Ford F-150 Lightning Offers Slew of Smart Technologies to Boost Consumer Adoption

The new F-150 Lightning from Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn can tow up to 10,000 pounds with its 775 lb.-ft. of electric torque, but the company says it’s the brains of the truck that will give customers the range information they need to tow long distances with confidence.
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Ford Intelligent Range, FordPass Power My Trip, and Onboard Scales are designed to give F-150 Lightning drivers the needed confidence for long tow-trips. // Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Ford Intelligent Range, FordPass Power My Trip, and Onboard Scales are designed to give F-150 Lightning drivers the needed confidence for long tow-trips. // Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

The new F-150 Lightning from Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn can tow up to 10,000 pounds with its 775 lb.-ft. of electric torque, but the company says it’s the brains of the truck that will give customers the range information they need to tow long distances with confidence.

Ford Intelligent Range and FordPass Power My Trip, plus the available class-exclusive Onboard Scales, work seamlessly to give F-150 Lightning customers more accurate vehicle range estimates based on actual towing experiences and real-time energy use, while Trailer Profile remembers their trailer specifics so the system can associate energy use for each trailer used.

“We know many F-150 Lightning customers will be first-time electric vehicle owners who expect that familiar Built Ford Tough capability along with robust towing,” says Linda Zhang, chief engineer of the F-150 Lightning. “That’s why we created smart technologies to help take the worry out of towing long distances by giving customers more reliable and accurate range calculations, and then automatically locate charge points along the way, if needed.”

Intelligent Range collects key vehicle data to determine how much electrical energy drivers are using in real time. This includes traffic speed, ambient temperature, available battery energy, plus driver habits, climate control use, and route topography. The system also uses cloud computing to gauge energy use from other similar types of Ford electric vehicles operating in similar situations, resulting in more accurate vehicle range calculations over time.

Drivers can also sample similar towing and energy use situations to further refine range calculations in real time. This happens automatically through available Ford Onboard Scales, which communicate with Intelligent Range. As range data improves and the system becomes more robust, able to be further refined via Ford Power-Up over-the-air software updates.

“Whether you’re towing with a gas-powered or electric truck, range degradation as a percentage is basically the same – determined primarily by overall cargo and trailer weight at low speeds and by the aerodynamic profile at higher speeds,” says Zhang. “That’s why we expanded the capabilities of Intelligent Range on the F-150 Lightning with the available Onboard scales to also measure the load effects of trailers and cargo to further refine range calculations when towing.”

FordPass Power My Trip, the online mapping system where drivers can plan their trips. Customers simply in-put their trailer information into Trailer Profile, then enter their destination into the SYNC 4/4A navigation system or on their smartphone via the FordPass app. Power My Trip automatically maps the towing route using Intelligent Range and provides charge points along the way, if needed.

Should an F-150 Lightning customer need to stop for a charge along the way, they can access the Ford BlueOval Charge Network, the nation’s largest public charging network with more than 20,500 charge locations and 70,000+ plugs across North America. That includes more than 7,300 DC fast chargers, some that can deliver up to 150 kW of energy, giving an extended range F-150 Lightning from 15 to 80 percent of additional estimated battery range in 41 minutes when using the 150 kW Electrify America chargers.

Every F-150 Lightning customer will get a Ford Mobile Power cord charger, which gives them 120- or 240-volt AC charging with easy, portable charge connectivity wherever they go. Extended range F-150 Lightning customers will also receive an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro, which they can install at home or work. Standard range customers can purchase the Ford Charge Station Pro for $1,310 plus tax.

“By giving customers the most accurate range assessments possible and the charge tools they need to tow reliably, we believe they’ll move past the myths about towing with an electric truck and embrace the value-added benefits F-150 Lightning provides,” says Zhang. “As they get accustomed to how Intelligent Range and Power My Trip work, they’ll naturally adjust their routines – whether that’s stopping for lunch and a DC fast charge or finding a route that simplifies their drive.”

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