Some use Ford F-150 hybrid trucks to power homes

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Randy Jones, of Katy, Texas, was using his 2021 Ford F-150 to power space heaters and other appliances throughout his home when it lost power during the winter storm earlier this week.

Source: Randy Jones

When Randy Jones of Katy, Texas bought his new Ford F-150 pickup a few weeks ago, he didn’t think he’d use it to turn on the lights in his home during a historic winter storm that left millions without power.

The on-board generator of the 2021 Hybrid “gives you the opportunity to use your truck like a mobile generator”, which according to Ford can generate an output of up to 7.2 kW.

In a phone interview with CNBC on Thursday, 66-year-old Jones said he bought the truck due in part to that feature, adding that it frequently loses power due to hurricanes and other storms. When he lost power on Sunday evening, he decided to take out a couple of extension cords and put the generator to the test.

“Without them, I would have been in the dark and cold like everyone else in the neighborhood,” said the retired refinery worker, adding that he was helping the neighbors charge their phones and laptops. “Quite a few neighbors said, ‘Hey, I’ll get one’, like ‘I’ll trade my Dodge or GMC’ because we always have power in South Texas with hurricanes and things like outages.”

Jones said he used the truck’s on-board generator for three days to power appliances in his home until electricity was restored on Wednesday.

He is not alone. Jerry Hall, 73, bought his new F-150 in late January. It turned out to be perfect timing, he said.

“The truck saved the day,” the Kerrville, Texas resident said in a telephone interview Thursday. Hall said his house lost power from Sunday evening through early Thursday. “Without the truck it would have been three miserable days.”

Hall said he and his wife still spent those days without a heater, but they were able to run extension cords from the truck into the house to power lights, the refrigerator, television, and other luxuries.

“It connected us to the outside world,” he said.

Hall said “the main reason” he bought the truck was because of its on-board generator. He said last spring’s harsh weather had resulted in power outages in his part of the state, and he knew he wanted some kind of generator. It just makes sense to get a new truck with a built-in generator.

Other truck owners have posted similar stories on an online F-150 owner forum. Photos from the forum were posted on Twitter, where Ford CEO Jim Farley commented and tweeted: “The situation in the American Southwest is so difficult. I wish everyone in Texas had a new F150 with a PowerBoost generator on board …”