When news broke out that Ford had an electric version of the F-150
pickup truckin the works, it was described as a real game-changer. Electrifying the most popular vehicle in the U.S. would be a key contributor to the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
Ford could’ve left the innovation at that and would’ve probably made a boatload of money, but the company put an extra trick up the F-150 Lightning’s sleeve that could have an even bigger impact on the country than its lack of a tailpipe.
The F-150 Lightning’s multi-purpose battery has an array of uses
When Ford’s engineers designed the powertrain for the F-150 Lightning, they had more on their mind than horsepower and range. They wanted the new electric pickup to be the most innovative
workhorseon the market.
The truck’s battery pack was the key to achieving this goal. They installed a 131 kWh unit that could hold enough charge to give the pickup a maximum of 320 miles of range. But its ability to send power back from the pickup to whatever needs a boost is what sets it apart.
Ford’s immediate thought for the function of this bi-directional charging capability seems to have been work-related. Multiple 120-volt outlets (and one 240-volt outlet) allow Lightning owners to supply juice to machinery, power tools, or camping equipment.
But that’s not where the feature’s use ends. The two-way power stream can also power a home or even return electricity to
the gridit took the energy from in the first place.
Potential implications of the F-150 Lightning’s two-way charging tech
The bi-directional charging system could have massive implications for the electrical grid of the U.S., especially in energy-starved regions like
Californiathat are already forced to perform blackouts.
Turning the electric pickup into a home generator or feeding energy back into the grid requires a few extra parts.
Bloombergsays that Ford includes the necessary 80 amp charging station for long-range Lightnings and sells it as an add-on for just over $1,300. You’ll also need a home integration system, which will cost around $4,000.
During blackouts or
power outages, this gear will automatically draw electricity from the plugged in truck. Ford says the pickup can hold enough energy to power the average American home for about three days. Limiting power use to essentials can lengthen that time to 10 days.
Does bi-directional charging affect car insurance?
New technology usually drives up vehicle prices, and the innovative features in the Ford F-150 Lightning are no exception. While the base price for a regular F-150 sits just under $30,000, the Lightning starts at $40,000. Upgrading to a long-range will put you back at least $74,200.
Insurance rates tend to rise and fall along with model prices, but you can save on coverage by shopping for
car insurance quotes onlinewith Jerry.
A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price.
This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.