- The electric Ford F-150 Lightning will be able to act as a rolling electric-car charging station.
- Both it and the hybrid F-150 will be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle charging as an option.
- They’ll be able to add up to 20 miles of range each hour to the Mustang Mach-E SUV.
If you’re driving an electric car and run out of juice, you may want to call up a friend with a Ford truck before dialing roadside assistance.
Ford announced Tuesday that the electric F-150 Lightning and hybrid F-150 PowerBoost will both be able to act as mobile electric-vehicle chargers. To access vehicle-to-vehicle charging, buyers will have to add on extra electrical power by upgrading the Pro Power Onboard feature.
F-150 trucks won’t be able to charge electric cars all that quickly, but the feature could come in handy during emergencies. The trucks’ 240-volt AC outlets will be able to add 20 miles of range each hour to a Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV and 13 miles per hour to a Lightning, Ford estimates. Battery-powered cars from other manufacturers will be able to top up as well, Ford says.
The F-150 Lightning, Ford’s first modern electric truck, will start shipping to customers in spring 2022. This month, the automaker closed reservations for the Lightning at nearly 200,000.
Ford started offering mobile-generator capabilities on the latest-generation F-150 truck, with substantial power available in the F-150 hybrid. The company gave the all-electric F-150 Lightning even greater ability to power things at jobsites and campsites. Ford says the most powerful 9.6-kilowatt system available for the Lightning can power a tailgate party with a projector, PA system, portable hot tub, lights, portable AC, refrigerator, and two blenders.
The ability to tap into an EV’s battery and use it as a mobile power bank opens the door to lots of innovative and useful features, beyond just throwing a party or using power tools. Vehicle-to-vehicle charging is one of them.
With the optional Intelligent Backup Power feature, the Lightning can turn into a backup generator that kicks in to power an owner’s home during emergencies. Ford also envisions a future where Lightning trucks can help manage the load on the electrical grid during peak times, charging up at night when demand is low and trickling electricity into a home throughout the day.
Other automakers are experimenting with bidirectional charging with similar capabilities in mind. It comes on the new Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Volkswagen will begin incorporating it next year.