The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck is packed with surprises and groundbreaking innovations, from its independent rear suspension to the Mega Power Frunk (which offers more cargo space than a Toyota Corolla sedan), to its unbelievably low starting price. But arguably, this EV's most significant innovation is its ability to run your entire home during a blackout.
Believe it or not, this battery-powered truck can really power your house when the lights go out, and better still, doing so won't require a rat's nest of extension cords or even a portable generator. What Ford calls Intelligent Backup Power enables this all-electric rig to feed power from its enormous battery pack through its hardwired wall charger directly into your home's electrical system.
As you might suspect, electric cars store positively enormous amounts of energy in their batteries. After all, it takes a lot of juice to move a multi-ton vehicle at interstate speeds for hundreds of miles. When it goes on sale next year, the new Lightning will offer two battery pack sizes, the smaller of which should provide 230 miles of range and the bigger one about 300. Ford hasn't said how large these electron reservoirs are, but we're estimating they'll clock in at roughly 110 and 150 kWh, respectively.
The F-150 Lightning can provide up to 9.6 kW of power output. According to Ford, that's more than enough to fully power a house at any one time, and considering the size of the battery, it could do that for at least three days (based on a daily average of 30 kWh). The automaker says you can make that power last for up to 10 days if you ration the electricity accordingly. Kind of like hypermiling for your home.
Later, the F-150 Lightning will also be able to power your house during the day when electricity rates are higher and then recharge overnight when the juice costs less. This has the potential to significantly reduce owners' electricity bills.