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One of the coolest and most innovative features to come from the EV movement belongs to the Ford F-150 Lightning. The Lightning’s Ford Charge Station Pro bidirectional capability allows the Lightning to not only be charged from a home charging station but also give power back in the event of an outage. However, this game-changing tech doesn’t come for free. In fact, powering your house with a Ford F-150 Lightning will cost you a fortune. 

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum on a wet road at night
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum. Pre-production model with available features shown. Available starting spring 2022.

How do you power a house with the Ford F-150 Lightning?

MotorTrend has an F-150 Lightning as a long-term loaner. Given the many complex features of the Lightning, the writers at MT are trying to use all the features and report on them. One of the main features of the Lightning is the Charge Station Pro bidirectional capability. The problem is that getting set up to use the feature requires some patience and a fat stack of cash.

MotorTrend reports that they still don’t have the home charger set up because of “poor communication” with Ford and $18,000. Despite the crazy price, the system is still undeniably smart. 

Ford built the Charge Station Pro in conjunction with the solar energy company Sunrun. Officially named the Home Integration System by Sunrun and Intelligent Backup Power by Ford, the system uses the Ford Charge Station Pro Level 2 charger included with MT’s Lightning extended range model and an inverter installed by Sunrun to supply power to your home. 

The Lightning is a rolling powerplant

This system was initially designed to assist people in the event of a power outage. However, the system has further-reaching implications than just a generator. Sunrun and Ford have designed the Lightning to be a roving powerplant, able to sell energy back to the grid whenever needed. Two test projects, one in Northern and Central California with PG&E and another in Florida with Duke Energy, are actively trialing this idea.

How much does it cost to power your house with a Ford Lightning? 

It’s not as simple as buying the charger and plugging up your new electric truck. MotorTrend reports that the process is pricey because the system is complex. Sunrun explained that the installation for the Charge Station Pro charger was only $1,650. However, adding the Home Integration System would run up the tab to $9,400. But wait; that’s not all. Sunrun said that the $9,400 wouldn’t include any necessary updates to the house to handle the power. The MotorTrend writer says, in his case, the electrical panel needed to be updated to handle the amperage. However, a home inspection would be needed to find the specific cost. 

After weeks of getting the Sunrunaround, the MT writer states that vague contracts began piling up in his inbox, requesting massive amounts of money for unspecified jobs and obtuse work. The total bill landed at $17,340, and SunRun still never followed up. According to the solar power company, 1,000 of the 13,258 new Lightning owners have opted for this equipment.

Never fear; if you don’t care to spend that money to reverse the power flow, you can still use your Lightning as an emergency generator.