The Ford F-150 Lighting all-electric truck comes with a feature called Pro Power Onboard. It turns this pickup into a gigantic power brick that you can use to run tools, appliances or even an entire jobsite.
Pro Power Onboard is available in certain versions of the conventional F-150, though it is standard in the Lightning, even the base Pro trim. Combustion-powered trucks can get Pro Power Onboard in three output levels: 2.0, 2.4 and 7.2 kilowatts. In comparison, the all-electric Lightning comes standard with 2.4, but for $1,200 extra you can have 9.6 kW of juice at your fingertips.
Having so much exportable electricity is ideal for power outages, camping and even construction where you might have a portable air compressor, a hammer drill or even a armada of power saws. With an F-150 so equipped, there’s no need to haul around a separate generator or worry about gas cans.
Giving you access to all that succulent juice, the Lightning Pro comes with four 120-volt outlets in the front trunk, two in the cab – one on the dashboard and another at the back of the center console – and then four more in the bed. There’s also a 240-volt socket back there, plus a whole bunch of USB ports and 12-volt outlets in between. In short, there’s a surfeit of places to plug stuff in.
Helping you keep tabs on and control how much power is being used, the Lightning Pro includes a special settings screen in the infotainment system. This shows an image of the truck divided into three zones, the frunk, cab and bed. You can turn each zone off individually if you want or shut them all off via a master power switch.
When power is being drawn, this same screen also shows how much is being used and what remains available from each zone, a thoughtful and eminently useful touch.
Of course, if you plug something in that draws too much power, the Lightning will shut the outlets off, kind of like tripping a circuit breaker. This prevents you from inadvertently damaging your tools or the truck. You can reactivate the outlets from the screen inside or from hardware switches in the frunk and bed.
Whether it’s right or wrong, electric vehicles already give many drivers range anxiety. The thought of running a bunch of power-hungry tools off your Lightning may seem like a terrible idea, but it’s really not as bad as it seems at first blush. Yes, using Pro Power Onboard will drain the battery, however, this truck’s extended-range pack has 131-kilowatt-hours of usable capacity. If you’re drawing the full 9.6 kW, an extreme use case, that still gives you almost 14 hours of runtime. Additionally, you can set a limit from within the infotainment system, so that the outlets automatically shut off once the truck hits a certain range. You can very easily adjust this using arrows on the screen.
Ford’s Pro Power Onboard is an incredibly useful feature, especially in the all-electric Lighting. This amenity is easy to use, comes with plenty of outlets and helps make the already super-versatile F-150 even more useful.