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A recent massive storm cell ravaged the eastern part of the United States, causing power outages and property damage. Why are the lights on across the street? This could be a question that residents in storm-impacted areas ask during a power outage. The simple answer could be that the neighbor with the lights on owns a Ford F-150 Lightning. This electric pickup truck features bi-directional home charging, which means it can power the necessary appliances in a home for up to three days.

Blue F-150 Lightning Plugged In to the home charger.
Blue F-150 Lightning Plugged In | Ford

Is any special equipment required for home charging?

Ford F-150 Lightning owners can’t simply plug their trucks into the electric panel to power their home. A special electrical connection using designated equipment, must be established, much like using a power generator. The right equipment to use this electric truck to power your home via bi-directional charging is the Ford Charge Station Pro.

The Ford Charge Station Pro comes with extended-range battery models, but drivers with the standard-range battery must purchase this item to enable home power during power outages. This item provides intelligent backup power for your home, sending power from the truck’s batteries into your home.

Is the Ford F-150 Lightning the only EV with bi-directional charging?

Bi-directional charging is new, even in the electric vehicle market. The F-150 Lightning is one of the most effective electric vehicles to power a home because of its large battery size. Other electric vehicles that could provide emergency power during a power outage are:

  • GMC Hummer EV
  • Genesis GV60
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6
  • Kia EV6
  • Kia Niro
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Volkswagen ID.4

As new electric vehicles hit the market, most come with bi-directional charging, allowing the batteries to become backup power sources during power outages.

Is bi-directional charging a standard feature in new EVs?

Many automakers are adding the benefits of this backup power system to their vehicles. It’s not a universally standardized feature, but the benefits of EVs that can power a home, charge devices, and power another EV on the road are impressive.

CNet tells us BMW, Volvo, and Porsche are testing the functionality of this feature. Tesla will equip all models with it by 2025. GM embraced bi-directional charging starting with the new 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST. They are also making it a widespread feature in all 2024 and beyond electric vehicles.

As mentioned with the use of the Ford Charge Station Pro, sending power from the Ford F-150 Lightning to home devices requires special equipment. If you expect to utilize your EV as a backup power source during an outage, ensure you have the proper equipment to power your home’s necessary features.