By: Steven Loveday
A Ford dealer in Kentucky – Paducah Ford – tested the F-150 Lightning's towing capacity. The dealer actually pulled 17,000 pounds with the truck, which is something you shouldn't do, since it's not rated to tow such a heavy load. However, as expected, the electric truck was certainly up to the task.
Remember when Ford teased the future fully electric F-150 by towing a train with one million pounds of weight? It's certainly hard to forget. We've known for some time that electric powertrains are highly capable for tasks like towing thanks to their instant and powerful torque, not to mention their eager and seamless acceleration at higher speeds.
While the Ford F-150 Lightning is only officially rated to tow 10,000 pounds (and you really shouldn't exceed that rating since it not only exists for a reason, but you could also void your truck's warranty if something goes wrong). However, the dealer towed 17,000 pounds to get a better idea of the truck's true potential. The fact that the Lightning was able to pull so much weight with relative ease is a huge positive for the future of electric vehicles.
Paducah Ford also compares the F-150 Lightning's towing capability and range to that of the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid. Needless to say, both trucks are able to tow 10,000 pounds with no issue, though the hybrid definitely struggles much more to get up to speed.
The Lightning used about three times the range it was expected to use if it wasn't towing. Over the course of about 16 miles of towing, the Lightning's range estimate was down nearly 50 miles. Interestingly, the PowerBoost hybrid consumed the equivalent of about 52 miles of range to cover the same distance.
Moving up to a whopping 17,000 pounds, the F-150 Lightning fared impressively well, though the dealer didn't take the truck on the highway. Still, the truck's acceleration and driving manners really took him by surprise.
It's important to note that while towing 17,000 pounds at up to 45 mph (no freeway driving), the Lightning only used about 21 miles of estimated range to travel a real-world 15 miles. Obviously, the heavier weight will make a bigger hit on the truck's range, though the lower speed towing proved to be much less taxing on the truck's efficiency.