Tag Archives: F350

Bad battery and clear roads…

Another “winter” post with a twist: With the bad weather again returning–mostly subzero temperatures–I put the FFE in the garage and drove the truck for a day. Leaving the truck outside to keep the FFE “toasty warm” in the garage (at freezing!) I retired for the night. In the morning, with the EV all warmed, loaded up and ready to go I hopped into the truck to move it…click..!? Try again…click…nothing. Fortunately I do have a set of jumper cables (hey it is a pickup–no pickup should be caught anywhere without jumper cables–but I digress) a quick jump from our other ICE Focus and it was up and running. Guess I’ll be getting a new battery for the truck; LOL.

With the FFE all warmed up and ready to go the commute in was relatively easy and only consumed 4.1 kWh or 26% of the battery. Just a few days ago the commute was consuming 31% of the battery at the same outside temperature (~13F). The only difference is that today the roads were completely clear and dry and the prior days the roads had a good 3″ of slush and snow on them. Thus slogging through the snowy roads causes the car to consume about an extra 800 Wh or so vs driving on clear roads.

I didn’t even consider that driving on a snow covered road would consume almost a full 1kWh of power over my commute…interesting.

Not every day is a good day for EVs….

I’m pretty sure my EV blog has now become a winter weather blog! LOL

For those of us in Northern climes having a backup vehicle for your EV can be essential on some days. Like today, we woke up with about an inch of snow on the ground with another four inches expected to fall over the course of the day (strangely enough, places further south are expected to get double that snowfall). On days like these I usually revert back to my old daily driver:
The big bad F-350

Yup sitting there behind my ultra efficient Focus Electric is our big bad, Darth Vader like, black F-350 with a V-10 gas engine in it. On a good day this thing gets 11 mpg. (Yes one of the reasons for getting the FFE was to reduce the monthly fuel expenses–went from $350+ for the black beast down to $40 for the FFE!)

Now, mind you, we have a perfectly good reason for having the F-350 towing monster:
Truck n Camper

We’ve taken this guy all over the Eastern portion of the US (yeah in this configuration 8 mpg is very optimistic). I’ll be happy the day you can get an all-electric F-350 that can pull 30,000 lbs and still have 200 miles of range!

So, for today, I think the EV will sit in the garage and later I’ll go out and have fun in 4×4 mode. Happy trails….

Update: 12/15 We did end up getting around 6″ of snow. You could tell that it was snowing faster than they could plow it (at least for the residential streets). Driving around is kind of interesting: If you find a rut down to pavement you’re ok.

Took the FFE out to see how it would handle it. It handles the snow pretty well. Once you’re above 10 mph or so it only modulates power to the wheels (instead of using the brakes). This works out quite well–even better than an ICE as the motor responds to the traction control commands quicker than a gas engine would. You simply point it in the direction you want it to go and hit the accelerator–the traction control will determine the best speed to go at (even if it is only 3 mph–you just have to be prepared for that!).