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Ford F-150 Lightning
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Clean Transport

What’s The Most Recent Buzz About The Ford F-150 Lightning?

Have you kept up on the news about Ford’s all-electric pickup truck?

Ford F-150 Lightning owners are doubling down on the Ford pride. They’re comfortable with the familiar F-150 body and cabin yet intrigued by the swap from gasoline-powered V-6 and V-8 engine options for a pair of electric motors and one of two different battery packs. The pickup is winning hearts and minds not with messages of reduced emissions and pushing back climate change but with a whole suite of capabilities that internal-combustion vehicles simply don’t offer.

The owners preen when they show off their all-electric vehicles, delighted that the model beat Tesla’s Cybertruck to production.

And the thread that’s in every interested media message lately is how Ford Lightning comes with an adapter that enables them to charge Teslas. “F-150 Lightning can charge other EVs using its bi-directional charging capability, and we’re shipping our first Lightnings with adaptors so F-150 Lightning customers can lend a hand if needed,” a company spokesperson said.

The Ford-Tesla rivalry is fun, and many continue to question Tesla’s slow Cybertruck pace off the production line. Then again, Tesla owns the second-largest US public charging network with 19% of all connectors. It also dominates the fast- and ultra-fast segments, with more than half of those connectors in the country, according to BloombergNEF estimates. Drew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering, said in October that the company planned to triple the size of its supercharger network over the next 2 years.

The Ford charging network pales in comparison.

Charge Station Pro Separates the F-150 Lightning from the Competition

What other topics are a must-know lately for Lightning fans?

The feature that has everyone a Twitter and that sets the F-150 apart from other all-electric vehicles is its bi-directional charging capability, which Bloomberg calls “a key selling point of the pickup.” It allows customers to use their truck as a backup generator anywhere from worksites to their home after a power outage or even when camping. It enables owners to use the electric truck’s massive battery to charge other EVs.

For the bidirectional function to work, the other electric vehicle must be fitted with the SAE J1772 charge port. Teslas, which have a proprietary charging system, can get a charge from a Ford F-150 Lightning with an adapter manufactured by Lenz Charging Solution.

“Lightning to the rescue,” proclaimed a post on the Lightning Owners forum. “We can help all those poor dead Teslas.”

The Charge Station Pro comes with a 25-foot charge cord and coupler, a wall-mounting bracket, template, and hardware. Ford recommends Sunrun as its preferred installer for the unit, while that same company can also install Ford’s Home Integration System, which costs an additional $3,895, minus installation.

However, the 80-amp charger is currently listed as being out of stock at Ford’s official site. Currently, Ford expects its Charge Station Pro to be available no later than June 30th, which means that some customers will inevitably take delivery of their F-150 Lightning without this feature. The Ford Charge Station Pro comes as standard equipment on all F-150 Lightning models equipped with the Extended Range battery and is also available separately for an MSRP of $1,310 minus installation.

The Pro Power Onboard generator feature is included in all variants of the truck and can put out up to 2.4 kilowatts from a variety of outlets in the frunk, cabin, and bed. As an added option for certain trims, the capability increases to 9.6 kilowatts. The higher-output version includes a 240-volt, 30-amp outlet in the bed that can be used for a variety of higher-draw needs, including charging another EV at 7.2 kilowatts.

While it may not be a driving persuasive point for consumers who are considering the Ford F-150 Lightning, Bloomberg add that “enabling EVs to both take and provide a charge has the potential to help utilities manage peaks in demand and even allow their owners to sell electricity back to the grid.”

Test Range Extender Spotted on the Ford F-150 Lightning

Spy photographers recently sighted a Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck in Michigan with a work-grade toolbox installed in its 5.5-ft bed. Educated guesses are that it could be an extremely convenient place in which to install an EV range extender. A red emergency stop button is located on the toolbox’s right quadrant, a relatively certain indicator of a precious lagniappe inside.

A range extender is a secondary onboard power generator that charges an electric car’s battery as you drive. They boost an all-electric vehicle’s battery while in motion, replenishing some of its electrons as they are depleted and permitting the EV to travel further between visits to an electrical plug.

Could this feature be the realization of a patent application Ford filed a while back for very type of system? Then, the idea comprised a removable range extender, alleviating the need to carry the range extended when not needed but having the option for weekends on the lake or potlucks at the soccer field.

Ford in Favor of California’s Emissions Standards

Provisions in the Clean Air Act permit California to set personalized standards, even if those standards are more rigorous than those of the federal government. The administration of  former President Donald Trump invited questions about California’s autonomy, and the automotive industry sometimes joined in. Trump revoked California’s ability to set its own emissions standards.

But that dissension is old news. Ford, BMW, Honda, Volvo, and Volkswagen recently filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit to defend the state’s right to set its own emissions standards.

Ford issued a statement that said it intervened on the side of the EPA against a challenge to California’s ability to protect public health and combat climate change by setting vehicle emissions standards. Ford says it has consistently supported stricter greenhouse gas standards even when EPA did not, and this suit continues Ford’s leadership as the only US automaker to stand with California in support of stricter vehicle emissions standards in 2019.

Ford executive Steven Croley, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel, released the following statement regarding the significance of Ford’s environmental action. “Ford is combating climate change. We support the EPA’s recent Waiver Decision to allow California and other states to protect people’s health and combat climate change by establishing and enforcing air pollution standards and zero emission vehicle requirements.”

Since California is the largest market for new vehicles in America, automakers have had to meet the state’s regulations or risk losing a large number of sales. And now Ford has unprecedented demand for its F-150 Lightning — with 200,000 reservations. The company is expanding the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to ramp up production to a planned annual run rate of 150,000 in 2023.

With an investment of a total of $950 million and created 750 jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Ford’s investment in Michigan for F-150 Lightning alone now totals more than $1 billion. 1,700 recently created jobs are spread among 5 Ford plants, including Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, where Lightning electric motors and electric transaxles are assembled, and Rawsonville Components Plant, where Lightning batteries are assembled.

 
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Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.

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