The Ford F-150 Lightning is one of the most exciting EVs to debut this year, or perhaps any year. While it’s due some stiff competition from the Rivian R1T, the F-150 is an American hero, and likely to be trusted by existing pickup truck owners for its workhorse abilities and, crucially, some level of affordability.
Ford’s also selling us on its flexibility in case there’s some sort of apocalypse. When purchased with the expanded battery pack, Ford claims that the F-150 Lightning can power a home for up to three days. As reported by Wired, the Lightning uses a system known as vehicle-to-grid, which allows electric car owners to take power from their car when needed.
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The F-150 Lightning can provide as much as 9.6 kW of power back to a home it’s connected to. That’s more than enough to run a basic level of home appliances in a crisis that cuts power to the home. You could run lights, watch TV or even cook with that amount of output, and it could prove to be invaluable for short power outages.
That’s something that would have been very useful during Texas’ recent power outages, which saw as many as 5 million people without power at its peak. While it’s not a reason on its own to buy an EV, it’s one more feature that would make the F-150 Lightning more appealing.
Ford’s decision to allow this functionality may also eventually lead to power companies being able to use electric vehicles to supply the grid at times of peak demand. It would be entirely possible for a large enough electric car network to provide power when it’s needed perhaps in exchange for a fee paid to the car’s owners. This could be cheaper for power companies than buying power from other places, or spinning up their own electricity generation.
For anyone looking for a commercial vehicle, there are plenty of other bonuses that come with the F-150 Lightning, including the fact that there are 11 AC outlets around the vehicle. This is ideal for someone to operate power tools or any number of accessories they might use in their day-to-day work. It could also come in handy for camping — provided you camp in a place where there's a public charger.
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