The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning won’t just be able to power your tools or tailgate on the road or a few key appliances during an electrical outage, but your entire home. Thanks to a partnership with Sunrun, the Lightning’s charging interface can be used as an emergency home power backup without any manual intervention at all. Ford calls it Intelligent Backup Power.
This makes perfect sense if you think about it. Battery-based power backup systems (a la the Tesla Powerwall) have been on the market for years, and an electric vehicle is just a battery bank on wheels. All that’s missing is the interface; that’s where Sunrun comes in. Ford’s preferred home charging partner for the F-150 Lightning will offer a home integration system for the truck that allows power to flow both ways through Ford’s Charge Station Pro 80-amp charger, meaning the Lightning can directly (and automatically, like an integrated whole-home generator) power your home if you lose power.
Yes, this is head and shoulders above what Pro Power Onboard can do. Despite Tesla’s head start in the home power market, its vehicles don’t officially support this functionality. Circumventing the built-in check will void your Tesla’s warranty. Ford, on the other hand, actively encourages it, provided you get the proper equipment, of course. The key component is the home integration kit. A standard level 2 charger is intended to be used just in one direction; the integration kit enables two-way power flow.
While Sunrun would prefer that you source electricity from one of its home solar installations, the panels aren’t a mandatory part of the package; your normal electrical service will work just fine. With this setup and assuming you start with a full charge, Ford says an extended-range battery model can power a house for up to three days of what it considers “normal” usage (30 kWh/day); you can stretch that to 10 days if you’re frugal.