Cold-Blooded: Ford Tests F-150 Lightning in Alaska
Ford is out here just trying to dismantle every single misconception you and your mama have about electric vehicles. Worried that the all-new F-150 Lightning might not be able to handle freezing temps and snowy surfaces? Cool. (Literally.) Ford took the F-150 Lightning to Alaska to prove that it most definitely can.
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Now when I say Alaska, I mean the state, not the drag queen. (Though some of her reads are about as cold as they come.) Ford trucked the all-electric F-150 Lighting up to the 49th state to explore America’s last frontier and conduct low-mu testing. That’s where Ford tests how the F-150 Lightning’s two-motor propulsion system delivers power to all four wheels when it’s cold out.
And when we say cold, we mean cold. The fleet of six Ford F-150 Lightning trucks tested in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees. While it might not get that frosty around your neck of the woods, Ford F-150 Lightning Powertrain Engineer Cameron Dillon notes that the results should offer plenty of confidence for drivers worried about how an EV will stand up on a snowy, icy day.
Watch: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning put to the test in Alaska
Ford tested its fleet of six F-150 Lightning test vehicles for two weeks, subjecting the pickups to 12-hour days. They drove the trucks over everything from powdery snow to sheets of ice, resolving that Ford’s first electric truck more than lives up to the Built Ford Tough rep. And thanks to its always-on 4×4 and electronic-locking rear differential, it’s easy to see why it performs under pressure.
“F-150 Lightning in the snow is a very different ballgame compared to gas vehicles,” said Nick Harris, F-150 Lightning powertrain engineer. “The responses are extremely quick and the dual motors make it as if you have two engines pumping out power in one vehicle. A lot of our work is to coordinate the two motors to work together to best deliver torque to the ground, so that customers who drive in the snow and ice ultimately feel very confident.”
Photos: Ford F-150 Lightning tests in Alaska
Testing the F-150 Lightning in Alaska was just the tip of the iceberg for Ford. (Pun intended? Yes.) The powertrain team also pushed the F-150 Lightning to the limit with low-mu testing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as California’s Borrego Springs and Johnson Valley.
Deliveries of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning kick off sometime in the spring, so early adopters probably have a little while before they can test their trucks in winter weather. Not that anybody should be in a hurry to get back to snow and ice.