With a proving ground in server state Michigan, Ford Motor Company is able to test the latest electric vehicles in cold climates down to -40°C. She decided to share this experience with the few owners of F-150 Lightning electric pickups and made a number of recommendations for operating such vehicles in the winter.
As you know, lithium batteries can lose energy in the cold, therefore published by the resource electric Ford’s methodological recommendations are largely limited to ensuring that the traction battery is comfortable in preparation for the journey. Firstly, it is recommended to leave the car in the garage and not on the street. Secondly, when parking, you need to connect the pickup to the charger, as this both keeps the battery charge at the right level and does not waste time heating the battery or the passenger compartment.
The proprietary FordPass telematics application allows the owner of a pickup truck to turn on the heating of the battery and the interior of the car from a smartphone in advance, so as not to waste the charge of traction batteries on the road. If the start time of the trip is known approximately in advance, for example, the time of departure for work in the morning, the preheating process can also be programmed using the on-board computer display in the car.
When heating the interior in the cold season, it is necessary to give priority to the heating of the steering wheel and seats as the main sources of heat, without abusing the modes of operation of the air heater, which consume more electricity. When charging at on-street charging stations, air heating must also be set to a minimum so that more current can reach the traction battery in a specified time.
It is curious that Ford strongly recommends car owners to remove snow from the body after parking a pickup truck outdoors, since its excess not only increases weight, but also increases drag. Both factors have a negative effect on the range of an electric vehicle. Too low tire pressure increases rolling resistance and should therefore be kept within normal limits. Finally, when driving on roads, you should avoid driving at high speeds because this mode consumes more power. These tips are largely universal and will be useful to all EV owners who operate them in winter conditions at low temperatures.