Remember when the whole of Texas’s electrical grid took a colossal dump and Ted Cruz went to Cancun? During that time, Ford pickups with the 7.2 kW Pro Power Onboard generators were called into action to help keep people from freezing to death.
Power outages can be a pain, but for some they can be dangerous. Generators burn fuel, which can be in a limited supply, and if they aren’t in a properly-ventilated location, carbon monoxide poising can be a thing.
And if you own a business, you likely have to keep your doors closed because you either couldn’t afford a generator, or there was no place to attach one to your power grid where you are.
The new electric pickup from Ford, the F-150 Lightning, comes in two variants of work truck guise — standard-range and extended-range.
The extended-range pickup might just be the one to get if you’re a small-business owner. Because it’s a good deal considering what you get, and the truck can function as more than just your around-the-town shop truck.
Thanks to bidirectional power, the F-150 Lightning Pro can send up to 9.6 kW of power to your power grid. And to make it super easy, and seamless, to do, Ford builds the functionality into its Ford Charge Station Pro product.
That’s right, if you buy a Lightning Pro extended-range, and have a certified electrician install the charging station that comes with it, you can use your truck as a generator with nothing else needing to be done.
So your business can run several on a full F-150 Lightning Pro charge. So when your competitors are closed, you are still open and able to make food, provide shelter, and generally maintain operations to help your community.
The beauty of all of this is that it’s automatic. When the power goes out, the power station automatically starts drawing power from the truck. When power is restored, it automatically starts recharging the truck. If power is consistently restored, it’ll sap up the juice when it can, extending how long you can stay operational.
The switching equipment alone can be a several thousand dollar purchase, and that’s before the cost of the generator. Ford hasn’t officially priced the Charge Station Pro product, but 80-amp chargers these days can run up to $1,000. When you factor in the extended range, the lower cost of owners, the features, and the ability to keep your business up and running even when the politicians flee, it makes the $49,974 (before destination) asking price a bargain.
And that’s before any tax incentives.