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from Ford's F-150 Lightning Charge Station Pro Boasts First Vehicle-to-Grid Charger

Ford's F-150 Lightning Charge Station Pro Boasts First Vehicle-to-Grid Charger
Owners can charge their trucks during off-peak hours and then power their homes with them during peak hours.
2022 Ford F 150 Lightning Pro 4

frankmarkus
Aug 23, 2021
As worsening storms deprive more neighborhoods of power, the home-generator function of the new Ford F-150 Lightning has no doubt helped sell out 120,000 pre-orders. Folks who buy a Lightning and opt for the Ford Charge Station Pro home charger unit will be the first customers capable of returning power to their home or participating in vehicle-to-grid charging, dropping energy back into the grid for credits or payments from energy companies.


Using All The Pins
These Charge Station Pro chargers are therefore among the very first to utilize all seven pins in the CCS1 type charging cord. As you may know, the three big pins in the upper circular part of the charger deliver AC current, while the smaller pins (4 and 5) handle communication between vehicle and charger. The two big pins (6 and 7) are typically used only for DC fast charging.

When the Ford F-150 Lightning is plugged into the Ford Charge Station Pro at home, it charges via pins 1 through 3, but if the power goes out with the truck plugged in, it can instantly switch to delivering just under 10 kW of DC power from the truck back to the house—enough to run most average-size homes. Most other vehicles boasting bi-directional charging export a maximum of more like 2 kW of power, so they do not require the DC pins.
2022 Ford F 150 Lightning tailgate open



FordPass App Controlled
The instant this energy flow switch happens, the owner gets a notification via the FordPass app, which then allows tailoring of how much "buffer" energy to leave in the battery (and the app can plot the distance to the nearest functional charging station). Owners can also turn the system on and off via the app to avoid running out to the garage, in order to preserve range during periods where power is less critical.

It is also possible to program the truck to automatically power the house every day during those times of day such as late afternoon and evening when peak energy use drives higher energy pricing. The truck can then revert to charging overnight when rates drop again, cleverly saving owners money.

Three Home Charging Options
At launch the truck will come with a corded charger that can plug into a 110- or 240-volt socket for level 1 or 2 charging. F-150 Lightning models ordered with the extended-range battery will come standard with Ford Charge Station Pro, which is capable of charging at a rate of 19.2 kW—that's as much as double some Level 2 charger rates. This charger obviously must be professionally installed and includes the same safety hardware to prevent backcharging the grid and endangering line workers repairing storm damage. The details options for actually powering the grid via vehicle-to-grid charging may vary regionally.

Ford is also working with SunRun to develop a solar home integration kit that will allow solar recharging of the truck. When it's possible to park the F-150 Lightning at home, plugged in, during the sunniest part of the day (when power rates may be low and the power company pays the least for energy returned to the grid), the truck can store the solar energy and then power the house during high-energy-rate hours, delivering better return on the solar investment. Pricing and financing options for the various chargers have yet to be fully determined, and the solar option will always be dependent on the individual home use case.
 
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