Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric utility truck (ute) will be used by Californian utility PG&E to explore how the car’s vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology can interact with the electric grid and make electricity more reliable.
Ford debuted its long-awaited electric F-150 Lightning back in May of 2021 and began pre-production in September before revealing in October 2021 sales figures that the F-150 had racked up over 160,000 reservations, and by the December had over 200,000 reservations.
Amongst the many treats in store for owners of the new electric F-150 Lightning is the role that vehicle-to-load (V2L) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) technology will play.
Now, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Ford Motor Company will collaborate on exploring the ways in which the new F-150 Lightning and its Intelligent Backup Power bidirectional charging capabilities can interract with the grid as well as providing backup power for customers’ homes in PG&E’s service area.
Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power system allows the F-150 Lightning, when connected to the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and Home Integration System, to automatically begin powering your home.
The Intelligent Backup Power system is also paired with a Sunrun solar energy system, and when paired with the F-150 Lightning extended-range battery system which can store 131kWh of energy and deliver up to 9.6kW of power, the F-150 actually provides greater capacity than many wall battery units.
The featurs automatically kick in to power your home if the grid goes down and automatically reverts back to utility power once power is restored – and based on an average US home at 30 kilowatt-hours of use per day, the F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery can provide full home power for up to three days.
“F-150 Lightning brings new innovations to customers, including the ability to power their homes when they need it most,” said Matt Stover, Ford charging and energy services director, speaking in February.
“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.”
It is this technology that PG&E is looking to take advantage of in its newly announced cooperation with Ford.
Through an early adopter opportunity, PG&E will explore how Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power technology interconnects to the electric grid, which is necessary for the truck’s battery to power the home, and how it can support customer resiliency during grid outages.
“Today, we are seeing breakthrough opportunities at the intersection of the energy and transportation industries,” said Patti Poppe, PG&E Corporation CEO.
“As more electric vehicles and new charging technology become available, it is critical that we better understand how EVs can interact with the electric grid and how we can best support our customers. Through collaborations with automakers like Ford, we are innovating together for a cleaner, safer and brighter future for all.”
“This is a really big deal to take this next step of bidirectional charging, which Ford is uniquely positioned to do,” added James D. Farley, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company. “We’re really excited to start with PG&E.”
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.