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Charging Tech

Tesla’s Supercharger Network Expands to Non-Tesla Electric Vehicle Charging Stations


Ford’s EV Truck for the Masses

The Ford Lightning looks and drives like a standard F-150. It’s aerodynamic, which means it’s easier to handle and has improved traction, but it looks more like a pickup than a gimmick. With a large battery, it also provides better balance and ride. It also doesn’t require you to shift gears while driving.

Corresponding with the latest EV tax credits, the Lightning’s pricing for the 2023 model has been increased to match. The base model is up $7,000 to $46,974 (less credits), while an extended-range Lightning will set you back nearly $100,000. As a result, the Lightning won’t be affordable for everyone, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for an electric pickup.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning adds an extra 10 miles of range with a standard battery pack for a total of 240 miles and an Extended Range battery pack option. Both battery packs are capable of towing a 10,000-pound vehicle. When tested, the Ford Lightning with the extended battery had an unloaded range of 320 miles. However, Ford engineers have not revealed how towing affects the vehicle’s range. Although, a video of a test of an extended battery Lightning shows the gauge cluster reading 128 miles, which may give us an idea of its capabilities, about 1/3 of its normal range.

The Standard Range battery pack delivers 426 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, powered by dual electric motors making it All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The 2023 F-150 Lightning is based on a military-grade aluminum alloy body, which contributes to the impressive performance numbers.

The Ford F-150 Lightning can be recharged using a 150kW DC fast charger. It can be fully charged from 15 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes, depending on the battery size. For those who want to charge more efficiently, the F-150 Lightning comes with an 80-amp charging station, which costs $1,310 for the standard-range model.

Although the Ford Lightning isn’t designed to rival the likes of a Hummer or a Jeep, it’s certainly capable of handling rough terrain. While it’s not intended to be as rugged as a Hummer, it will appeal to mainstream buyers who aren’t necessarily interested in a rugged SUV. Ford’s partnership with CATL to provide Lithium Iron Phosphate LFP batteries in the future Lightning may or may not offer better ranges, but for 2023, the Lightning is one of the most capable EV pickups available.


Stop in the Name of Load: Best Regenerative Braking Use Case

Towing loads with an EV for most is a new experience. Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle can safely pull. It varies according to the size of your vehicle and the weight distribution inside your trailer.

Your truck’s towing capacity should be known before you start attaching things to your vehicle. Your towing capacity will be displayed on the driver’s door and is an important consideration when towing heavy objects. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the capacity of your truck can vary greatly depending on its model, driveline, and bed length. It’s dangerous to exceed the capacity of your vehicle because it can result in dangerous handling, poor braking, or even damaging the vehicle. Manufacturers emphasize that you should never exceed 10% of your vehicle’s towing capacity.

The most important thing is to know how to calculate your towing capacity. You can do this by subtracting the curb weight from the GCVWR of your vehicle. EVs make towing capacity a bit easier to calculate. The curb weight of your vehicle includes the weight of the vehicle and all of the fluids needed to keep it operating. Compared to ICE vehicles, EVs do not include a variable amount of fuel.

Another important factor is the brakes on your vehicle and trailer. An EV’s regenerative braking system stores kinetic energy as added electricity in its battery during braking, thus reducing brake pressure. In addition, it can help EV owners avoid using the brakes altogether, which can be especially beneficial when driving down hill with a load.

For example, GM’s HUMMER and Chevy Silverado EVs feature a system called Regen on Demand, which allows the driver to control this system. The system enables the vehicle to slow down to a full stop without the driver engaging the brake pedal. This feature can be engaged before releasing the accelerator pedal. These vehicles also features one-pedal driving and an optional Terrain Mode, which provides low-speed one-pedal control for off-road driving.


Shut The Frunk Door

The 2022 Lightning frunk was developed with current customers to provide feedback on its design. The concept features multiple power sources, ample space for two golf bags, and an electric outlet. Ford’s design team dubbed the feature the Mega Power Frunk, and it looks absolutely stunning.

The Ford Lightning comes equipped with a Mega Power Frunk that houses multiple USB-A and USB-C ports and lights in the ceiling. It can be opened with a touchscreen or via an exterior button. An app on a smartphone can also be used to open the frunk. The demand for the Ford Lightning has driven the automaker to increase production of the car.

The Ford F-150 Lightning frunk offers 14.1 cubic feet of cargo volume, which is comparable to the trunk of a midsize sedan. It has a maximum payload capacity of 400 pounds. While this is still a small gene pool, the frunk is gaining popularity in a large number of vehicles. Ford’s competition, the Rivian R1T, Chevrolet Silverado RST and GMC Hummer EV are also coming on the market with smaller frunk compartments.

Tesla’s is keeping it’s Cybertruck frunk a guarded secret, when will they give us a peek?

Battery Tech

4680 Battery Shortage

Tesla’s Cybertruck was conceived to work with a structural battery pack of 4680 battery cells. Tesla’s goal is to make at least a thousand 4680 battery packs a week at Giga Texas by the end of 2022 for the Model Y,  However, it’s unclear if the Tesla will be able to scale up for the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi. In October of 2021, the company announced that it was developing the new cell. Since then, it has built a production line in the Texas Gigafactory. It is currently in the process of implementing two other production lines by Panasonic and LG Chem, which should start in April 2023. The 4680 battery is expected to perform well under all weather conditions. 

The Tesla 4680 battery cell was designed with several key improvements in mind. Its new form factor provides an 14% improvement in cost per kwh, and it has increased energy storage capacity by five to six times. Its design reduces ohmic resistance, which is a big problem with large batteries. The result is a shorter charging path.

In addition to its larger size, the new cell features a new chemistry that will enable electric vehicles to have longer ranges and lower costs. Panasonic says the 4680 cell will enable Tesla to produce cheaper electric vehicles with a greater performance level. The company plans to start mass production of the cells in 2023, and expects to produce nine GWh of them per year.

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