Ford and SunRun partner to seamlessly integrate EVs + solar power
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Ford’s most popular lineup, the F-Series, has just gained a new electric option. The F-150 Lightning is the first all-electric truck offered by Ford and it delivers all of the durability of a gas-powered pickup truck while offering a first in the EV industry benefit, the ability to act as a generator for backup power.
Ford also announced that it will be partnering with solar provider SunRun. SunRun will be the preferred installer of the home 80-amp power charging stations for the F-150 Lightning. This partnership will also allow homeowners the option to install solar and a backup battery in addition to their Ford charger installation. This concept is now being piloted in California with a partnership between the utility PG&E, Ford, and GM.
Installing solar panels with your F-150 Lightning will ensure that your car is charged with 100% renewable energy; the cheapest, most environmentally friendly option. This is a unique partnership – one that could change the future of how solar panel installers work with EV companies to market their product. This, and future partnerships, can benefit the consumer by making solar and EV adoption as easy as possible.
Within this article, we will review what makes the F-150 Lightning a great choice as well as the exciting possibilities for the future of Ford Electric vehicles.
The F-150 Lightning can keep your lights on by acting as a generator during power outages. Image source: Ford
If you have been hesitant to switch to electric cars because you were worried they would not be as powerful as your current gas-powered car or truck, the F-150 Lightning breaks that myth. The F-150 Lightning has a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds with a 2,000-pound payload and a mileage range of up to 300 miles. This truck can handle your weekend errands, your weekly commute, and any towing your gas-powered car can.
Additionally, one of the most exciting features of the F-150 Lightning is its battery, which provides 9.6 kW of power that can be used as a generator if your home loses power. If your power goes out, you can plug the charger into your Ford which will reverse the flow of electricity and draw energy from the battery that is then used by your home. As of May 2022, we learned that the cost of this system will be less than $4,000.
This feature works even if you do not have solar power, your home just needs to be properly equipped to send power back to your home, which Ford and SunRun can help you do. Once the grid is back up and running, you can recharge your car battery for use on the road.
Image source: Ford
This is the first EV model ever to offer the option to use its battery as a source of power, a feature that will probably proliferate to work seamlessly with a grid that is becoming ever more connected and reliant on battery power.
Even if you do have solar panels and they are connected to the grid, your power will not work during a grid failure event. If you have the F-150 Lightning, with or without an additional backup battery, you will have enough power to keep your home running for up to 3 days or potentially longer based on the amount of energy your home uses.
The F-150 is now shipping to owners who put a deposit down on the car. Its features are destined to make the wait worth it. The base PRO model starts at $39,974 but additional comfort and features increase the costs of each of the 4 models to over $90,000.
All model options will be all-wheel drive with a range of 230-300 miles, depending on which battery option you choose, either the standard or the extended range battery. Either way, the lithium-ion battery pack is built to last with a horsepower rating of 563.
Included within the 15.5-inch touchscreen monitor technology, the F-150 Lightning boasts features that make software updates simple. This truck also responds to voice activation and has a cloud connection for apps and navigation.
Aside from utilizing your Ford for power in emergencies, the F-150 Lightning can also be used as a generator for work, on the job, or outside the home.
The truck itself is not too different from its gas-powered F-150 counterpart but as the world shifts more towards electric, electric trucks will soon be mainstream. Ford still stands by its “Built Ford Tough” motto and ensured that switching to an electric F-150 will not disappoint.
You can pre-order the F-150 Lightning for a mid-2022 delivery and then work with SunRun to install the car charging port and solar panels if you choose to add them.
The F-150 Lightning is a powerful towing option for an all-electric pickup. Image source: Ford
Ford is thinking ahead with a new feature: Ford Intelligent Power. Ford Intelligent Power would allow your home to draw energy from your car during peak electricity hours to save money and then charge your car when energy is cheaper.
This would be an incredible option for homeowners looking to keep their energy costs down and if they have solar panels, it can help manage energy so that the grid is only needed for true emergencies.
So far there have been no announcements for Ford to be all-electric within the U.S., but their European lineup will be electric by 2030. Most likely, Ford will decide that switching to all-electric in the American market makes sense and they will develop even more electric truck options that appeal to American consumers.