Watch: Review of Ford F-150 Lightning road trip, towing and more

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida Headshot
We mostly used Electrify America chargers during our 800-mile road trip throughout Florida. This one in Gainesville at a Target parking lot proved to be a tight fit. Parking poles made it tough opening the truck door.
We mostly used Electrify America chargers during our 800-mile road trip throughout Florida. This one in Gainesville at a Target parking lot proved to be a tight fit. Parking poles made it tough opening the truck door.
Tom Quimby

Following an 800-mile road trip in a Ford F-150 Lightning we got a pretty good feel for charging, handling, hands-free BlueCruise driving and more. While off-roading may not be this truck's claim to fame, we got its tires dirty nonetheless and decided Raptor's got nothing to worry about. Towing in Ford's first all-electric truck left us with the tough realization that it's best to stay close to home when pulling a heavy load. 

Charging could really be a separate video but we've included that in the mix as well. We found out it's best to charge overnight at home on a 220-volt outlet. It's not only better on the battery, it also costs less than DC fast-charging and will give you a wee bit more range. About that advertised 320 miles of range...we tried our best to get there but no dice. 

Lightning is one of the more comfortable pickups I've driven. The fact that the truck's heavy lithium-ion battery makes it a porky Class 2 pickup probably doesn't hurt when it comes to handling especially while towing--just don't expect to go all that far. Check out the video to learn more. 

Contents of this video

00:00 - Intro

00:09 - Road Trip

06:10 - Exterior & Interior Tour

08:04 - Off-Roading

09:42 - Home Charging

12:11 - Towing

13:14 - Overall Rating & Final Thoughts

Video Transcript

Tom Quimby:

I'm standing in front of the 2022 F-150 Lightning. This is the Lariat Edition. It's got up to 320 miles of range with that extended range battery. We're not completely at 320 miles. To get there, you really got to keep charging and charging this thing on a slow, slow charge. And we just didn't have the time. We're starting out at 267 today for our big trip from Panama City to Orlando. First up, you got charging.

That's one thing you really got to get accustomed to. Ford will go ahead and lay out places, points for charging on the map and will guide you to those places. But sometimes, though, it might be a bit of a headache when you get there. For instance, at the last place that we tried to charge up at, the charger did not actually link up with the F-150 Lightning. And so, there was a QR code to scan to go ahead and create an account, but that didn't work.

We stopped in Tallahassee and they had an Electrify America charger. It took, I guess, about 45 minutes to go ahead and get fully charged. And when I say fully charged, it's not 100%. It actually got us to 90%. That was 350 kw. And that's what I was told to expect when doing DC fast charge with this truck. You'll get to 90%. You won't get to 100. It's harder on the battery if you keep hitting it so hard. It's not a good idea.

We've got about 112 miles to go to reach Orlando. Right now, we just charged up here in Gainesville to 263 miles. 90% charge. It's weird because in Tallahassee, at Electrify America, same charger. We had gotten up to 283 miles on a DC fast charge. I don't know. I got 20 miles less. Whatever reason, who knows. We're going to go ahead and hit the road. We're going to see how we do. Again, 112 miles. 263 miles of range showing. We'll see how many miles we end up with when we get there.

I ended up with range anxiety for an unexpected reason. You'll have a range estimate that comes up after you charge up, but we've noticed there's a big difference between that estimated range and, of course, the actual range you get up getting. We're here on flat terrain. This is Florida after all. And the weather outside is nice. But we're wondering here, what's the deal? We've cut off HVAC. We're not using AC. We'll roll down the windows a lot and cool things down. And you can look here on the screen and you can see where power is being used. It's climate. We haven't used the AC hardly at all to try to save on energy. 97%, of course, driving. 1% accessories there, as you can see. And then, 2% exterior temperature. That's interesting.

We made it to Orlando. And remember, we started out from Gainesville. We're showing 263 miles of range. We're showing 112 miles to get to our destination here. And we should have ended up with 151 miles of range remaining. Instead, we are at 138. Where did that 13 miles of range go? I don't know. Hard to say. We're going to go and head out this morning and we're going to go to Deland, which isn't too far away.

And there'll be some stop and go traffic, which anytime you got stop and go is beneficial to an EV, obviously with brake regen. And I got this set to one-pedal driving, which I really like. Some people don't like it. I like one-pedal driving. Like the name implies, as you're actually driving, you press on the accelerator naturally to go forward. Take your foot off the accelerator to brake. And it feeds that power to the battery, which is really cool. I always like that idea of brake regen. All right. We're off. We'll go ahead and we'll see how this next trip works.

I really like also the hands-free driving. Hands-free driving is a real plus, especially when you get this stop and go traffic. The truck has been great at analyzing traffic conditions. And we'll slow down, just like we're doing right now. I want to give you an example of the stop and go traffic. Look at this traffic right here. This is crazy. I-95 traffic. All right, but look at this though. This is a nice thing. The BlueCruise system here in the F-150 Lightning. It's driving itself and it does work really well. That's one thing I like about it, is that it takes that stress away if you're having to stop and go. Very nice feature to have. In Jacksonville, we had to wait a few minutes at some busy Electrify America Chargers, where we saw two electric buses. Now, that was the only time we had seen electric buses at chargers during that 800 mile trip...