actually need a truck over there? Just curious.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,228   +498
Funny how truck division has an idea that electric trucks have to be uglier than their gasoline versions. Ford F-150 is one of the best looking trucks, but electric version is actually ugly.

Now, compare that to normal cars, for example Audi R8 (gasoline) vs Audi E-Tron GT. You'll notice that E-Tron GT looks better than Audi R8.

So, why Ford and this Rivian can't make something that looks good? Too cheap to hire a qualified designer?
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 44   +36
So how enviromental neutral is such a thing when battery's go into thermal run-away and the truck burns down, releasing toxic gasses, fumes and all that?

 

Old Molases

Posts: 62   +9
I've always had a thing for F-150, but now with this variant I think its losing the impact it had previously created. But, this is just my opinion.
 

mark kram

Posts: 58   +14
Either your dying soon (sorry) or your really old (and dying soon). Otherwise they most definitely will. Right now a lvl 3 charger can fill a EV to 80% in 20 minutes. If your EV has a 300 mile range thats 12 miles per minute. It means for a 12 hour trip (600-700 miles) you need to make the same 3 stops and they add 1 hour to the trip total. Since most normal people actually stop for 20 minutes every 4 hours anyway (you should be anyway, Its unhealthy not to) its adding almost nothing to the trip.

The only weak link here is the charging network and thats something that needs improved, but considering the timeline the automakers and the world governments have for phasing out gas vehicles, things will look *much* different in another decade.

No EV needs a 1000 mile range. Thats silly. No production gas car has that, and 300 mile ranges are fairly common.

The charging infrastructure will be so much easier to develop than gas stations. Over the next decade you'll see restaurants adding mutliple chargers to spots for paying customers (ie, plug it in, go inside and the waiter flips a switch) to help draw in more customers. Now granted, those will probably be level 2 chargers at first (cheaper) so 12-60miles per hour, so not really a good choice for the super long road trip folks but still an option. Hit the lvl 3 charger like you would a normal gas stop and then use the restaurant to top it off past 80% while you eat.

It certainly won't take 3 days. But it will be vastly cheaper, your vehicle will last significantly longer, and your maintenance cost will be significantly less than they are for a car now. Thats the biggest thing for me. After 100-150k you start worrying about automatic transmissions, a 2-5k$ repair, and then 150-200k you start worrying about the engine, which will need replaced or rebuilt at substantial cost (or time and effort) and thats ignoring the ongoing oil changes, other fluid changes and gasoline costs, none of which are there on an EV. EVs even tend to get about 4-5 times the brake life (I get 30-40k a set in our SUV and probably 20k or less in our performance sedan). An EV motor has about 20 moving parts compared to over 2000 on a modern engine. And to meet EPA guidelines those engines are getting even more complex (look at infiniti's direct injection, *variable compression*, turbocharged engine. It looks like a rube Goldberg machine!).

Tesla's batteries seem to hold up extremely well with 5% range loss over 100k miles on average so far. And average EV battery replacements are down to 5500$ in 2021. So your "fuel" and engine all in one cost less than a new engine or new transmission, and thats today with vastly less manufacturing scale. EVs will scale better because a manufacturer will use the same batteries for their entire lineup, instead of a dozen+ different engine designs. And multiple manufacturers will all be using roughly the same (or outright the same) cells even if they build the battery packs differently. The economy of scale will only get better and better.

Id have agreed with you 10 years ago. Now I expect new model gas/diesel cars to be very rare on the showroom floor by 2031 and many automakers to have none at all by 2035. Gas cars will be those kept alive by the used car market and petrol heads who want to keep their favorites alive as long as possible.

Actually I expect motorcycles to most likely be the last holdouts due to lack of room for batteries. Heck, the only yard tools I have anymore that are gas power is my mower. And when it dies ill replace it with an EV mower. Going to a elec weed wacker was the best thing ever. Near zero maintenance and its been flawless for 5-6 years now.
Tesla has a mature charging network and is loosing billions of dollars by not licensing it's car connection to other manufacturers. Musk would become the Rockerfeller of the electric vehicles. Car and Driver did an article about the Mustang Mach E and loved the car, but hated how few charging stations there are and since Ford is using a VW design it was also really slow because VW doesn't care about how fast Fords charge. Until there is a standardized charging connection it's a risk I wouldn't take. I live in Kansas, on a farm and there are 7 Tesla chargers 5 minutes from me. The next closest charger is 85 miles away. You won't see tractors or combines go electric, because they have days to get a job done before it rains.
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 567   +509
Considering how aggressively pickups drive in my area and their disdain for the safety of others in how they -always- tailgate and change lanes... this is a safety hazard rather than a feature.

Incidentally I have personally watched Tesla vehicles on three separate occasions get into accidents because I assume the driver wanted to show off that acceleration from a standstill. XD
A fool with a tool is still a fool
Don't blame the tool.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,710   +631
A fool with a tool is still a fool
Don't blame the tool.
Ah the classic "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument. I actually agree with that sentiment, as an inanimate object with no self-determination should not be held liable for anything, just the operator. I do not understand why you are bringing it up though. I am relating that with how people in my area drive, such an ability to accelerate would potentially (and in many cases have been demonstrated here and elsewhere) be dangerous.

It would be kind of scary, but still very cool to watch a 6500 lb box on wheels get to 60mph in 4ish seconds though. 🤔
 

zulu53

Posts: 45   +14
I don't know where you got any of these ideas from. If a truck takes 10 hours to charge from empty why would you assume batteries are completely drained at the end of every day? And why would you assume their charging times are way off without any objective data to prove or disprove Ford's claims? A spare truck will not be mandatory. No one with a work site 150 miles from their garage and charger would buy an EV F150 for work it would be pointless. Where is the extra battery pack that weighs 1000 lbs and where is the listed price for it? Why would Ford take up room in the bed of a truck with an extra battery? There is a point where no additional batteries would increase range due added weight.

"with that freedom why would anyone buy a F-150E over a F-150G or a F-150D?" Because of the built in power sources, low maintenance, fuel cost savings for the truck and generators.
The built in power source is worth nothing, since I am connected to the power grid. The electrics are unlikely to be low maintenance; the history for them is short but if the Tesla is anything to go by..... The fuel cost savings over the life are the truck will be less than the increased (real) upfront purchase cost. Gasoline will definitely be increasing in cost less than electricity - read my comments about the US electicity shortage, already present in California.