As we previously reported, in the midst of the massive power outages in Texas, people were living in their Teslas, powering their homes with Ford hybrid pickup trucks, and trying to rig their Teslas to provide power. You have to do what you have to do in an emergency, but Tesla's cars aren't approved to power your home.
Sure, in an emergency situation, especially when the government is offering little help and people are dying, people may go to drastic measures to survive. If you own an electric car or a hybrid vehicle, you may be able to figure out how to tap into its battery to power your home. However, there are potential safety concerns, especially if the car isn't designed or approved as an external power source.
Ford's North America Product Communications Manager Mike Levine took to Twitter throughout the disaster to fill people in. As it turns out, some folks were using vehicles like the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid to power their homes or other necessary equipment. In fact, Ford asked local dealers to lend out such vehicles to help. However, people were also using Tesla vehicles for similar purposes. When Levine got wind of the situation, he issued the following tweet.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that products must be used for their intended purposes. While it may be an interesting – and potentially scary, especially if you have no clue what you're doing – project to dig into your Tesla and tap its power. However, Tesla makes it clear in its warranty that you should not choose this path. In fact, it could void your warranty.
This is really not any different than towing with a car that's not rated to tow. If the automaker finds out, it could void your warranty. Posting such details on social media is a sure way to alert Tesla that you're guilty.
Hopefully, in the future, many electric cars will be approved for use as a stationary power source. Vehicle-to-grid or vehicle-to-home applications are certainly a reality, and we can only assume they'll be readily available down the road. However, for now, play it safe.