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New Electric F-150 Brings V2G Potential to Texas Drivers

Jul 27, 2021

GHI Blog

In May 2021, Ford announced that it would be releasing its electric version of the F-150, the Lightning. This electric truck has a target of 230 miles (standard range) or 300 miles (extended range) per charge with a towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs. This EV has an impressive range and is drawing a lot of interest as a fully electric vehicle since its gas-powered counterpart is already a widely popular truck for many Americans. For Texans especially, the F-150 Lightning could boost the state’s EV population simply because many Texas residents already find the gas-powered F-150 a reliable truck. The new electric version can still meet many drivers’ needs and be compatible with most of their driving behaviors.

Texans Can Increase Their Energy Security Using EVs

Texas is an interesting target market for the electric F-150 due to the truck’s compatibility with the state’s drivers and because of the truck’s bidirectional charging capabilities. The F-150 Lightning is equipped with intelligent power backup, meaning that the energy capacity stored in the vehicle’s battery can be drawn from the truck to a home (at 9.6 kW) when plugged in and deliver backup power in case of an outage. Once the building’s power comes back on, the power’s directionality can go back to charging the truck again.

In early 2021, Texas experienced blackouts due to extreme winter weather events, causing outages to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas power grid. Outages to the grid resulted in millions going without power and several casualties due to the cold. Concerns remain that this summer could once again bring extreme temperatures and more power shutoffs. Because the F-150 Lightning has an expected 150 kWh-160 kWh battery, Ford has stated that at full load, the electric truck could power a home for 3 days (or 10 days at reduced loads). This capability has the potential to provide critical backup power to homes and reduce stress on the electric grid during power shutoffs, which are becoming more frequent threats.

What Is the Vehicle-to-Grid Potential of Other EVs?

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) refers to technology that enables an EV to provide power back to the grid by drawing from its battery capacity. Other EVs besides the F-150 Lightning have this capability; however, the size of the EV’s battery and consumer energy demands can heavily dictate whether V2G capabilities would be significantly beneficial.

For example, the Nissan Leaf has had V2G capabilities since 2012. However, due to the relatively small size of its battery, CHAdeMO charger port, and the large home electricity demands of US households, the Leaf EV battery cannot supply power support in the same way that a much larger EV battery could. Other EVs with V2G potential include the Lucid Air (launching in fall 2021), an EV from Lucid Motors that the company claims will have vehicle-to-everything or V2X capabilities, meaning the ability to direct power from the EV to the grid or another EV.

Hyundai’s E-GMP EV platform also has these capabilities, calling them vehicle-to-load or V2L. The key for V2G technology will be to provide not only the capabilities of bidirectional charging but also a platform that is compatible with the driving and overall energy demands of consumers in their respective regions. The Ford F-150 Lightning has the potential to find an energy niche in Texas, where the dynamics of driving behavior and grid resiliency issues make the market a perfect target for the new electric truck.