In the past, you have seen us charge 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. This is in the news a lot lately. Many people say that they are looking forward to powering their house in case of an emergency using this truck or any of the upcoming new electric trucks (F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, Hummer EV truck, and others). This sounds simple, but it turns out to be way more involved than you may think.
For this test, we take our F-150 PowerBoost to our friend Justin’s house. Justin installed an interconnect switch in his house. This switch allows the house to completely disconnect from the grid and to be powered by a standalone electricity source: something like a stationary generator or an electric truck. The reason for the grid disconnect is to not send power back to the grid. This can be dangerous in case of an emergency.
This F-150 Hybrid is equipped with an optional 7,200-watt inverter/generator. This is a significant amount of power generation. The truck has a 3.5-liter twin-turbo gas V6 engine and a small 1.5 kWh battery pack. In the case of power generation, the battery acts as a buffer to power external accessories, appliances, or a house.
In this video, we are able to power several appliances at the same time (a coffee maker, a fan, and a vacuum cleaner). However, we received a ground fault when trying to plug the 30-amp house wire into the F-150. Basically, the way this 1990’s house is wired requires a generator “neutral-ground bonding plug”. We did not have this plug on hand for this test, so we were not able to actually power the house and its appliances with the truck.
Stay tuned for part 2 in this video series, as we make another attempt to make it work.
In summary, it’s not an easy task to “plug your house into your truck”. When the 2022 F-150 Lightning reaches production, it will come with an optional Charge Station Pro interconnect system for your house. This station can be wired into your house and it will allow your electric truck to act as an emergency power generator. Ford is partnering with Sun Run to install this power station for customers.
The price for a Charge Station Pro station installation can 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 – the installation may be relatively cheap and easy. If your fuse box is in your basement or in your backyard, then the installation difficulty goes up. It may cost several thousand dollars to install something like this.
Join the video below as Roman and I explore the subject of Ford versus House.