F-150 Lightning owners across the country will face their first winters with their EV pickups this year — and for many, it will also be the first time they’ve experienced cold weather with an EV at all. Those who aren’t sure what to do with charging and driving don’tyou don’t have to worry though; Ford has their backs. The automaker has some tips that should put owners at ease.
Ford is confident that the F-150 Lightning can withstand extreme temperatures. Ford says testing of the EV pickup has been done in Alaska and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where temperatures can drop as low as -20°F. But the reality is that electric vehicles suffer energy loss with low temperatures, which affect the range of the vehicle. Therefore, Ford advises owners that this is all normal and that they should follow these tips to maximize their range.
The first two tips are obvious: park your vehicle in a garage whenever possible and keep it on.
The third tip might be a chore for some owners because it involves digging around in vehicle settings. Ford says that if longer drives are planned, owners should upgrade the battery. This includes either using the FordPass app or going into vehicle settings and changing things like departure and arrival times and charge levels.
The fifth tip might make some people a little angry, but it’s kind of understandable. Ford says it avoids using the vehicle’s HVAC system. This may or may not be possible depending on where you live and how cold it is. With freezing or sub-zero temperatures, using a heater can be a life or death situation. Ford instead advises owners to use heated seats and steering wheel for primary heating to reduce energy consumption.
The sixth tip is another day, with Ford saying to turn off the heater if it is in use when charging. If you must wear it, turn the temperature down enough to where it iscomfortable for reduced energy consumption.
The last three tips have Ford tells owners to remove all snow from the vehicle before driving because it adds weight and drag; avoid speeding in cold weather because higher speeds use more energy; and make sure all tires are properly inflated.
We hope these tips help the Lightning (and any other EV) the owners in areas with lower temperatures bypass. They will need it. Cold weather can cut EV range in half. Some areas, like Canada, face such extreme cold that owners there think they are electric cars it won’t even be up to their winters, even with automaker-endorsed tips like these. But Ford hopes enough drivers are planning ahead to do soso that they do not find themselves stranded and in a dangerous situation.