Towing with an electric vehicle can put additional stress on the driver as the range can vary significantly depending on how much weight a vehicle is towing, the type of terrain, weather, and other factors.
Ford claims the 2022 F-150 Lightning brings peace of mind to drivers as it can accurately calculate remaining vehicle range using real time conditions.
Three Ford-exclusive technologies work together to make this possible: Intelligent Range, FordPass Power My Trip and the available Onboard Scales. These features are said to give F-150 Lightning customers more accurate vehicle range estimates based on actual towing experiences and real-time energy use. In addition, Trailer Profile remembers their trailer specifics so the system can determine energy use for each trailer used.
The Intelligent Range feature is enhanced to work specifically with the needs of electric truck owners, collecting 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.
Furthermore, the system relies on cloud computing to access data from numerous sources, including Ford electric trucks that have towed on similar roads with similar trailers, resulting in more accurate vehicle range calculations over time, according to Ford.
Intelligent Range can also sample similar towing and energy use situations to further refine range calculations in real time. This happens automatically through the available Ford Onboard Scales feature, which communicates with Intelligent Range.
"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. 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."
Linda Zhang, chief engineer, F-150 Lightning
Ford says the system can be further refined via Ford Power-Up over-the-air software updates over time, as range data improves and the system becomes more robust.
To help drivers plan-out their trips, Ford is also offering the FordPass Power My Trip online mapping system. After the customer inputs their trailer information into Trailer Profile and enters the destination into the Sync 4/4A navigation system or smartphone via the FordPass app, Power My Trip automatically maps their towing route using Intelligent Range; the feature also provides charge points along the way, if needed.
Check out the video at the top of this page to see how all these technologies work together to calculate remaining vehicle range more accurately.