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On the Road with Ralph

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A year ago today I took delivery of my 2023 Lightning Pro SR from Raceway Ford in Riverside, California.

In my life, I have had five BMWs, an Acura, a Merkur and several Fords, including a PHEV C-MAX. With the possible exception of my first 740i, the Lightning is the best vehicle I have ever driven. Ford knows trucks, and they got almost everything right with the Lightning.

In 12 months, I have put 22,837 miles on it, including at least a dozen trips of over 500 miles, with six journeys of more than 1,500 miles. Speaking from this considerable highway experience, I can confidently say that not only is it possible to road trip the SR Lightning, but that its range and capabilities never kept me from going anywhere I wanted to go - in a vehicle that is supremely quiet, smooth, responsive and insanely quick. It is also incredibly roomy and comfortable, and the frunk is a complete game-changer when it comes to securely carrying tools and other high-value equipment.

One regret: I really wish I had ordered the truck with the 9.6 kW ProPower option. I find that I often max out the standard 2.4 kW on projects at remote sites.

On a recent trip to Florida, when I flew in and rented a car, I went to Hertz and drove a Mercedes EQS for four days (a luxury EV SUV). It was ok, but I'd never take it in trade for the Lightning, despite the price difference. Weirdly, the Lightning is quieter, more refined and more comfortable to be in than the EQS.

In fairness, I have a few frustrations with EV life, but none of them are the vehicle's fault. Electrify America is the worst company in the US, and it utter failure to do its single purpose - charge EVs - may yet jeopardize the transition to electric transportation. Unfortunately, because I do so much long distance traveling, I have to use its charging stations, which often do not work or supply power at trickle-level speeds. While other charging networks - particularly ChargePoint and EVgo - do better, and I am looking forward to being able to use Tesla Superchargers, I am depressed by the rising cost of DCFC charging on the road. Still, I am willing to pay it for the infinitely better EV driving experience.

I really think Ford needs to leverage the passion many of us have for our Lightnings in its marketing. Sure, there may be 15% of pick-up truck users that regularly tow big, heavy stuff a long distance; they need to get an ICE vehicle. But for the other 85%, the Ford F-150 Lightning is simply the best truck in the world.

Ford F-150 Lightning One Year Anniversary - 2023 Lightning Pro SR Ownership RM-Lightining-EA

This photo ran last week on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, accompanying an article where I was interviewed on the state of EV charging in America.
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PXA

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Great report. I love my 2023 Lightning SR, but the only thing that has prevented me from taking it for long trips is when I have others as passengers. I'm afraid they may not appreciate the public charging station experience.
 

Ice No More?

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A year ago today I took delivery of my 2023 Lightning Pro SR from Raceway Ford in Riverside, California.

In my life, I have had five BMWs, an Acura, a Merkur and several Fords, including a PHEV C-MAX. With the possible exception of my first 740i, the Lightning is the best vehicle I have ever driven. Ford knows trucks, and they got almost everything right with the Lightning.

In 12 months, I have put 22,837 miles on it, including at least a dozen trips of over 500 miles, with six journeys of more than 1,500 miles. Speaking from this considerable highway experience, I can confidently say that not only is it possible to road trip the SR Lightning, but that its range and capabilities never kept me from going anywhere I wanted to go - in a vehicle that is supremely quiet, smooth, responsive and insanely quick. It is also incredibly roomy and comfortable, and the frunk is a complete game-changer when it comes to securely carrying tools and other high-value equipment.

One regret: I really wish I had ordered the truck with the 9.6 kW ProPower option. I find that I often max out the standard 2.4 kW on projects at remote sites.

On a recent trip to Florida, when I flew in and rented a car, I went to Hertz and drove a Mercedes EQS for four days (a luxury EV SUV). It was ok, but I'd never take it in trade for the Lightning, despite the price difference. Weirdly, the Lightning is quieter, more refined and more comfortable to be in than the EQS.

In fairness, I have a few frustrations with EV life, but none of them are the vehicle's fault. Electrify America is the worst company in the US, and it utter failure to do its single purpose - charge EVs - may yet jeopardize the transition to electric transportation. Unfortunately, because I do so much long distance traveling, I have to use its charging stations, which often do not work or supply power at trickle-level speeds. While other charging networks - particularly ChargePoint and EVgo - do better, and I am looking forward to being able to use Tesla Superchargers, I am depressed by the rising cost of DCFC charging on the road. Still, I am willing to pay it for the infinitely better EV driving experience.

I really think Ford needs to leverage the passion many of us have for our Lightnings in its marketing. Sure, there may be 15% of pick-up truck users that regularly tow big, heavy stuff a long distance; they need to get an ICE vehicle. But for the other 85%, the Ford F-150 Lightning is simply the best truck in the world.

RM-Lightining-EA.jpg

This photo ran last week on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, accompanying an article where I was interviewed on the state of EV charging in America.
Great write up on your experience, thanks. I too celebrate 1 year today on my Lariat at just under 18k miles. I love the truck and the only real issues is epically poor dealer service of my Lightning.
 

RickKeen

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2022 Lightning Pro SR for a bit over a year. Best vehicle I have ever owned. I don't road trip, but I do tow short range on occasion..
 

Maxx

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Great post. I am in month 13 and feel the same, except I have chickened out on long distance driving due to travel time, uncertainty of charging and cost of energy has made my wife’s ICE an easier choice. After super chargers come online, I will let my SR lose. It is good to know your battery size was not a limitation. I always knew size does not matter.
 

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Nice, honest and fair report.
 

Zprime29

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2 weeks shy of my 1 year, a tad over 18k miles. Ditto on the sentiment, will be keeping this truck for a loooong time.
 

Ford Motor Company

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A year ago today I took delivery of my 2023 Lightning Pro SR from Raceway Ford in Riverside, California.

In my life, I have had five BMWs, an Acura, a Merkur and several Fords, including a PHEV C-MAX. With the possible exception of my first 740i, the Lightning is the best vehicle I have ever driven. Ford knows trucks, and they got almost everything right with the Lightning.

In 12 months, I have put 22,837 miles on it, including at least a dozen trips of over 500 miles, with six journeys of more than 1,500 miles. Speaking from this considerable highway experience, I can confidently say that not only is it possible to road trip the SR Lightning, but that its range and capabilities never kept me from going anywhere I wanted to go - in a vehicle that is supremely quiet, smooth, responsive and insanely quick. It is also incredibly roomy and comfortable, and the frunk is a complete game-changer when it comes to securely carrying tools and other high-value equipment.

One regret: I really wish I had ordered the truck with the 9.6 kW ProPower option. I find that I often max out the standard 2.4 kW on projects at remote sites.

On a recent trip to Florida, when I flew in and rented a car, I went to Hertz and drove a Mercedes EQS for four days (a luxury EV SUV). It was ok, but I'd never take it in trade for the Lightning, despite the price difference. Weirdly, the Lightning is quieter, more refined and more comfortable to be in than the EQS.

In fairness, I have a few frustrations with EV life, but none of them are the vehicle's fault. Electrify America is the worst company in the US, and it utter failure to do its single purpose - charge EVs - may yet jeopardize the transition to electric transportation. Unfortunately, because I do so much long distance traveling, I have to use its charging stations, which often do not work or supply power at trickle-level speeds. While other charging networks - particularly ChargePoint and EVgo - do better, and I am looking forward to being able to use Tesla Superchargers, I am depressed by the rising cost of DCFC charging on the road. Still, I am willing to pay it for the infinitely better EV driving experience.

I really think Ford needs to leverage the passion many of us have for our Lightnings in its marketing. Sure, there may be 15% of pick-up truck users that regularly tow big, heavy stuff a long distance; they need to get an ICE vehicle. But for the other 85%, the Ford F-150 Lightning is simply the best truck in the world.

RM-Lightining-EA.jpg

This photo ran last week on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, accompanying an article where I was interviewed on the state of EV charging in America.
We appreciate your feedback, Ralph. We're so happy to hear you're enjoying your Lightning and thank you for being part of the Ford Family!
 

hturnerfamily

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agreed...

40,000 + miles on our PRO SR, and towing our camper much of that, and no issues...
9.6kw ProPower doesn't hurt, either... it powers the camper WHILE we are driving : )

the 'nay sayers' can continue to have their negative opinions, and most of them talk with little to no real experience, but those of us with succesful travels in our LIGHTNINGS know the real truth...

truck on...
 

azypather

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A year ago today I took delivery of my 2023 Lightning Pro SR from Raceway Ford in Riverside, California.

In my life, I have had five BMWs, an Acura, a Merkur and several Fords, including a PHEV C-MAX. With the possible exception of my first 740i, the Lightning is the best vehicle I have ever driven. Ford knows trucks, and they got almost everything right with the Lightning.

In 12 months, I have put 22,837 miles on it, including at least a dozen trips of over 500 miles, with six journeys of more than 1,500 miles. Speaking from this considerable highway experience, I can confidently say that not only is it possible to road trip the SR Lightning, but that its range and capabilities never kept me from going anywhere I wanted to go - in a vehicle that is supremely quiet, smooth, responsive and insanely quick. It is also incredibly roomy and comfortable, and the frunk is a complete game-changer when it comes to securely carrying tools and other high-value equipment.

One regret: I really wish I had ordered the truck with the 9.6 kW ProPower option. I find that I often max out the standard 2.4 kW on projects at remote sites.

On a recent trip to Florida, when I flew in and rented a car, I went to Hertz and drove a Mercedes EQS for four days (a luxury EV SUV). It was ok, but I'd never take it in trade for the Lightning, despite the price difference. Weirdly, the Lightning is quieter, more refined and more comfortable to be in than the EQS.

In fairness, I have a few frustrations with EV life, but none of them are the vehicle's fault. Electrify America is the worst company in the US, and it utter failure to do its single purpose - charge EVs - may yet jeopardize the transition to electric transportation. Unfortunately, because I do so much long distance traveling, I have to use its charging stations, which often do not work or supply power at trickle-level speeds. While other charging networks - particularly ChargePoint and EVgo - do better, and I am looking forward to being able to use Tesla Superchargers, I am depressed by the rising cost of DCFC charging on the road. Still, I am willing to pay it for the infinitely better EV driving experience.

I really think Ford needs to leverage the passion many of us have for our Lightnings in its marketing. Sure, there may be 15% of pick-up truck users that regularly tow big, heavy stuff a long distance; they need to get an ICE vehicle. But for the other 85%, the Ford F-150 Lightning is simply the best truck in the world.

RM-Lightining-EA.jpg

This photo ran last week on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, accompanying an article where I was interviewed on the state of EV charging in America.
Nice write up. I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary with my SR Lariat and I love my truck as well. I've just never plucked up the courage to take it on a road trip. I'm curious; on the interstates, what's the average speed you you drive? And how often do you find yourself stopping to charge?
 

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davehu

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A year ago today I took delivery of my 2023 Lightning Pro SR from Raceway Ford in Riverside, California.

In my life, I have had five BMWs, an Acura, a Merkur and several Fords, including a PHEV C-MAX. With the possible exception of my first 740i, the Lightning is the best vehicle I have ever driven. Ford knows trucks, and they got almost everything right with the Lightning.

In 12 months, I have put 22,837 miles on it, including at least a dozen trips of over 500 miles, with six journeys of more than 1,500 miles. Speaking from this considerable highway experience, I can confidently say that not only is it possible to road trip the SR Lightning, but that its range and capabilities never kept me from going anywhere I wanted to go - in a vehicle that is supremely quiet, smooth, responsive and insanely quick. It is also incredibly roomy and comfortable, and the frunk is a complete game-changer when it comes to securely carrying tools and other high-value equipment.

One regret: I really wish I had ordered the truck with the 9.6 kW ProPower option. I find that I often max out the standard 2.4 kW on projects at remote sites.

On a recent trip to Florida, when I flew in and rented a car, I went to Hertz and drove a Mercedes EQS for four days (a luxury EV SUV). It was ok, but I'd never take it in trade for the Lightning, despite the price difference. Weirdly, the Lightning is quieter, more refined and more comfortable to be in than the EQS.

In fairness, I have a few frustrations with EV life, but none of them are the vehicle's fault. Electrify America is the worst company in the US, and it utter failure to do its single purpose - charge EVs - may yet jeopardize the transition to electric transportation. Unfortunately, because I do so much long distance traveling, I have to use its charging stations, which often do not work or supply power at trickle-level speeds. While other charging networks - particularly ChargePoint and EVgo - do better, and I am looking forward to being able to use Tesla Superchargers, I am depressed by the rising cost of DCFC charging on the road. Still, I am willing to pay it for the infinitely better EV driving experience.

I really think Ford needs to leverage the passion many of us have for our Lightnings in its marketing. Sure, there may be 15% of pick-up truck users that regularly tow big, heavy stuff a long distance; they need to get an ICE vehicle. But for the other 85%, the Ford F-150 Lightning is simply the best truck in the world.

RM-Lightining-EA.jpg

This photo ran last week on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, accompanying an article where I was interviewed on the state of EV charging in America.
AMEN!
 
OP
OP
On the Road with Ralph

On the Road with Ralph

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I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary with my SR Lariat and I love my truck as well. I've just never plucked up the courage to take it on a road trip. I'm curious; on the interstates, what's the average speed you you drive? And how often do you find yourself stopping to charge?
I usually drive at 68 mph on interstates, though my travels take me through the high altitude parts of Arizona and New Mexico, and when over 5,000 feet - where aero drag is reduced - I will set the cruise control up to 72 mph. I also generally go faster on downhill stretches.

I have a consistent rhythm to my long distance driving. I stop every 2 to 2.5 hours and charge, take a restroom break, stretch my legs, get a snack or drink, and have the inevitable conversation with someone who has never seen a full-sized electric truck. By the time that is over, I have recharged from ±15% to about 80% and I am good to go. Do I lose some time against those who only stop when their gas tanks are empty? Sure. But I still cover a lot of miles every day (or night - I actually prefer night driving because the roads and the charging stations are less busy).

One last note: I used to be a pilot, and am very accustomed to planning my path of travel. For the present, I think that is a good way to approach long-distance EV driving. And while in-route, I use PlugShare to check on charge station status one or two stops ahead. That minimizes surprises.
 

azypather

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Thank you for the detailed explanation Ralph. On I10 in NW Florida, where I live, 80-85 mph seems to be the norm. I rarely see 18 wheelers doing less than 75/80. Those speeds drain the battery super fast. I think doing 68 is going to be challenging here but I will give it a try some time.
 

Zprime29

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Thank you for the detailed explanation Ralph. On I10 in NW Florida, where I live, 80-85 mph seems to be the norm. I rarely see 18 wheelers doing less than 75/80. Those speeds drain the battery super fast. I think doing 68 is going to be challenging here but I will give it a try some time.
I found decent efficiency be driving 75mph behind the 18 wheelers. You don't need to tailgate them to see a small benefit. with no elevation change, I was getting 1.9-2.0 mpk.
 

azypather

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I found decent efficiency be driving 75mph behind the 18 wheelers. You don't need to tailgate them to see a small benefit. with no elevation change, I was getting 1.9-2.0 mpk.
That's actually quite impressive. I typically get 1.4 - 1.5 but I'm usually doing 80 ish. Maybe I just need to slow down a bit for the longer runs.
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