Two journalists took and brand new electric truck on a road trip across the country and were left stunned when they realized how long it would take to charge after plugging it in at a campground.
Automotive YouTubers TFLEV wanted to drive the Ford 150 Lightning EV truck from the lower 48 states to Alaska.
However, they quickly learned the hard way about some of the recharging challenges they would face.
While making the trip in a gas-powered vehicle would take some planning, doing the journey in an EV truck is apparently a whole new world of stress.
TFLEV’s Tom and Andre soon realized that finding charging stations along the way would be difficult.
However, they realized that they could plug their F-150 in to charge overnight while they made stops at campgrounds along the way.
Seems like a perfect plan.
They stopped at Carter Lake, outside of Loveland, Colorado, and rented a campsite.
The site included a standard 120-volt outlet, referred to as “Level 1” in EV parlance.
It also had a larger 240-volt option used by recreational vehicles and fifth-wheel trailers to run air conditioners, refrigerators, etc.
When Tom and Andre hooked into a standard 120 outlet, they found it would take them from Wednesday night until Monday morning — about 5 days — to get the truck fully charged.
That was with their battery starting at 22 percent.
The pair then plugged into the 240-volt, or “Level 2.”
The result was much better, but it was still going to take about 14 hours to get to a full charge.
The standard range on an F-150 Lightning is 240 miles and depending on the terrain, the truck’s load, and other factors can be significantly less.
So finding a fast charging station or a Level 2 option is really the only realistic way to make a trip of any distance beyond the initial charge much less to Alaska.
Tom and Andre also noted there is potentially an ethical dilemma in charging one’s EV truck at a campground.
“You have a big battery, a big vehicle and if every spot had an electric vehicle all drawing energy that the price of energy would go up,” Andre pointed out.
The price of the camping space was only $35.
In other words, the EV-charging person is benefitting from most people using far less electricity while they camp.
The gas-powered folks are in effect subsidizing the EV campers.
Depending on the charging station, “filling up” an EV Hummer, for example, can cost up to $100, Car and Driver reported in August.
By comparison, charging the vehicle at home would be about $35.
The F-150 Lightning also has an issue when it comes to towing: the range gets cut significantly.
Likely all EVs have this problem.
As Slay News previously reported, automobile commentator Tyler “Hoovie” Hoover drove his F-150 Lightning 32 miles with an empty trailer.
He then loaded up a 1930 Ford Model A and drove it back.
Upon simply hitching up the empty aluminum trailer and driving roughly one-quarter mile out of his neighborhood, the EV had already used up 3 miles of range.
By the time Hoover traversed the first 32 miles, the Ford had lost 68 miles of range.
As you might imagine, once he loaded up the small Model A truck, the battery’s juice really dived.
As Hoover states in his video, his attempt at using the electric truck for towing was a “total disaster.”
Despite having the EV charged for 200 miles of range at the start of the 64-mile trip, by the time he returned with his Model A truck in tow, only 50 miles of range remained.
“Are you kidding me? That’s almost 90 miles of range in 30 miles. Are you serious,” Hoover reacted.
“That’s nuts. What a joke,” Hoover added as he laughed.
Well, EVs are clearly a newish technology and no doubt things will continue to improve.
Perhaps solar panels will be integrated into them one day to allow at least partial charging while the driver is out and about.
But for now, EVs definitely have their limitations.