Towing a trailer with an F150 Lightning cuts range in half, but that's not the only change


Now that we can get good EVs, people are moving to SUVs and trucks, as they did with gasoline. It's better than gasoline of course, and cheaper, but there is a hidden cost in needing all that extra energy, beyond extra cost.

Read about that at Towing a trailer with an F150 Lightning cuts range in half, but that's not the only change


OK, here’s my range anxiety story. When you’re out in West Texas and you come across a road sign that states “next services 110 miles”, I don’t care if your vehicle runs on electrons or combustion, you’re going to check the “distance to empty” indicator on your instrument panel.

It’s not for nothing that Ford offers a 36-gallon fuel tank option on the F-150. I fully expect that less than 5 years from now Ford will offer a long rang battery option on the Lightning. But with a waiting list of two years on the introductory edition, why should they bother spending the effort on such a thing today?

If I live long enough, I hope to see the day when the advanced Airstream trailer’s solar system isn’t that little panel on an easel, but a pair of 20’ x 20’ power sunshades to recharge the towing vehicle, and the roof of the trailer equipped with solar cells to power its air conditioning. And the A/C configured to capture the condensation from the air into drinkable water instead of draining it onto the ground. Talk about “go anywhere” travel…

Funny thing. While today, charging is just coming in to the world, electricity is already everywhere. You can put charging into any place with decent electricity. If you want heavy use, it needs to be grid electricity, and if you want fast charging, today it's going to cost some change to put it in, but that's going to change, and soon. Particularly if the use is fairly rare.

It's much harder to put in a gas station, and get it regular resupply etc. You generally need electricity there as well.

Now, if you just have ordinary household, the charging is slow. It's for mistakes and emergencies. You have to hang around a few hours just to get yourself another 40 miles to where there is fast charging. But you can do it. You can charge very slow anywhere, and you can charge medium slow any house that has a dryer plug or stove plug you can reach. If you are paranoid you can bring those cords along.

Most people don't bother. But it's doable. Of course you can also have gas cans lying around anywhere to make an emergency gas station. But instead you just check when you see the sign, as you say. And yes, AAA will come with some gas, or in the old days you could siphon some from another car before they blocked that.

AAA is starting to have trucks that can do short EV boosts, but the problem is nobody calls them. EV drivers do pay attention and almost never run out the way people do with gasoline.

Today, road trips in some rural places are not great in EVs. That will change with time. But they are doable, just not as easy as with gasoline.

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