PG&E, Ford explore electric pickups as backup generators for families – TechCrunch

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Ford Motor Company are teaming up to explore how Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck can provide backup power to customers’ homes in the future. service area of ​​the California utility.

Earlier this week, PG&E says it will work with General Motors on a similar pilot involves testing the bidirectional charging ability to send electricity from the grid to the EV’s battery and back in the event of a power outage. Last year, the utility had to cut power to hundreds and thousands of homes and businesses to prevent power lines from causing wildfires in high-risk weather, so they’re working together. with automakers to find ways to avoid overloading the grid.

“Today, we are seeing disruptive opportunities at the intersection of energy and transportation,” PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said in a statement. “As more and more electric vehicles and new charging technologies become available, it is important for us to better understand how EVs can interact with the grid and how we can better support our customers. Best”.

Ford announced plans to build Lightning with two-way charging in May 2021. PG&E says the 9.6 kW output of the pickup’s Smart Backup Power, a built-in generator debuting for the first time in a Lightning system, can power homes for up to 10 days for up to 10 days. outage duration, depending on household usage, PG&E said. Ford has previously said it can power an entire family for up to three days on a single full charge.

Ford’s Smart Backup, which automatically starts powering your home if your Lightning is plugged in during a power outage and then switches back to charging when it runs out, will be installed for the first time in spring 2022. They will be supported by solar, battery and energy service provider Sunrun, which has partnered with Ford to install the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home integration system .

Through initial rollouts with a small number of customer homes, PG&E aims to study Ford’s technology and learn how it connects to the grid and how it can support customer resilience. during a power outage. Additionally, the two companies plan to explore additional use cases for the two-way charging technology.

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