Is this just a buzz-word or does this actually matter for a truck owner? Well, when you are an electric truck owner, it matters a lot – every kWh of energy you can spare gives you longer range. This technology pots the energy back into the batteries every time you slow down.
The Ford F-150 Lightning has regenerative breaking that can reduce battery use 10% to 25%, giving you that much more of the precious range. There is a setting that allows you to adjust how much regeneration you want to use, from a little to maximum that allows you to do one-pedal driving.
When the regenerative braking is set to maximum, you can drive with one pedal, pressing the gas pedal when you want to go and let it off to stop. During this setting you would only need to use the brake pedal to make a complete stop like at a stop sign. There are multiple settings in between that and OFF, so you can still drive using both pedals while the motor can capture the energy from braking back into the battery.
Driving with one pedal will be odd at first but after a few minutes of driving around you would get used to it and it would become second nature. The trick is to learn to still use the brake pedal in an emergency. This is something that may come out as a problem as more and more people drive electric vehicles.
Ford F-150 Lightning Braking Speed
Stopping quickly can often be overlooked when buying a truck, and is not a popular feature that very many people consider. Fact is, it can be a life and death difference. Unfortunately, if you do look into it, you will find out that there is not that much you can do about it. You are pretty much stuck with that the vehicle you are buying is capable of doing and wont be able to improve it in any significant way.
The Ford F-150 can go from driving 60 miles-per-hour to a complete stop within 129 ft on original equipment manufacturer brake pads and rotors. According to some testing performed by a Youtuber, using aftermarket brands of brake pads can cost more but provide no significant braking distance changes.
So if different pads won’t make the truck stop faster, will installing bigger brake rotors and bigger brakes do the trick? Unfortunately, no. The problem is even if the brakes are tuned and working at the most efficient mode, you are still dealign with physics, where the huge amount of mass is traveling at 60 miles per hour.
To bring that mass to a stop you can’t just lock up the wheels or stop them at a controlled level at any shorted distance. The mass will continue traveling until it is able to come to a stop.
Big, expensive brakes will feel better stopping and also look good but will not make you stop much faster.
Ford F-150 Lightning Range
The manufacturer rating for a Ford F-150 Lightning is 230 miles. Ford also offers and extended range version of the truck for an upgrade of $10,000 that will extend the range to 300 miles, which is a pretty standard range for most electric vehicles on the market. The rating is based on the truck having 1000 lb of load in it, so if it’s just the truck and you, you should be able to go up to 459 miles. You can read more about it here.
With the electric vehicles, the sensitivity of the amount of load you carry to how far you can drive seems like a big deal but think about it, with gas powered trucks, it is the same – more load uses more gas. We are just used to the idea of gas stations everywhere so at any time you can stop and get more gas within a few minutes. The problem comes out when you think about the amount of time required to charge up. It won’t be minutes, more like hours to get any significant amount of charge, and many hours to fill it up.
All this can change, quite a bit, when you have regenerative braking.
Going Farther With Regenerative Braking
If your goal is to go farther on your electric Ford F-150, the best thing to do is to set the Regenerative Braking setting to maximum and pick a route that has the most down hill roads. But as they say what goes down, must come up first…. Or … I think it’s the other way. If you go down hill, you will have to come back up some time. There is still strategies that can be applied, like, go down hill with the load and back up empty. This could do the trick. I know this is not realistic for most situations but having the regenerative braking turned all the way up is.
Savings of 10% and up to 25% can add up over the period of a year. The range of your truck can also increase 10% to 25%, if you look at it from the range point of view. This means that instead of 230 mile range on a standard battery, you can go as far as 253 to 287 miles, and on an extended range battery you can increase from 300 to 330 up to 382. And considering driving by your self with no other load, you can go up t0 573 miles.
Saving $210 Per Year With Regenerative Braking
Let’s calculate how much actual green moolah you can save by keeping your Regenerative Braking on the maximum setting for a year.
We have calculated in a previous post I wrote that it cost $69 per month to keep the standard Ford Lightning with the 98kWh battery charged, and $71 per month to keep the extended range 131kWh battery version of the truck charged. So to average that out, let’s use $70 per month figure for this exercise.
If we multiply $70 by 12 months, you will be spending $840 per year to keep the Ford F-150 Lightning charged up.
So by using the Regenerative Braking on the maximum setting, while having a savings of up to 25%, you can be saving up to $210 per year on electricity. That is crazypants.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.