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Hello all,

On Friday, I completed a pretty good road trip in my 2022 Lightning Lariat ER. I thought I'd provide a few note and observations for others who may be contemplating longer trips and are maybe uneasy about how it will go. So, here is what my experience was...

Quick background, I sold a 2017 Ford Raptor when I took delivery of the Lightning. I loved my Raptor, but have been intensely curious about how life with a full-sized EV truck would be, so took the plunge.

I have made this drive several times due to work, so I knew the road really well already. My Raptor had an ER full tank, so if I filled it up, and if I kept my speed in the Raptor on the highways to 70 mph generally, I could make the entire drive without needing to stop for gas. If I drove faster, like 80 or more, I would have to stop for gas for sure. So, for that drive, and for that truck, you could slow down to make the drive shorter by a bit, and save a little gas money. For me, if driving the route solo in the Raptor, it would generally take me 9-10 hours, depending of LA/SoCal traffic and how many quick stops I may need to make. So, given all that, for this trip, here is what I learned:
  • Seek out Level 3 chargers only, and check the specs in the Ford Pass app to make sure the ones you are going to visit are 150 kW if at all possible. When hitting these chargers, times for charging are very manageable.
  • Check the chargers the FordPass app selects for you if you use the Trip Planner! I was routed to Rivian Adventure Network chargers twice, even though you are unable to use the Level 3 Rivian chargers if you are not in a Rivian. Their Level 2 chargers are basically like a 220v home chargers, so you will not like the results. Fortunately, in the app, you can see the chargers the app selected, and when you click on it to see the details, there is an option to choose another charger location. Use this to be able to search that area for a Level 3 option.
  • Electrify America seems to be the most plentiful option for good Level 3 chargers. At every location I stopped to charge, at least one of the chargers was unavailable, so keep that in mind as you are making your plans. Pay attention to the description details for the chargers, because many times there were both 150 kW and 50 kW chargers in the same location. If you are at a fairly busy location, choosing the wrong charger can cost you both charging time, and potentially a place in line that could cost you even more time.
  • The free 250kWH of charging disappears very quickly! Plan ahead and go ahead and sign up for an account with Electrify America, and potentially EVgo, and Plugshare. This helps you see your options open, and can give you another option if the Blue Oval Network is not coming through for you.
  • On this note above ^^^, sometimes the Blue Oval Network did not come through for me. I was unable to activate a charger via FordPass, but could plug it in to the truck, hold my phone near the card reader, and get a session going directly.
  • If your app says a charger is available, but you are unable to start a session and get error messages, you can call Electrify America (maybe the others as well...) and they can try to reset the charger, or remotely start the charging session for you over the phone.
  • At one station, I was unable to get a charger started, and they were unable to reset it over the phone, so I moved to another charger when it came open. 15 minutes later, after one other driver was unsuccessful at the same charger, the third time was a charm and the next driver was able to connect and charge. So, sometimes chargers drop off the network and are unavailable, then come back online a little while later and are good to go. So, even if somebody tells you "that one doesn't work--I just tried it.", if the charger looks like it could work (no obvious error messages, not completely off, not physically broken...), then go ahead and give it a shot anyway if there isn't another open one easily available--you may get lucky like the third person to try the one I could not start was.
For me, there was a bit of range anxiety, but as the trip went on, it got less and less. Anticipating this, on this trip, I drove up I-5 to Sacramento, then I-80 to Truckee, then into Incline Village, where I was staying. I knew there would be far more chargers along that route than going up US 395. I also knew climbing up the mountains would impact range, as would the cold. However, to see the impact of both of those as I was headed up I-80 was a little concerning. My GOM was dropping miles like they were going out of style. I had charged up in Sacramento, so I had plenty of range, but it made me really think about planning ahead for any winter mountain driving. When I got to Truckee, I topped up again because there are no Level 3 chargers in the north Lake Tahoe area that I could find, so I wanted to have as many electrons onboard as I could. I spent 5 days in Incline Village, with 2 trips down the mountain into Reno during the week. The miles you see disappearing quickly driving uphill reappear quickly driving downhill! So, don't stress too much on uphill climbs, unless you are only going up and have no good charging options when you get to the top of the mountains you are driving in. As long as you have rolling terrain, or uphill and downhill driving, it all seems to come out in the wash, so to speak... On the drive back, I took US395 South, and it was a beautiful drive, and I had no issues with chargers along that route either.

Across my entire trip, I averaged energy usage of 2.0 miles/kWH, so all the cold, and uphill, averaged pretty well with the warmer temps lower, and the downhills, to keep me in a decent range reality. When on th open road, I averaged about 70-75 mph, and I did not need to use much energy for climate. I warmed the truck before I started driving, even if not plugged in, so I could then turn seat and steering wheel heat off, and keep the truck temp around 68-70 when it was cold. Overall, the amount of energy I used for climate was minuscule, and the bulk went to driving, which I was happy with.

Overall, each trip of the round trip took me around 11-12 hours. That's a bit more than my Raptor drives, for sure. But, here's the thing...I ate my meals sitting at a table, and drank my coffee in a shop. I walked around a few shopping centers, and even did the grocery shopping I normally do after I arrive at my destination, all while the truck was charging. Despite my drives being longer, I felt a lot better and not as tired when I arrived. Who knew?

This truck is rock solid on the road! When you want to pass a big rig, or another driver who is in less of a hurry than you, it is laughably easy to shoot by those people and be back in your lane. The acceleration to pass seems as quick and readily available at 70 mph as it is at 30 mph--there is no "top end" to the acceleration on demand before you hit the speed governor (not that I would do that...). I really enjoyed the drive both directions and was far less botherred by having to stop and charge than I thought I would be. This truck changes how I road trip, and in a good way I think!

So, final thought is if you are considering a road trip, go for it. Plan ahead, pay attention to the charging station details, watch your actual energy use if you're in really cold or mountainous areas, and have fun!


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Not sure where exactly you’re going but looking at Reno to Vegas, PlugShare is reporting that the Beatty station is down. That seemed to make it impossible to get to Vegas. I’m hoping I missed something.
thanks!
my build date is first week in December.

will be traveling to lone pine, bishop and Indian wells.
So some weekend camping on some trips and then a trip to visit ext family in so cal
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great write up! I’m in Reno and will be traveling 395 south. Do you have any tips for that stretch?
Thanks! One little nugget is there is an Electrify America 4 charger station at Coso Junction, at a Chevron station that has been under reconstruction forever. The parking lot is torn up and a lot of dirt, so it looks rough, but the chargers all work, and for now, they’re free! So, I was planning on just adding a bit here, but I went ahead and filled up to 90% given the promo. It’s not a glitch. The chargers tell you to enjoy the complimentary charge. They show a normal charge progress and a total cost for the charge, but then zero it out. Not sure how long that will last, but you’ve got little to lose to plan accordingly. I will say that stop is pretty boring. The gas station is closed and there is only a rest stop a short walk away, so have something else to do while there, but you can’t beat the price for however long that lasts.
 

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Good write-up! My truck was built 3 weeks ago (Lariat ER) and I'll be trading a '19 Raptor so I appreciated the observations and nuances.

Hope my Lightning shows up before the end of the year as I'm not sure I'll be able to get the tax credit next year (due to truck price being >80k).
 

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Thank you for sharing. We have a road trip tomorrow Balto to Indy and there are no options for charging in WVA so going via Bedford PA to make it to Walmarts in PA and OH. There is one stretch 195 miles without any Level 3 options. This trip usually takes us 10.5 hours with 2 breaks now planning on 12 hours due to charging times.

I now have made 4 long distance drives (4,000 miles in 45 days). Route 81 and 95 gave me plenty of options never worried. I will say I have met some wonderful interesting people while charging. My last trip got to talking with a Wallmart driver that was driving a Ford transit.

My best story is a guy I met in Roanoke VA with a F150 Pro heading to Maine from Texas. He bought the truck used and was going to Maine to ship it on a boat to Iceland. We had a blast talking BEV's as he works in power generation. I dont think I would have had these types of meetings while pumping gas at a station. Kind of feel what it must have been like in the early days of motorized vehicles way back when.
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So I am using A Better Route Planner , Plug Share and Electrify America Apps. I always check to see how many EVSE units are not working before I plan on making a stop. I had a bad experiece with EVgo and not planning on using them. Wallmarts have been great with 8-10 plugs, well lit areas.
 

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I recently did a 1000-mile trip from the Sacramento area to Eugene Oregon over the Veterans holiday weekend. It was cold over that weekend, and it greatly affected range. On the way up we charged at EA in Anderson and then spent the night in Mt Shasta. From Anderson to Mt Shasta I got 1.4 Miles/kw. All Uphill. Charged on a level 2 overnight I got up to 85%. The range was estimating about 185 on a full charge! I was concerned about getting to Grants Pass (75miles, cold and uphill) for the next charge. It was fine. I'm not super impressed with the range estimator and nav estimates. I don't think it takes into account elevation changes, weather, or not very well. It was off by 30 miles on that Mt Shasta to Grants Pass 75-mile leg.

Pretty much had to charge 3 times each way. Coming home only got 2.4 miles/kw from Eugene to Anderson. That's mostly downhill. I thought it would be better. The Nav estimated I'd have about 10% charge when I got to Anderson from Grants Pass. Ended up with about 20%. Bad estimating!

I'm a prior Tesla owner and the EA charging was not that bad. Only had to wait to charge once.
 

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Hello all,

On Friday, I completed a pretty good road trip in my 2022 Lightning Lariat ER. I thought I'd provide a few note and observations for others who may be contemplating longer trips and are maybe uneasy about how it will go. So, here is what my experience was...

Quick background, I sold a 2017 Ford Raptor when I took delivery of the Lightning. I loved my Raptor, but have been intensely curious about how life with a full-sized EV truck would be, so took the plunge.

I have made this drive several times due to work, so I knew the road really well already. My Raptor had an ER full tank, so if I filled it up, and if I kept my speed in the Raptor on the highways to 70 mph generally, I could make the entire drive without needing to stop for gas. If I drove faster, like 80 or more, I would have to stop for gas for sure. So, for that drive, and for that truck, you could slow down to make the drive shorter by a bit, and save a little gas money. For me, if driving the route solo in the Raptor, it would generally take me 9-10 hours, depending of LA/SoCal traffic and how many quick stops I may need to make. So, given all that, for this trip, here is what I learned:
  • Seek out Level 3 chargers only, and check the specs in the Ford Pass app to make sure the ones you are going to visit are 150 kW if at all possible. When hitting these chargers, times for charging are very manageable.
  • Check the chargers the FordPass app selects for you if you use the Trip Planner! I was routed to Rivian Adventure Network chargers twice, even though you are unable to use the Level 3 Rivian chargers if you are not in a Rivian. Their Level 2 chargers are basically like a 220v home chargers, so you will not like the results. Fortunately, in the app, you can see the chargers the app selected, and when you click on it to see the details, there is an option to choose another charger location. Use this to be able to search that area for a Level 3 option.
  • Electrify America seems to be the most plentiful option for good Level 3 chargers. At every location I stopped to charge, at least one of the chargers was unavailable, so keep that in mind as you are making your plans. Pay attention to the description details for the chargers, because many times there were both 150 kW and 50 kW chargers in the same location. If you are at a fairly busy location, choosing the wrong charger can cost you both charging time, and potentially a place in line that could cost you even more time.
  • The free 250kWH of charging disappears very quickly! Plan ahead and go ahead and sign up for an account with Electrify America, and potentially EVgo, and Plugshare. This helps you see your options open, and can give you another option if the Blue Oval Network is not coming through for you.
  • On this note above ^^^, sometimes the Blue Oval Network did not come through for me. I was unable to activate a charger via FordPass, but could plug it in to the truck, hold my phone near the card reader, and get a session going directly.
  • If your app says a charger is available, but you are unable to start a session and get error messages, you can call Electrify America (maybe the others as well...) and they can try to reset the charger, or remotely start the charging session for you over the phone.
  • At one station, I was unable to get a charger started, and they were unable to reset it over the phone, so I moved to another charger when it came open. 15 minutes later, after one other driver was unsuccessful at the same charger, the third time was a charm and the next driver was able to connect and charge. So, sometimes chargers drop off the network and are unavailable, then come back online a little while later and are good to go. So, even if somebody tells you "that one doesn't work--I just tried it.", if the charger looks like it could work (no obvious error messages, not completely off, not physically broken...), then go ahead and give it a shot anyway if there isn't another open one easily available--you may get lucky like the third person to try the one I could not start was.
For me, there was a bit of range anxiety, but as the trip went on, it got less and less. Anticipating this, on this trip, I drove up I-5 to Sacramento, then I-80 to Truckee, then into Incline Village, where I was staying. I knew there would be far more chargers along that route than going up US 395. I also knew climbing up the mountains would impact range, as would the cold. However, to see the impact of both of those as I was headed up I-80 was a little concerning. My GOM was dropping miles like they were going out of style. I had charged up in Sacramento, so I had plenty of range, but it made me really think about planning ahead for any winter mountain driving. When I got to Truckee, I topped up again because there are no Level 3 chargers in the north Lake Tahoe area that I could find, so I wanted to have as many electrons onboard as I could. I spent 5 days in Incline Village, with 2 trips down the mountain into Reno during the week. The miles you see disappearing quickly driving uphill reappear quickly driving downhill! So, don't stress too much on uphill climbs, unless you are only going up and have no good charging options when you get to the top of the mountains you are driving in. As long as you have rolling terrain, or uphill and downhill driving, it all seems to come out in the wash, so to speak... On the drive back, I took US395 South, and it was a beautiful drive, and I had no issues with chargers along that route either.

Across my entire trip, I averaged energy usage of 2.0 miles/kWH, so all the cold, and uphill, averaged pretty well with the warmer temps lower, and the downhills, to keep me in a decent range reality. When on th open road, I averaged about 70-75 mph, and I did not need to use much energy for climate. I warmed the truck before I started driving, even if not plugged in, so I could then turn seat and steering wheel heat off, and keep the truck temp around 68-70 when it was cold. Overall, the amount of energy I used for climate was minuscule, and the bulk went to driving, which I was happy with.

Overall, each trip of the round trip took me around 11-12 hours. That's a bit more than my Raptor drives, for sure. But, here's the thing...I ate my meals sitting at a table, and drank my coffee in a shop. I walked around a few shopping centers, and even did the grocery shopping I normally do after I arrive at my destination, all while the truck was charging. Despite my drives being longer, I felt a lot better and not as tired when I arrived. Who knew?

This truck is rock solid on the road! When you want to pass a big rig, or another driver who is in less of a hurry than you, it is laughably easy to shoot by those people and be back in your lane. The acceleration to pass seems as quick and readily available at 70 mph as it is at 30 mph--there is no "top end" to the acceleration on demand before you hit the speed governor (not that I would do that...). I really enjoyed the drive both directions and was far less botherred by having to stop and charge than I thought I would be. This truck changes how I road trip, and in a good way I think!

So, final thought is if you are considering a road trip, go for it. Plan ahead, pay attention to the charging station details, watch your actual energy use if you're in really cold or mountainous areas, and have fun!


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Great post! It reminded me of the time years ago that Orbitz messed up our rental car reservation in Oakland and most cars in our reserved type were unavailable. Thrifty Rental had a sign for "making the rental experience an adventure and rent a Model S Tesla", so we decided to try it, knowing nothing of charging station availability on our way to Tahoe. I had owned a EV for a few years (not a Tesla) so I knew the challenges of charging and since we were not in a hurry, we jumped at the offer. I have to say it was the best road trip that we have ever done (we do that drive every summer). We found the Tesla charging stations that were fast and gave us time to walk around, eat and shop while the car was charging. We arrived refreshed and relaxed due to the quiet, smooth ride that almost all electric vehicles have. We liked it so much that we seek out EVs to rent from car rental agencies and even Turo every summer. The number of EVs on the road has grown but so has the number of charging stations and I expect that will continue. I did see a Rivian at the charging station in South Lake Tahoe and talked with the owners a bit about their experience. It is nice to talk with other EV owners since they often have knowledge about charging stations in the area.
 

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Excellent write up. We plan on taking my Lariat not long after it is delivered (hopefully around the new year) from Cleveland Ohio to Lewes Delaware. Your story helps with some the "range anxiety " that I'm having and I don't even have my truck yet ha ha.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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2021 Mustang Mach E First Edition, 2016 Nissan Leaf, 2003 Toyota Tacoma, F-150 Lightning Lariat ER
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Nice write-up. Having made multiple road trips in our Mustang Mach E, I can tell you it gets much easier the more you do it.
I concur with @StanT and use A Better Route Planner First to lay out the route. I then check the stations using Plug Share and sometimes the Electrify America App. It then use the Ford navigation when on the drive.

We’re planning to take the Lightning to the west coast and back pulling our travel trailer after the first of the year. That’s going to be quite the adventure!
 
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Thank you for sharing the experience and great write up as well. I have been really enjoying my F150 XLT Lightning since July now. Getting cold here and seeing GOM drop the range. This summer I did gain 40 miles or about 20% of range using the One Pedal Option. Now I am so used to it I mess up when I drive my wife's new Bronco Outerbanks. So as it is now in the 20s at night the extra range disappeared and my Climate Use options are now up to 20 - 25% reducing my range. I don't know what Exterior Temperature is (I'm sure someone does).
I have a 40 amp charger at the house and just added a 15 amp charge line outside the garage to leave the truck plugged in all of the time. This helps when I pre-heat the truck and does not reduce the range, also keeps the batteries charged up and warm all of the time. Long trips I plan similar to others looking for charge points and Electrify America seems to be best in the North East so far. This is my 12th F150 in the last 45 years and by far the best. My first Ford truck was my 1952 F100 which I restored and had a blast with that, always sorry I sold it. Hope all of you waiting for your get them soon, so far no issues with electronics, charging, frunk opening or any options. All running well and I added a Ham Radio to the truck as well, professionally installed and looks and works great. Enjoy Thanksgiving all !!
 

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Great write up! I’m in Reno and will be traveling 395 south. Do you have any tips for that stretch?
I live in Truckee and just made the drive in my Lightning - Lariat, extended range - to Desert Hot Springs for Thanksgiving with the family - via 395. The very cold weather in Truckee to Lone Pine was a concern and did have a significant impact on the range, but it wasn't a big issue. We used the Electrify America network and it was very reliable. We had the same sketchy experience with the Blue Oval network as LightningPilot explained. We used the Plugshare and Chargeway apps as backups for the Electrify America app. Charged/topped off in Bridgeport Shell station, the Bishop Von's, Coso Junction (a brand new charging location at not-yet-completed Chevron station) and the Walmart in Hesperia. All were easy, but the Walmart chargers were in the middle of a very busy parking lot and more than one charging station were occupied by gas vehicles because parking was at a premium for Thanksgiving shopping. A couple of chargers were offline at various stations, but there were plenty of others working just fine. Talking with locals in Bishop, they said there are a number of free CalTrans or local government provided chargers in Independence and other locations between Bishop and Lone Pine, but they are only Level 1 or 2 chargers. We're heading back to Truckee on Saturday and expect to have the same, successful experience, but until the nationwide charging network is built out as promised in the infrastructure bill, there will always be some range anxiety, at least on 395.
 

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Hi everyone, I'm new here, and I don't like to text much so bear with me, please. I've had a small one-man pest control company for 10 yrs now and have had a reservation for a Ford lightning for a year now. I wanted a Pro but I guess that's not possible now, So I'm going to have to order an XLT or higher. I expect to get an invite to order soon. Here's my dilemma. I'm having a hard time justifying paying around $64,000. I love the Ford lightning but it is going to be a work truck. I don't need carpet or heated anything or any of that comfy stuff. Just 360 pilot and all that cool safety stuff and gas savings are needed badly. 2 years ago I hired an applicator to help with the load. She had a baby and the baby seat would not fit in the other truck. Used truck prices were ridiculous. So I recently got her a Maverick hybrid, I had to pay $7000 over MSRP but I had to get something. I'm now paying $50 dollars a fill-up instead of $90 and only once a week instead of twice a week. She covers a 50-mile radius in her route. The Maverick is getting about 38 MPG on average. I figure that is saving enough for the truck payment. I could get 2 Mavericks for the price of one Lightning. As far as the Lightning for me. I don't want to give up my reservation ( I love that frunk and all-electric ) but I could get 2 Mavericks for 1 Lightning. And I may not even be able to order an XLT, there is a better chance of my order going through faster if I get a Lariat. $80,000 is way out of my budget and so is $64,000. What to do ???
 

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Nice write up!

That's also the environment I'll be operating with my truck. And more, pulling an RV or top it with camper shell.

One thing stands out for me though.

You've fully charged in Sacto and yet you again charged in Truckee.

Of course, the question: What's is your gauge showing since in fully charging in Sacto should have given you enough juice to make it to Reno with charge to spare?

The climb from Reno to Truckee/Donner Pass in chilly weather is more brutal. I wonder by percentage, how much was the drop in range? Some in the forum reported as much as 60% drop (without a trailer). Is this true or confirmed?
 

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Hi everyone, I'm new here, and I don't like to text much so bear with me, please. I've had a small one-man pest control company for 10 yrs now and have had a reservation for a Ford lightning for a year now. I wanted a Pro but I guess that's not possible now, So I'm going to have to order an XLT or higher. I expect to get an invite to order soon. Here's my dilemma. I'm having a hard time justifying paying around $64,000. I love the Ford lightning but it is going to be a work truck. I don't need carpet or heated anything or any of that comfy stuff. Just 360 pilot and all that cool safety stuff and gas savings are needed badly. 2 years ago I hired an applicator to help with the load. She had a baby and the baby seat would not fit in the other truck. Used truck prices were ridiculous. So I recently got her a Maverick hybrid, I had to pay $7000 over MSRP but I had to get something. I'm now paying $50 dollars a fill-up instead of $90 and only once a week instead of twice a week. She covers a 50-mile radius in her route. The Maverick is getting about 38 MPG on average. I figure that is saving enough for the truck payment. I could get 2 Mavericks for the price of one Lightning. As far as the Lightning for me. I don't want to give up my reservation ( I love that frunk and all-electric ) but I could get 2 Mavericks for 1 Lightning. And I may not even be able to order an XLT, there is a better chance of my order going through faster if I get a Lariat. $80,000 is way out of my budget and so is $64,000. What to do ???
My advice is order the XLT. While you wait for it, save for down payment, and Pay your credit down so you are in a higher borrowing tier for lower rates. With a good down payment and lower rates, the payment won’t be so bad.
When I got my Lightning last week, the first finance rate the dealer offered was 7.7%, through Ford or my bank or something “easy”. I asked them to find something in the 5’s, and they were able to find 5.39%. That saved me probably $100 a month over term of the loan. It helps if you research rates the night before, and get a Carfax report on your trade in value
 
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