Showing its raw capability before hitting dealerships later this year, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has been enduring rigorous cold weather testing in Alaska. The pickup’s evaluation program is generally focused on testing the powertrain, according to a Ford press release. 


The testing circuit’s engineers primarily focused on how the F-150 Lightning’s dual-motor powertrain recalibrated power to the wheels on low-traction surfaces in real time. The vehicle proved that the system was quick enough for the automated torque delivery to be an asset in wintry conditions, Ford went on record to say.


“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,” said Cameron Dillon, F-150 Lightning powertrain engineer. “Customers may not regularly see minus 30-degree 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. The F-150 Lightning pickup can sense wheel slip and adjust power to the wheels within milliseconds, benefiting from the quick responses of the all-electric powertrain.


Beyond Alaska, Ford engineers have set up the same kind of testing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Borrego Springs and Johnson Valley in California, and at the automaker's Michigan Proving Grounds near Romeo, Michigan. Although this is primarily about the traction systems and not the battery, it goes to show that Ford isn't focusing the Lightning toward California, or other ZEV states in particular, and it fully expects customers in the northern plains—or even Alaska.


This situation seems similar to what’s been presented with the Mach-E—that its desirability goes well beyond the California population. What’s more, Ford has underscored that most F-150 Lightning prospective buyers are new to electric vehicles (EV), suggesting that the pickup is generating interest among consumers beyond the early adopters that fueled the first wave of EV sales.

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