A Million Reasons To Pay Attention: Ford’s Train-Towing Video Has Some Very Real Implications

A Million Reasons To Pay Attention: Ford’s Train-Towing Video Has Some Very Real Implications

Electric vehicles are coming down the pipeline, that’s a given. There’s been a strong push for alternatives to internal combustion engine technology, and EVs are proving to be a fair competitor to a standard engine. But what about an EV truck? Rivan, Workhorse and others are chasing the idea down, and even Tesla is rumored to be working on a pickup truck. And Ford has a message for all of them: “Hope you’ll bring your best.” Ford rightfully is very proud of their F-series line of trucks, and they are not about to let even one EV pickup go by without knowing that Dearborn has a challenger just waiting to take on any upstart that thinks they’ll own the crowns that the F-series has gained.

What you’re seeing is a pure publicity stunt. If the battery on this prototype was able to provide enough juice through both of the train drags, we’ll be stunned. But, there are two takeaways from this video. One is that Ford has no trouble laying everything it has on the table, pointing down, and looking to everyone else who is making claims for a response. The other is that under the current SAE J2807 standard of towing, we have to wonder how long the range of an EV F-150 can last if it’s towing something more realistic behind it. Over a million pounds of railroad equipment is one thing…but what about a car trailer with a Fox body on it? If you’re willing to give a realistic range for a reasonable load attached to the back of a truck…say, 300 miles or more…that could be a serious contender in the world of trucks.

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10 thoughts on “A Million Reasons To Pay Attention: Ford’s Train-Towing Video Has Some Very Real Implications

  1. phitter67

    When electrics take over there will have to be charging stations everywhere, just like gas stations now. How fast will they be, and how much will it cost?

  2. claymore

    You could tell they could do it just by the size of the towing strap. IF it was a lot of weight that strap was way too small. Rolling on wheels negates a lot of the weight once it is moving.

    1. john

      Exactly…I’ve been off-roading since the early ’70’s and never heard of a “million lb.” tow strap. If they were using one of those synthetic tow lines that tug boats use to wrangle large ships/ barges…it would be more believable. Calling “bull shit” on this Ford.

    2. Matt Cramer

      Yes – the trick here is that steel on steel has way less rolling resistance than rubber tires. Not so much faked as they’d carefully staged everything to ensure that the truck could pull as much weight with as little force as possible.

      Similar to some of the Toyota commercials for the Tundra, where shortly after those came out, a bunch of photos of Toyota’s racing team towing their trailer with a Ford Super Duty were all over the Internet. There’s a big difference in what works in a carefully staged demonstration and the real world. I have to wonder if somebody hooked one of these electric pickups to an overhead wire if the next weakness you’d find would be oveheating issues. I doubt CSX is going to be shunting freight cars with an electric F150 any time soon.

      It is, however, a clever publicity stunt.

  3. Chuck Finley

    Wow…..I had no idea that pin that holds the coupler in a trailer hitch was rated FOR A MILLION POUNDS. Ford engineers must be awesome to design a hitch with a 10,000 percent safety factor.
    Just more misdirection from a company being crushed by recalls they cannot seem to reconcile.
    Ford issued a recall on our nearly new Focus ST 18 months ago. But there has been no resolution developed yet!
    It seems that Ford has nearly 100 MILLION vehicles currently affected by many engineering recalls. Yet they only delay, not fix the issues. Is Ford next for a bailout? Does Ford Europe have these same issues?

  4. Wolf

    for all the rocket scientist haters commenting, you don’t have a 10,000 lb pull load if you’re towing a 10,000 lb trailer either (unless you’re towing it into orbit). Using conservative numbers for rolling resistance, this demonstration is roughly equivalent to towing a 50,000 lb conventional trailer.

  5. Pizzandoughnuts

    Power storage will always be an issue, until they develop the alien nuclear super juicer. Short of that, raising the panogragh up to the power line maybe the only option for distance/load. Building batteries such as these makes more hazardous waste and pollution than a single IC engine ever will in its lifetime.

  6. Patrick

    Silly Boys, do some math and figure it out. Other trucks could do this as well, no smoke and mirrors. I guess if it doesn’t have a SBC or Japanese designed Duramax it never happened

  7. Anthony Maffini

    How much Pimp Juice did they spray down on that pavement?!?! I think I lost a flip-flop. Oh wait…. can someone help me pick it up? Ow, my back

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