YouTuber Tyler Hoover of Hoovies Garage finds himself in the middle of a left-vs-right political battle after his Lightning EV “towing towing” video went viral. The facts presented in that clip, where the F-150 EV shows limited range while pulling a light load, were taken out of context or even blatantly ignored by outlets that he describes as “conservative media”.
Ford is making a huge transition into electric mobility with the introduction of the F-150 Lightning, described by many reviews as a revolutionary vehicle. However, as an EV version of the best-selling vehicle in America, it’s bound to be controversial. And although groundbreaking, the pickup is not without its faults.
The big one is obviously the range, which is limited by current battery technology. Car enthusiasts are already aware that towing has a huge negative impact on the range of any EV, and Tyler just tried to emphasize this with a video released on September 23rd called “Towing with my Ford Lightning EV Pickup was a TOTAL DISASTER!”
Of course, exaggerating things and talking about car-related failures are his trademark, and everybody who watches him is aware of it. For lack of a better word, it’s entertaining. And the audience of Hoovies Garage is basically everybody who loves cars because Tyler is involved in the super-popular Car Trek TV series, and he’s even recognized by major automakers and auction houses.
Car buyers are probably happy to see a real-world range test of the F-150 Lightning with a payload, even if the outcome is exaggerated. However, the video was covered by several famous political outlets, who turned it into stories about how California and New York will ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles in 2035.
Frankly, we’re not surprised. Mainstream media knows that it’s easy to spin a fear everybody has into a viral story that makes you go “I know the government is lying to me.” But as Tyler Hoover says, you’d never imagine something he films to ever be featured on Breitbart, with a picture of Joe Biden as the cover photo we might add. What’s he got to do with anything?
But the biggest offender here is Alex Jones, the master of conspiracy theories. He completely ignored Tyler Hoover’s findings, even though he plays a big portion of the video, and invents his own towing disaster outcome. According to Jones, the problem with the F-150 Lightning isn’t the range, but actually that it has no torque and can’t go past 25 mph.
It’s ironic because you can see the speedometer showing 40 mph almost all the time while Alex Jones is talking, and at one point it even goes to 70. Just to be clear, the F-150 Lightning is very fast and has a lot of torque; that’s the least of its problems. Everybody likes a good conspiracy theory, but you shouldn’t get your car-buying facts from the “turning the frogs gay” guy.
Alex Jones goes on to claim that a Volkswagen Beetle would do a better job towing and that some golf carts have better power. That sounds so ridiculous that it must be satire, but many viewers might not realize it.
So what actually happens in the Ford Lightning Towing Disaster?
Tyler admits there are a few problems with his original video. Namely, Ford makes a version of the Lightning with a longer range, you’ll get better results if you drive conservatively, and the payload wasn’t aerodynamic.
The word “disaster” is just used to attract views, a standard practice on YouTube for the entertainment of the viewer. In his words, nobody watches a video where he buys a car and nothing bad happens. We cannot emphasize this enough, but there’s supposed to be a huge distinction between an entertaining YouTuber who buys his own F-150 Lightning to have fun with it and a real reviewer who is supposed to be objective.
About a month ago, Tyler had the opportunity of buying a Lightning, which is pretty difficult to get right now. His example has the standard range 98 kWh battery pack which is supposed to give him 230 miles per charge and comes with a lower 452 hp and 775 pound-feet of torque. Just as a reminder, Ford makes an “Extended Range” model with 580 hp and 300-320 miles of range.
Anyway, the Lightning is charged until it shows 200 miles of range on the clock and is hooked up to its load, consisting of a 1,400-pound aluminum trailer. With just the trailer, the F-150 EV drops 70 miles of range in only about 32 miles of driving.
Famous mechanic Car Wizard joins him and together they go to pick up a 1930 Ford Model A pickup (about 2,200 lbs) which is loaded up. Together with the trailer, this setup would be similar in weight to a boat. Once Tyler arrives back home with his payload, the vehicle indicated range is down to just 50 miles, meaning it used 150 miles in about 64 miles.