Texans Are Using Ford F-150 Hybrids to Power Their Frigid Homes During Winter Storm
The pickup's onboard power supply is warming homes hit by electrical outages.
Texas is in a Texas-sized pickle this week. You may have heard about its power and water infrastructure utterly collapsing during the coldest, iciest, snowiest week there in decades. Millions of Texans are without electricity, and many are without consistent water thanks to burst pipes and water lines. Staying warm is suddenly a top priority for citizens used to relaxed, spring-like winter temperatures and searing-hot summers. For at least one Texan, the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid has stepped up to help.
As detailed on F150gen14.com forum, a user in the lower half of Texas says they lost power for three days; while neighbors set up a conventional backup generator to keep their critical home functions rolling, this forum poster busted out their 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum PowerBoost Hybrid. Using the onboard power-supply setup—which is powered by both the batteries and the engine—as a generator, the owner ran extension cords from the pickup to their kitchen to power a few lights, a toaster oven, a space heater, and the fridge.
It sounds as though the F-150 went above and beyond the call of basic duty, also powering a 75-inch TV, a coffee maker, and a freezer for "10-12 hours per day." Keep in mind, temperatures in the area were hovering in the teens during most of this time. The Ford owner says the F-150's hybrid powertrain only chewed through a few gallons of gasoline during this period, and noted how the engine would come on and turn off periodically to keep the batteries onboard juiced up. The setup proved quieter than the neighbors' traditional portable generator, according to the user, and thanks to the truck's much larger fuel tank, didn't need to be refueled at least twice per day.
The PowerBoost Hybrid owner notes their truck is equipped with the more robust 7.2-kW Pro Power Onboard Generator power supply, which Ford says can simultaneously power stuff like a plasma cutter, TIG welder, air compressor, angle grinder, and work light (all of those!) for 32 hours. A 2.4-kW generator is standard on PowerBoost hybrids, and comes with two 120-volt, 20-amp outlets in the bed that can power two heavy-duty tools for 85 hours straight on one tank of fuel; the 7.2-kW unit also adds a 240-volt outlet.
Another Texas-based forum user whose power was out chimed in, noting his 2021 F-150 XLT PowerBoost with the 7.2-kW power supply has been powering his home's HVAC system for several days "with no issues." Yet another Texan with a PowerBoost says his F-150 has used only a quarter-tank of fuel running extension cords to a fridge, some lights, a cable modem and wireless router, a coffee pot, and power recliner (!) for 72 hours straight.
For the curious, you can wire your house to more accept power from the F-150, but none of these forum posters had done so yet, so they used extension cords to appliances and devices instead. The takeaway? Next to a Ford public-relations win during what is otherwise a desperately miserable situation in Texas, these owners have shown that Ford's claims about the PowerBoost Hybrid's power-generation capabilities aren't exaggerated. To everyone in Texas, stay safe, and keep an eye out for neighbors with F-150s sprouting extension cords—maybe you can ask for some juice.