How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

April 22, 2024

Elec­tric vehi­cles have been using elec­trons across high­ways for over a decade now. For most, it’s an alter­na­tive fuel source to do the same job: trans­port peo­ple from point A to point B. But as EV’s begin tak­ing more mar­ket share, many EV’s are start­ing to take shape into being more than just an elec­tric form of trans­porta­tion. Many EV’s, espe­cial­ly pick up trucks, are becom­ing entire work­sta­tions and pow­er plants for homes and busi­ness­es. This abil­i­ty to become a mobile pow­er sta­tion great­ly helped our fam­i­ly when our home sud­den­ly expe­ri­enced a pow­er outage. 

Recent­ly we pur­chased a 2023 Ford F150 Light­ning, the XLT trim. We were able to take advan­tage of the Fed­er­al and Col­orado tax cred­its, as well as the brand new Vehi­cle Exchange Pro­gram from the Col­orado Ener­gy Office. This great­ly reduced the cost of the truck, which has one of the most under­rat­ed fea­tures of new­er elec­tric vehi­cles: an onboard generator. 

The Ford Light­ning comes stan­dard with the abil­i­ty to gen­er­a­tor 2.4kw of pow­er through out­lets found in the frunk and in the bed of the truck. How­ev­er, an option­al Pro Pow­er has the abil­i­ty to pro­duce 9.6kw of con­tin­u­ous pow­er. And this pow­er can be incred­i­bly help­ful dur­ing a pow­er outage. 

Our home is locat­ed up in the Flat­tops deep with­in the White Riv­er Nation­al For­est. We live off solar pow­er, which charges a home bat­tery stor­age sys­tem. But unfor­tu­nate­ly we had a com­po­nent fail in our solar invert­er. How­ev­er, with our gen­er­a­tor trans­fer switch, we were able to pow­er our home using the F150 Lightning’s Pro Pow­er gen­er­a­tor. While nor­mal­ly we use the truck to run a space heater or two in a bed­room, we were able to run all our appli­ances dur­ing this mul­ti-day out­age. While the F150 has some of the high­est out­put of pow­er from it’s bat­tery pack, many oth­er EV mod­els are also being pro­duced with the abil­i­ty to send pow­er from the bat­tery pack into a home or equip­ment that rely on electricity.

We use an elec­tric snow­blow­er to clear our dri­ve­way and our EV truck is able to recharge the bat­ter­ies for the equip­ment. We can use table saws, recharge our cord­less drills, run our well pump at 240v and pow­er our Star­link satel­lite internet. 

A pick up truck has always been estab­lished as a work vehi­cle that can get the job done, no mat­ter the size of the job. Mod­ern EV pick up trucks take that lega­cy and push the expec­ta­tions high­er with being able to have more prac­ti­cal­i­ty for a fam­i­ly (think super cab with an addi­tion­al trunk the in the front), dual elec­tric motors that pro­vide a con­stant four wheel dri­ve that is effi­cient, and pow­er an entire home for days with­out need­ing a charge. 

With incred­i­bly low main­te­nance, real­ly just wash­er flu­id and tires, pro­grams like the Vehi­cle Exchange from the state Ener­gy Office and tax cred­its make EV truck own­er­ship a frac­tion of the cost of a tra­di­tion­al gas truck with an incred­i­ble amount of ben­e­fits that a tra­di­tion­al gas truck can­not pro­vide. If you are look­ing for your next vehi­cle, take the time to test dri­ve an EV pick up and find out the ben­e­fits you could take advan­tage of with an EV platform!

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