With many questions surrounding EVs and their ability to function properly in extreme temperatures, automakers like Ford have put a major emphasis on torture testing those vehicles. We’ve seen this in the past with the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which was subjected to plenty of winter testing and snow-filled roads, as well as hammers and robot butts during the development process. Well over a year ago, we also saw an early 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning prototype romping through the snow, and now, Ford has shed some light on the all-electric pickup’s torturous cold-weather testing process in Alaska.
Engineers spent a total of two weeks at a restricted airbase in Alaska behind the wheel of six 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production prototypes in temperatures as low as -30 degrees completing what the automaker calls “low-mu” testing, which measures how well an EV’s powertrain responds to snow and ice and adjusts power delivery accordingly. This allowed engineers to fine-tune those systems on the fly during 12-hour days to ensure that the F-150 Lightning can adjust power to all four wheels within milliseconds when it senses wheel slip, as well as maximize the vehicle’s efficiency.
“F-150 Lightning in the snow is a very different ballgame compared to gas vehicles,” said Nick Harris, 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.”
While Alaska’s winters are a bit harsher than what most owners will experience, Ford also cold-weather tested the F-150 Lightning in a number of other cold-weather climates including the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the automaker’s Michigan proving grounds, Johnson Valley, and Borrego Springs.
The fact that the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning will be a fantastic winter vehicle only adds to the appeal of a vehicle that is already one of the most considered electrified vehicles on the market, though finding a deal on one (or finding one in general) could prove to be difficult at first, due to high demand and limited supply. Regardless, the first scheduled for production emails have already been sent out to customers, meaning that the F-150 Lightning is on track for a spring launch, as expected.
Source: Ford Authority