Ford puts F-150 electric powertrain through its paces in Alaska

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Ford has detailed some of the winter testing it has recently been undertaking with the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck in Alaska.

“Alaska provides us the extremely cold temperatures, snow and ice-covered surfaces that we need to push the F-150 Lightning in this type of testing, which is really focused on dialing-in how the truck delivers its power to the ground on slippery surfaces,” explained Cameron Dillon, an F-150 Lightning powertrain engineer. “Customers may not regularly see -30° mornings like we are seeing here, but they will see winter cold, snow and icy roads, and they should feel confident their F-150 Lightning is ready for all of it.”

Ford engineers drove a fleet of six F-150 Lightning pre-production units on various types of wintery surfaces such as loose snow, packed-groomed snow, complete ice, half ice-half concrete surfaces and more in the freezing temperatures.

“F-150 Lightning in the snow is a very different ballgame compared to gas vehicles,” added Nick Harris, another F-150 Lightning powertrain engineer. “The responses are extremely quick and the dual motors make it as if you have two engines pumping out power in one vehicle. A lot of our work is to coordinate the two motors to work together to best deliver torque to the ground, so that customers who drive in the snow and ice ultimately feel very confident.”

The test engineers were able to adjust the powertrain calibration in real time while testing, helping to maximize efficiency during the 12-hour test days. In addition to Alaska, the F-150 Lightning powertrain team has conducted low-mu testing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Borrego Springs, Johnson Valley, and at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds near Romeo.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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