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Daily Authority: 💸 F-150's home surprise
☕ Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by lots of coffee!
EVs and the home
The Ford F-150 Lightning has a handy trick that has had a lot of buzz for a while: it has support for bi-directional charging, known as vehicle-to-grid or vehicle-to-home, and the idea is the truck can keep the lights on at home.
But, it’s far more complicated than that. It probably costs more than you expect, and Ford’s not exactly helping.
- Already, you can charge your EV at home with a wall box (Ford’s version is called a Connected Charge Station.)
- And with the F-150 truck, you can do the reverse too: use the 98kWh* battery in the standard truck (or 131kWh in the extended range battery that costs $10,000 more) to power your home during outages.
- (*As reference, the Tesla Powerwall 2, which you can buy today and use as a home battery, is a 13.5kWh system.)
- Ford had not fully specified how the truck will be connected to the home in a safe manner.
- In very general terms, an EV has a DC battery. Homes and the grid run on AC.
- So, you need an inverter to go from DC-AC, and some extra power electronics to be able to run all your outlets at home off your EV.
- In March, Ford unveiled the Ford Charge Station Pro, for $1,310. It’s a bi-directional home charging station.
- But Ford left out a key detail: the cost of the “Home Integration System,” otherwise known as the smarts to go with charger to make it fully operational for a home.
- Unfortunately, news is that it’s an extra $3,895 before installation.
- That’s not a wildly expensive sticker price for what you get, but adding installation makes it a fairly big investment to something that seemed much easier/lower cost.
A post from Ford’s Charging and Energy Services person on LinkedIn, of all places, confirmed the $3,895 price (and that’s before installation, which is via Sunrun!):
- “If you want your truck to power your home during an outage, take advantage of Ford Intelligent Backup Power and get the Home Integration System that works with the Charge Station Pro. The Home Integration System is required to truly take advantage of two-way power flow of F-150 Lightning. This system consists of an inverter, transfer switch and battery, and will be sold through Sunrun for $3,895, with installation costs dependent on your personal home setup. When the power goes out, the system automatically disconnects from the utility line and switches over to Ford Intelligent Backup Power so that the truck can send power to your house.”
- The cost isn’t a complete surprise given what’s involved.
- And with this, the truck automatically provides power in the case of an outage. No manual switching or plugging in required.
- Ford’s website reads like it’s all simple: “It’s ready to work, even when parked,” says the site. “If the power goes out in your neighborhood, rest easy.”
- Yet, it’s not. It’s a bunch more cost and effort.
- Anyway, aside all that, the other advantage of having a home battery with solar panels on the roof is that you can do smart controls.
- The Enphase app, for example, for people with Enphase inverters and battery systems, can run on “Savings Mode” which uses the connected battery to power a home when electricity is expensive (peak hours), and uses grid power when it’s cheap (during off-peak hours).
- Ford’s solution may or may not be capable of that. The FordPass app doesn’t suggest it can.
- So, instead of clarity, there are added costs and complexity.
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🍎 From a book on Apple, an adapted feature on why Jony Ive left Apple: Evolving responsibilities, frustrations building as the company got in his way, mostly over the Apple Watch, all of which eventually led to his June 2019 resignation. He’d had enough. (New York Times, gift link).
💻 Every little bit helps: How to pick the least eco-hostile laptop(Ars Technica).
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📺 Russians reportedly turn to old Soviet-era tactics to watch Western movies: with entertainment companies dropping out, and VPNs becoming limited, bootlegs are it (Gizmodo). And as someone on Twitter joked (but it’s all too real): “Now showing: The.Batman.2022.1080p.HMAX.WEB-DL.DDP5.1.Atmos.x264.”
🏡 FYI: Airbnb will stop giving refunds for Covid-19 related cancellations (Gizmodo).
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This is great: “Delighted to announce that my plane was showing THE LAST DUEL but the closed-captioning was from KNIVES OUT”:
Bonus: A bus crashed in Albania and officials will leave it in place “as an installation to raise awareness of citizens to respect traffic rules.”
Have a great start to your week,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor