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Man forced to ditch his $115k Ford electric truck during family road trip

Amelia Jones

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| Last updated 

Man forced to ditch his $115k Ford electric truck during family road trip

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/dalbir.bala / Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

A Canadian man and his family were forced to ditch their electric truck after charging troubles forced them to finish their road trip in a petrol-powered car, calling eco-friendly vehicles 'the 'biggest scam of modern times'.

Dalbir Bala was en-route from his home in Manitoba, Canada to Chicago in his six-month old 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat with an extended-range battery, which he purchased in January for $115,000 (around £90600) excluding tax.

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While he was travelling for business, his wife and three kids joined him for the ride, leaving home with a fully-charged battery and three planned stops to top it up.

With their first stop going smoothly, their problems began in Albertville, Minnesota where he says he received a 'faulty connection' error message from the fast charger.

The family continued on to Elk River around 15 minutes away - and the charger there wouldn't work either.

He and his family were then forced to bail on the vehicle in Minnesota on 27 July.

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"It was really a nightmare frustration for us," Bala told CBC News.

The EV owner has been outspoken about his frustration. Credit: Facebook/Dalbir Bala
The EV owner has been outspoken about his frustration. Credit: Facebook/Dalbir Bala

He said: "By now it was late afternoon. We were really stuck, hungry, and heartbroken."

With only 15 kilometres of juice left, the truck was towed to a local Ford dealership and the family rented a Toyota 4Runner to reach Chicago.

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Nobody knows why the Bala's truck wouldn't charge, as both stations showed that other customers successfully charged their EVs that day.

Not long after buying the truck, Bala had a small bump, which he claims needed 'light assembly' on the vehicle's front bumper but took six months to fix, FOX Business reports.

Bala bought the truck, which Ford says has a range of 515 kilometres, to offset his fuel costs which had reached up to $1.5K pm (around £1180).

"Electric vehicle, new technology … I was impressed with it," he said. "That made me buy this thing."

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He installed chargers both at the office and at home and also had to upgrade his domestic electric panel.

Bala also spoke about the situation online. Credit: Instagram/dalbirbala
Bala also spoke about the situation online. Credit: Instagram/dalbirbala

Bala picked up his Lightning on his return journey, and is now only using it for his commute.

"I can’t take it to my lake cabin. I cannot take it for off-grid camping. I cannot take for even a road trip." he said.

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"I can only drive in city – biggest scam of modern times."

In an email to CBC News, Megan Joakim of Ford of Canada said: "Whether gas or electric, actual driving range varies with conditions such as external environment, vehicle use and vehicle maintenance.

"Public charging in the U.S. and Canada continues to develop as EV sales grow."

Ford claims their charging network includes 10,000 fast chargers, along with 12,000 Tesla superchargers and an additional 4,000 fast chargers at dealerships.

President of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association, James Hart, had a different take, however.

"I've heard of situations like … [Bala's], where they've had to go to the point of calling whatever company it is that's running the charger and getting them almost to do a reset of the charger," he told CBC News.

Bala told FOX Business that the government needs to 'provide consumers with the right information'.

UNILAD has reached out to Ford Canada for further comment.

Topics: Technology, News, Canada, Travel, Cars

Amelia Jones
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