Video: Can You Really Power Your Home With A Pickup Truck? Maybe … It’s complicated!
In the past you’ve seen us charging an electric motorcycle and several electric cars with the new 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid. Now it’s time for us to power a house. That’s a lot in the news lately. Many people say they can’t wait to power their homes in an emergency using this truck or one of the upcoming new electric trucks (F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, Hummer EV truck, and others). It sounds simple, but it turns out to be a lot more complex than you might think.
For this test, we take our F-150 PowerBoost to our friend Justin. Justin installed an interconnect switch in his house. This switch allows the house to completely disconnect from the grid and be powered by an autonomous source of electricity: something like a stationary generator or an electric truck. The reason for disconnecting from the grid is not to return energy to the grid. This can be dangerous in an emergency.
This F-150 Hybrid is equipped with an optional 7200 watt inverter / generator. This is a significant amount of electricity production. The truck is equipped with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo gasoline V6 engine and a small 1.5 kWh battery. In the case of power generation, the battery acts as a buffer to power external accessories, devices or a home.
In this video, we are able to power several devices at the same time (a coffee maker, a fan and a vacuum cleaner). However, we received a ground fault while trying to plug the 30 amp house wire into the F-150. Basically the way this 1990’s home is wired requires a “neutral ground plug” generator. We didn’t have this plug on hand for this test, so we couldn’t actually power the house and its devices with the truck.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this video series, as we make another attempt to make it work.
In summary, it is not an easy task to “plug your house into your truck”. When the 2022 F-150 Lightning hits production, it will come with an optional Charge Station Pro interconnect system for your home. This station can be hardwired into your home and it will allow your electric truck to act as a back-up generator. Ford is partnering with Sun Run to install this powerhouse for customers.
The cost of installing a Charge Station Pro may vary. First, there is the cost of the station itself. Next is the cost of installation. It depends on how your house or apartment is designed. If the fuse box is in your garage or near your driveway, installation can be relatively cheap and easy. If your fuse box is in your basement or garden, the difficulty of installation increases. It can cost several thousand dollars to install something like this.
Join the video below as Roman and I explore the topic of Ford vs. House.