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Whether hauling snowmobiles to the cabin in the dead of winter or the pontoon to the lake in the dogdays of summer, the 2022 F-150® Lightning™ is tested to have customers covered. To help prove it, Ford engineers took the first all-electric F-Series to two of America’s toughest real-world towing routes during development – Davis Dam in the summer and TFLTruck’s Ike Gauntlet™ in the winter.


Cool Running: F-150 Lightning Faces Ultimate Cold-weather Torture Test

How much will the coldest Colorado night in 123 years impact the Ford F-150 Lightning’s towing capability? Find out.

As amazing as the new (and wildly popular) Ford F-150 Lightning pickup is, Ford hasn’t decided to play up its green credentials or astonishing 0-60 mph performance as much as many thought they would. Instead, Ford’s electric and hybrid trucks are presented as work trucks, with electrification allowing them to out-work their internal-combustion stablemates on the jobsite. And now, Ford is proving that  its electric pickup can outwork its gas trucks on the road, too. Especially when it comes to towing.

Towing is one of the most important capabilities a truck has. As such, “How does it tow?” is one of the most important questions an electric pickup will have to answer if it hopes to win over a V8 die-hard. Last month, on the coldest day recorded in Boulder, CO in more than 120 years, the new F-150 Lightning answered that question with a resounding: It tows just fine, thanks.

Despite wind chills registering below 0° F and the TFL Ike Gauntlet itself, which covers an 8-mile stretch of I-70 in Colorado that follow at a 7% incline to a maximum elevation of 11,158-ft. above sea level around the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel. It’s a challenge for engines, brakes, and drivers alike, and the big electric Fords powered through the test with flying colors.

All-weather Wonder

Towing in wintery conditions, however, is only one part of the equation. To prove the truck’s muster towing in extreme heat, Ford took the electric F-150 Lightning to the extreme grades of Davis Dam. With ground temperatures reaching a high of 118-degrees Fahrenheit during testing, F-150 Lightning preproduction units towed the same 10,000-pound trailers for multiple loops across the dam. Davis Dam, located on State Route 68 between Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, ascends from 550 feet elevation to 3,500 feet in 11.4-grueling miles.

Between the two locations, their steep continuous inclines, expressway speeds, and trailers in tow – in this case the truck’s targeted maximum 10,000 lbs. – makes them extremely grueling for gas, diesel, and electric trucks alike. The two testing trips are examples of the hundreds of hours of rigorous towing testing the all-new F-150 Lightning has endured during development, and speak to one of the most commonly uttered “objections” to electric vehicles. Namely, that EVs can’t perform in extreme conditions.

It seems to me like Ford has put that notion to rest, but I’ve been in love with the Lightning since I predicted its existence lo these many months ago. So, let’s hear from you guys, instead! Let us know if you’re convinced by Ford’s impressive display of electric towing competence in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Source | Images: Ford.

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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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