Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in an echo chamber, especially with social media. It’s more fun and less frustrating to deal with like-minded people, and when it comes to electric vehicles, the sheer volume of misinformation just isn’t something no one has time for. We know what works and what doesn’t, and those of us who are EV enthusiasts and/or environmentalists are willing to make sacrifices to drive an EV, often to a far greater extent than the average driver.
That’s why it’s important to take notice when publications and people who aren’t part of the stereotypical EV crowd have either good things to say or really constructive criticism of EVs. In today’s example, Fox News Autos does a bit of both.
It’s no secret that many conservatives love big, huge SUVs, Hummers being the most extreme example. The GMC Hummer EV has managed to beat other electric trucks on the market for months, but having something big and flashy and inefficient really isn’t what trucks are about. People who like to drive pickup trucks often just get around, but they usually have at least occasional utility use in mind for them, and in that case the Hummer EV fell short of the F- Ford 150. Flash.
It turns out (as I’ve pointed out before in this article on rural EV commuting) a full-size spare is important to many truck owners.
You don’t have to travel far out of town to get to places where roadside assistance services, such as those offered by AAA or most insurance companies, take a while to reach you. On the sidewalk they will almost always come, but my experience is that it can take upwards of 45 minutes. Worse still, if you are out of cell phone service areas you may not be able to reach them unless you have a satellite phone or can call for help with something like ham radio . It’s much easier to just carry a full-size spare tire, change it yourself, and drive on it until you can get to a tire store.
Worse still, you don’t have to get very far off the roadway before road services don’t come at all, so having a spare may be your only reasonable option.
The F-150 Lightning won the spare tire contest hands down. Like other Ford trucks, it has the full-size spare wheel mounted under the bed, near the front bumper. Whether you’re towing, putting a bunch of stuff in the bed, or putting on a plain RV shell, you can easily access the spare tire and make a quick tire change. It’s easy, convenient and safe.
The competition so far? Not really. The Hummer EV doesn’t have space for a full-size spare, and you have to use a clumsy accessory rack to store a spare in the rear cargo area. On trips it would either get buried or you would want to skip the spare as it takes up space which you need for your luggage. The Rivian R1T has ample space for a spare, but it’s accessible from inside the bed, so you’ll have to unload everything from the bed to access the spare.
It might sound like a silly thing, but if you live in or frequently visit rural America like many Fox readers and viewers do, it’s a big deal, and it’s something Ford has done well.
Image selected by Ford.
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