Winter driving tips for Ford F-150 Lightning

Discussion in 'F-150 Lightning' started by Domenick, Dec 22, 2022.

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  2. teslarati97

    teslarati97 Well-Known Member

    I'm interested to see the LFP performance in the cold (maybe for 2024 models). Some Model 3 owners are reporting max 22kW supercharging at -22F even after preconditioning their LFP pack (pay by minute).
    Domenick likes this.
  3. SpeedRacer

    SpeedRacer New Member

    A couple questions for anyone: 1. Does just auto starting to warm my cabin also precondition my Lightning battery? I start my day at different times, so setting departure times can be a pain in the butt. 2. What actually happens in the winter, does the battery hold less charge or is the system less efficient?
    electriceddy likes this.
  4. I don't believe the F150 preconditions the battery when selecting cabin heating, this feature would be a different one required before charging.
    The reasons Lithium ion batteries are less efficient in cold weather is due mainly to 3 reasons
    (1) The internal resistance increases, reducing the overall capacity
    (2) Changing fluid viscosity: In lower temperatures, the electrolyte fluid found in lithium-ion EV batteries moves more slowly, decreasing both the power output and the ability to charge quickly.
    (3) The battery will discharge more quickly
    All of these also affect regen ability, together with cabin heating the overall range will be reduced accordingly, sometime close to 50% depending on ambient temperature and battery temperature.
    Best scenario is to park the the EV in a warmer than ambient place (like a heated garage) and apply battery pre-conditioning (if equipped) before fast DC charging:)
  5. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    From my experience with my MINI Cooper SE and extremely cold weather, I've learned some tricks to maximize range (the SE has a very short official range of 114 miles). The tips for the F-150 Lightning basically are what I do.

    Some notes from my experience (the SE has no special battery pre-conditioning):
    • Cold doesn't hurt batteries or affect their capacity, just the performance of discharging. Some may remember it used to be recommended to store batteries like D-cells in the freezer when not using.
    • Any use of the high-voltage batteries will warm them up, so even without pre-conditioning doing cabin warming (climatization) will help warm up the batteries. Even starting the climatization 10-15 minutes before leaving will help.
    • Cabin heating is by far the biggest cost to range in extreme cold. I once drove with no heat in -3 ºF temperature and got over 4.8 mi/kWh.
    • When cold-soaked, the batteries maximum output will be reduced. But as they warm up the output will recover. I've driven my SE with "e-power" (output) as low as 30% and haven't noticed anything other than a limit on acceleration speed.
    • Driving warms up batteries, but if you try to charge while the batteries are cold most of the energy will go into warming the batteries before charging (at least with my SE).
    • If you have to park outside, try to park directly in sunlight. Solar energy will heat the metal car body some which can counteract the cold-soaking (at least somewhat). In conjunction, wind is not an issue for cooling. Inanimate objects, unlike humans, will only cool down to ambient temperature. Wind at most will just get to ambient temperature faster.
    Domenick likes this.
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