Earlier this week, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook Northern California and left about 70 percent of the homes and businesses without electricity. But one dealership managed to keep the lights on with help from a couple of EVs.
Harper Motors, which has operated in Humboldt County since 1912 and sells both new and used cars, including EVs, posted two photos on its Facebook page showing how it managed to stay open for business during the blackout.
Using the vehicle-to-load (V2L) feature of a Ford F-150 Lightning and Kia Niro EV, the North Eureka dealership had plenty of power for their showroom and parts department. “Powered by a Niro EV and F150 Lightning, we are open for sales, and parts if you need us,” wrote the business on its Facebook page.
The Ford F-150 Lightning’s V2L function is called Pro Power Onboard and it can provide up to 9.6 kW of power from a total of 11 outlets, including four 120V outlets in the front trunk and a 240V outlet in the bed of the truck.
The Kia Niro offers up to 1.8 kW of power from its front charging port or rear trunk, but only if the car is specced in its top “wave” trim level.
This isn’t the first time owners have used their EVs to power homes or businesses during power outages. Back in November, after Hurricane Nicole hit Florida, an F-150 Lightning owner used his truck to cook some food and help out his neighbor. And in August, a pair of Lightnings helped with the cleaning-up efforts after the terrible floods in Kentucky.
Ford’s electric truck can actually power an entire house for several days if configured properly. The option pack is called Ford Intelligent Backup Power and it involves some modifications to your home’s electrical system, but in the end, you’ll basically have an automatic central home generator, which turns on when the grid goes offline.
It’s the same as a classic home generator, only it doesn’t pollute the air and it’s silent, which are nice extras. Of course, you have to have the batteries topped up, but then again, you also need to have a full tank of gas in an old-school generator if you want power for a whole day.
What’s your take on this – have you ever used your EV to power your home? Let us know in the comments below.