Ford, Sunrun to backup US solar homes with the electric F-150


From pv magazine USA

When the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck hits the road later this spring, it will deliver the same utility that has made the F-150 line a leader among all truck offerings. However, the Lightning will be able to deliver something that no pickup truck has done before: it can power your home.

Ford has teamed up with Sunrun to enhance home energy management, leveraging the substantial onboard battery capability of the Lightning with Ford Intelligent Backup Power, to give customers the ability to use bidirectional power technology from their all-electric truck to provide energy to their homes during an outage, or to reduce their reliance on the grid when electricity prices are high.

With Ford Intelligent Backup Power and the Home Integration System, developed in collaboration with Sunrun, F-150 Lightning automatically kicks in to power the home if the grid goes down. The Home Integration System and Ford Charge Station Pro, the truck’s charging unit, are composed of a power inverter plus a dark start battery and transfer switch, enabling the two-way power flow. Buyers of the extended-range F-150 Lightning automatically receive the Ford Charge Station Pro, while standard-range truck customers can purchase the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and pay for activation separately.

The Home Integration System and Ford Charge Station Pro are designed in what is called a vehicle-to-grid direct current configuration (V2G-DC). In V2G-DC, power conversion and smart functions are housed in the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), where the EVSE essentially works like a stationary smart inverter offering grid-support benefits and communication functions to asset operators, in addition to converting power.

The Lightning’s extended-range battery system can store up to 131kWh of electricity and deliver up to 9.6kW. For comparison, a Tesla Powerwall 2, one of the leading home storage solutions can store up to 14kWh of electricity and deliver up to 5kW continuously, with a max peak of 7kW.

As a battery alone, the Lightning has a storage capacity equivalent to roughly 9.4 Tesla Powerwall 2 units.  Ten batteries would cost approximately $5,500 each before installation costs, while the Lightning is available at a price that can range from $39,974 to upwards of $95,000, depending on which available options the customer chooses. Plus, you can’t drive a home battery to work.

Once power is restored, the system automatically reverts back to utility power, but users can configure the system to charge their truck using their residential solar installation, if they so choose. Based on an average U.S. home at 30 kilowatt-hours 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 when used in conjunction with solar power or considerable energy usage rationing.

Outside of the development assistance with the Home Integration System Ford and Sunrun are partnering to provide a seamless installation solution with Sunrun employees installing the specific charging hardware. As part of the partnership, Ford shares that customers interested in combining Ford Charge Station Pro installation with solar power may be eligible to do so for zero dollars down and reduced installation pricing.

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