How Ford’s F-150 Lightning Could Take On Tesla’s Powerwall
The all-electric pickup truck will soon double as a way to heat and cool your home.
Ford wants its F-150 Lightning to be more than just an all-electric pick-up truck.
The auto titan already made waves when it gave the F-150 Lightning the ability to power a home in emergencies, and now it’s pushing its vehicle-to-home (V2H) charging capabilities even further by letting the electric truck power your home’s heating and cooling during peak grid hours.
Ford is partnering with Resideo, which makes smart thermostats, to offer an energy management system that uses your F-150 Lightning’s battery to power your home’s AC. If powering parts of your home sounds familiar, it’s because Ford’s biggest competitor in the EV market, Tesla, already sells its own solution for that called the Powerwall.
So far, Ford and Residio are only looking into a smart thermostat, but it’s not difficult to see how the F-150 Lightning could rival Tesla’s Powerwall system down the line.
OFF-PEAK HOURS ONLY
To get this smart thermostat to work, you’ll obviously need a F-150 Lightning. Then, you’ll have to install Ford’s Charge Station Pro that allows for the Intelligent Backup Power feature. After that, the smart thermostat can automatically switch to pull from your F-150 Lightning’s massive battery to heat or cool your home during peak grid hours. This should lower your electric bill since you’re not drawing from the power grid at its most expensive times.
In comparison, Tesla’s Powerwall system does something similar to save you money since it can take over when electricity costs are high. The difference is you have to install Powerwalls that act as the power bank, while Ford’s solution uses the F-150 Lightning itself as the alternative power source.
Ford’s setup seems to appeal to those who don’t want to go through a lengthy installation process, but Tesla’s Powerwall option does have the advantage when it comes to using solar energy. Still, it’ll take around seven Powerwalls at 13 kWH capacity each to match the max battery capacity of the F-150 Lightning’s most affordable trim that tops out at 98 kWh. At around $10,000 per Powerwall unit, that quickly adds up.
BEYOND THE SMART THERMOSTAT
Ford is still working on this feature with Resideo, but says it should be ready in the first half of 2024. Once this F-150 Lightning smart thermostat feature is available, we don’t see why Ford wouldn’t continue down this route and have its electric truck battery power other parts of your home. After all, the F-150 Lightning can already serve as a home backup power source in blackouts.
If that’s the case, Tesla may have a serious competitor to its Powerwall. We’re also guessing the setup costs with Ford’s system would be a lot cheaper since the Charge Station Pro starts at $1,310 and even comes bundled if you buy a 2023 model F-150 Lightning. Although, you still need to buy the F-150 Lightning, which starts at $49,995.