The unreliable state of South Africa’s power grid is something which has plagued the people of this country for more than a decade now. It is why many South Africans have tried to go off the grid with varying degrees of success, as well as the reason why the uptake of electric vehicles in the country has been so slow. This brings us to the all-electric Ford F150 Lightning, which has a feature that almost seems purpose built for SA and its loadshedding woes.
The American carmaker has been showcasing its new EV Stateside this week and, while the unveiling of a large EV truck is noteworthy in itself, out interest in the vehicle has piqued even further once we found out it can be used to power a home.
Before you go calling up your local dealership, however, this latest EV is not slated for release outside of the United States at this stage.
Nevertheless, this feature is still worth looking at.
“Wickedly quick off the mark, quiet and smooth, F-150 Lightning delivers a new experience for truck owners at a starting price on par with today’s similarly configured F-150 trucks. The electric platform unlocks new capabilities as well – such as enough energy to power an entire home and a massive lockable frunk with power and charging capabilities to spare. Ford will deploy standard over-the-air software updates – called Ford Power-Up – to improve the technology experience, add new features and fix issues without trips to the dealership,” explained a press release for the F150 Lightning.
The Ford Intelligent Backup Power, as the company terms it, allows the F150 Lightning to offload 9.6 kilowatts of power to keep essential elements of the house powered. We’re immediately thinking of home security systems, essential appliances like fridges and stoves, along with fibre routers here.
As far as how much juice it can provide, Ford claims that, “based on an average 30kWh of use per day, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery provides full-home power for up to three days, or as long as 10 days if power is rationed, with results varying based on energy usage.”
It should be noted that this feature is not standard, with Ford stating that the 80 amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system required to deliver power to a household during an outage will need to be installed by the company.
Ford is also taking a look at how to handle electricity costs associated with charging up a vehicle of this size.
“In the future, Ford will introduce Ford Intelligent Power, which can use the truck to power homes during high-cost, peak-energy hours while taking advantage of low-cost overnight rates to charge the vehicle in time for your morning drive. This can help save money on electricity that powers your vehicle and home while also taking pressure off the grid in peak usage times,” it adds.
All this is fine and dandy, but again the prospect of getting the F150 Lightning or any other all-electric or hybrid vehicle from Ford in SA at the moment are slim to none. Given some of the innovative features that its cars are sporting at the moment, hopefully that changes.