Ford and Sunrun partner to advance home energy storage using the F-150 Lightning electric vehicle (EV) during emergencies

Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric pickup is the first in the US to offer the ability for customers to power their homes with an electric truck when the grid goes dark, providing innovative new capabilities that enhance the energy independence of its customers.

Ford and F-Series, America’s best-selling trucks for 45 years, are partnering with Sunrun, the nation’s leading solar company, to enhance home energy management, using the substantial onboard battery capability of the all-electric F-150 Lightning.

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Americans experienced the most power interruptions on record in 2020, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), and with the F-150 Lightning, homeowners will be able to use their truck for electric power during brief or extended outages.  

Matt Stover, Ford charging and energy services director, said: “F-150 Lightning brings new innovations to customers, including the ability to power their homes when they need it most.

“Teaming up with Sunrun leverages their expertise to bring solar power to even more customers, giving them the chance to turn their truck into an incredible energy storage source – and future truck features can help accelerate the development of a less carbon-intensive grid.”

Sunrun is the preferred installer of F-150 Lightning home charging solutions, including the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and Home Integration System, which enables the F-150 Lightning to store and supply power to homes in a variety of ways.

Mary Powell, Sunrun CEO, said: “America’s energy future starts at home, and partnering with Ford illustrates a momentous shift in the way we power our lives.

“No longer tethered to a carbon-intensive energy system, we’ll be able to offer more paths to greater energy independence by powering homes and vehicles with the sun, while helping rapidly accelerate the transition to a clean, resilient energy future for all.”

Providing energy to homes during an outage, whether sheltering in a storm or keeping cool in a heatwave, is an especially useful feature of the F-150 Lightning and shows the wider use and practicality of electric vehicles beyond clean driving.

The F-150 Lightning extended-range battery system can store 131 kilowatt-hours of energy and deliver up to 9.6 kilowatts of power in a cleaner, quieter, more efficient way versus gasoline-powered generators and with greater capacity than many wall battery units.

With Ford Intelligent Backup Power and the Home Integration System, the F-150 Lightning automatically kicks in to power a home if the grid goes down. Once power is restored, the system automatically reverts back to utility power.

Based on an average US home at 30 kilowatt-hours of use per day, the F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery provides full home power for up to three days.

In the future, Ford will introduce additional F-150 Lightning features to help customers potentially save money and take pressure off the electric grid during peak usage.

Ford Intelligent Power, for example, will allow customers to power their homes with their truck’s battery when electricity rates are higher, while charging the truck when rates are lower, or from their own solar-powered rooftop.

This load shift can also help buffer the load on the nation’s grid and help reduce the use of higher carbon energy without affecting daily routines or charging schedules.

Retail customers will need to have the Ford Charge Station Pro, which was developed together with Siemens, and Home Integration System installed. Standard range customers will also need to purchase the same one-time from Ford to enable the feature. Commercial customers can work with Ford Pro to plan an appropriate home charging installation.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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