10,000 lbs of electric towing in record cold, desert heat
Imagine driving a truck up and down a hill all day in brutal weather
Part of bringing a truck to market is proving it can tow and haul under the worst conditions imaginable. Ford‘s got more than a lifetime of F-150 toughness to live up to with the F-150 Lightning, so it has taken the truck to the icy chill of the Colorado Rockies and the extreme heat of the Nevada desert.
The Ford F-150 Lightning, with a 10,000 lbs trailer on the hitch, first went to a stretch of I-70 it calls the Ike Gauntlet. Climbing for eight miles at a seven percent grade, all the way to 11,158 ft above sea level, (12.9km, 3,401m) this is a brutal punishment for a truck on any given day. Ford did it on a day when the windchill registered below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18C). Though it didn’t mention the ambient temperature, which is more important to EVs, Ford did say it was the coldest February day in Boulder, CO, in 123 years.
After that Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel test, Ford took the Lightning to the Davis Dam. With outside temperatures hitting 118 degrees (48C), the test trucks made multiple loops up and down the 11.4-mile, 3,000-foot climb (18.3km, 914m) on State Route 69 between Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam. Yes, towing the same 10,000 lb trailer.
Of course, this is just part of Ford’s test regimen for its first electric pickup. The automaker has already shown the truck winter testing in Alaska, and it is undergoing the same rigorous test regimen as a gas-powered F-150. The big difference is that the F-150 Lightning is doing it without any tailpipe emissions.