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frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/27/21 11:48 a.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

As does most vehicles. While the idea of a wandering car life may have some attraction. The reality is most trips end where they start.  Yes visiting Grandma 400 miles away for Christmas and Thanksgiving will require you to look at the dashboard to see where the next charging station is but we are pretty used to using GPS.  
 How long will it be before some enterprising person rates charging stations by available food, possible entertainment, shopping etc? 
  Aside from that given the economics of EV's   Almost everyone will  soon have them.  
    Getting oil out of the ground or under the ocean is getting riskier and more expensive. While Sun and Wind are pretty much everyplace. Sun is shining in your yard as well as wind blowing.   Since the typical trip isn't 400 miles that means  you likely won't be buying any electricity except your own. Solar panels on the roof. Wind generator in your yard?  Aren't we about to the point  where if we don't have to buy fuel  we can pay for those?  
   The cool thing is now you can power your house for 3-5 days with the electricity in your Ford's pickups EV battery. No longer need a standby generator. 
 
     

STM317
STM317 UberDork
11/27/21 12:34 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I've recently been looking into the Lightning and it's backup power capability. As far as I can tell, you get power for "up to 3 days" (when starting with a full charge) if you spend $10k more for the big battery.  It also requires the special 80amp charger which  is included with the long range truck, but is an extra cost option for the base Lightning. This 80amp charger requires its own 100amp service, which may require a lot of extra work and cost to install. The photos that I've seen from Ford show a pretty large box on the wall in addition to the 80amp charger. This box is likely some combination of inverter and transfer switch. No mention if that hardware is included in the purchase price of the 80amp charger or not, but I'm guessing it's not.

Realistically, to get a Lightning capable of power your house for 3 days, it's going to cost thousands of dollars on top of the purchase price of the truck (which is $10k more to start). For most applications, it's probably going to be pretty close to the price of a natural gas standby generator. But that NG standby generator will run without limitations for a lot longer than "up to 3 days" in the perfect situation.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/27/21 1:17 p.m.

Ford really hit the market's perceived need with that "run your house" concept, but yeah. It's going to require a bunch of support infrastructure. I can see situations where it would work - especially if you have solar - but I'd probably do a NG whole house gennie first. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/27/21 1:28 p.m.

Then you read something I didn't. What Ford said is a typical 4 bedroom house would last up to 3 days. Then off record they added up to 5 days  with moderation in usage   Conjecture on my part but since a typical house has 3 or less rooms with a lot of homes with only 1 or 2 people. It seems reasonable that longer would be possible in some situations. 
    You are aware that owners are free to install their own wiring aren't you?  I can put a separate panel to deal with 100 amps for a few hundred dollars tops by visiting my favorite big box store. 
 I suppose if you are reluctant or unwilling to do that  costs could mount.   
     

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/27/21 1:33 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

There is a video on U Tube explaining the F150 EV  process.   Nothing was mentioned about a requirement to select the additional 70 mile package. As a requirement. But common sense says that you have to isolate your house from the grid.  That's as simple as flipping a switch at my home and then flipping another switch to back feed 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/27/21 1:57 p.m.

I don't trust details from random YouTubists. Get me a Ford spec sheet and I'll believe it. 

I suspect a manual switch operated by "common sense" would not meet code, as common sense is not reliable. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/27/21 3:50 p.m.
STM317 said:

But that NG standby generator will run without limitations for a lot longer than "up to 3 days" in the perfect situation.

Unless you live in earthquake country.  Here in California the most likely cause of a sustained power outage is an earthquake (we don't get hurricanes), but those usually wind up with the gas service being interrupted as well.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/27/21 5:09 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I don't trust details from random YouTubists. Get me a Ford spec sheet and I'll believe it. 

I suspect a manual switch operated by "common sense" would not meet code, as common sense is not reliable. 

I have to agree with you regarding common sense.  
 Regarding the U tube, since the guy doing the video had a Brand New F1)50 Lightening (EV)  and was showing the truck   just like Ford would have scripted it  I suspect there was some direct Ford involvement. 
    If you watch it I'm sure you'll come to that same conclusion. 
 Yes, details about how the truck was plugged into the house were lacking just like Ford salesmen would gloss over those details. 
 But exact Horsepower and Torque were right up front.  Range both standard and with the added battery.   Then all the details about the size of the screen and what touch area  did what were in pretty exact details. Straight out of  salesman 101. 
     I did like the frunk with the 19 different ways to open it. ( including a button to push in case you got locked in). 
 Big enough to hold 2 golf bags.  I think 900 pound capacity.  Plus all the hidden storage capacity.  
 Yes there is a ladder in the tailgate with a handle to help you step right into the bed.  
  Sound enough like a Ford pitch yet?  
   They did say the first ones wouldn't be released until spring. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
11/27/21 6:13 p.m.
frenchyd said:

Then you read something I didn't. What Ford said is a typical 4 bedroom house would last up to 3 days. Then off record they added up to 5 days  with moderation in usage   Conjecture on my part but since a typical house has 3 or less rooms with a lot of homes with only 1 or 2 people. It seems reasonable that longer would be possible in some situations. 
    You are aware that owners are free to install their own wiring aren't you?  I can put a separate panel to deal with 100 amps for a few hundred dollars tops by visiting my favorite big box store. 
 I suppose if you are reluctant or unwilling to do that  costs could mount.   
     

From Ford's press release after unveiling the Lightning:

"With Ford Intelligent Backup Power, enabled by the available 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system Ford can help install, F-150 Lightning automatically kicks in to power your house. Once power is restored, the truck automatically reverts to charging its battery. Based on an average 30kWh of use per day, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery provides full-home power for up to three days, or as long as 10 days if power is rationed, with results varying based on energy usage."

So, the claim is based on having a fully charged Extended Range battery when the power goes out, and usage of 30kwh per day. Have less battery capacity (either due to low state of charge or the smaller Standard Range battery pack, and it obviously won't last as long. Use more energy, and it obviously won't last as long.

 

As for the wiring, there are a lot of older homes that only have 100amp service to begin with. If a Lightning owner wanted to install the 80 amp charger to enable faster charging and home power backup, they might have to double their service. This is also more than 5 times the typical amperage of a 240V outlet, and most people won't even mess with 240V. That kind of work would require a permit and inspection in plenty of places, especially if it has to avoid backfeeding power to the grid while in use. That's why Ford has an agreement with the pros for installation.

Ford is partnering with SunRun to offer installation of the additional hardware. SunRun is a solar energy company, and is planning package deals with solar panel installation and the "home management system" and inverter needed for backup power:

"If you opt for the bi-directional 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro, plus a home management system and an inverter needed to connect to your home, the F-150 Lightning will be able to output 9.6 kw of power through an Intelligent Backup Power function—enough to power the lights and appliances for days."

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
11/27/21 10:03 p.m.
STM317 said:

"If you opt for the bi-directional 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro, plus a home management system and an inverter needed to connect to your home, the F-150 Lightning will be able to output 9.6 kw of power through an Intelligent Backup Power function—enough to power the lights and appliances for days."

I assume "Ford Charge Station Pro, plus a home management system and inverter" includes a transfer switch, so the electric service from the utility is safely isolated when it's in use.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/27/21 10:29 p.m.

30 kwh/day isn't gonna run your AC or heat pump.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/27/21 10:46 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Thank you for clarifying Fords Statement.   
Regarding DIY electrical work. I live in a small community of extremely upscale homes.  Short of pulling power from the lines a homeowner can do his own ( although I'm sure I'm the only one  who does) 

 I've had the inspector check my work, Well,  just to be safe. Without an issue.   But really a house is about 2000 times simpler than your average car.  White, green, and red are the only colors used .  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/28/21 12:10 a.m.

Hmm, what are all these black wires for then?

;)

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/28/21 1:45 a.m.
frenchyd said:

 I've had the inspector check my work, Well,  just to be safe. Without an issue.   But really a house is about 2000 times simpler than your average car.  White, green, and red are the only colors used .  

Hopefully there's a fourth color for the 220 circuits!

Most power companies are very, very particular about making sure that backup generators and the like are installed with the proper safety features, because doing it wrong can kill their employees who are working to restore power and are not expecting the wires to be live.

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
11/28/21 9:22 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to STM317 :

Thank you for clarifying Fords Statement.   
Regarding DIY electrical work. I live in a small community of extremely upscale homes.  Short of pulling power from the lines a homeowner can do his own ( although I'm sure I'm the only one  who does) 

 I've had the inspector check my work, Well,  just to be safe. Without an issue.   But really a house is about 2000 times simpler than your average car.  White, green, and red are the only colors used .  

Agreed, even if the stuff has to be inspected before it can be turned on, you can often still DIY the work and then have an inspector check it over and sign off on it. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
11/28/21 6:13 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

What percentage of people that spend $50-90k on a brand new truck, and another couple grand on an inverter and transfer switch are going to run their own 100 amp service and wire everything else together? 

I just don't see the people with that kind of income wanting to risk bricking their new EV, or burning their house down, or killing themselves or some line worker in order to save a couple grand by DIYing that kind of install. At that point, Spending a couple grand more to have it installed professionally to avoid potential mistakes (and liability) seems like a wiser choice to me.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/28/21 7:24 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Knowledge is power.  When you give that over to others you lose.  Wiring is pretty simple.  
 Spend some time with professional electricians and you'll find they are just normal people. None of them are brain surgeons.  It's not a terrifying career.  They don't go to work worried they will die.  Physically it's easier than being a carpenter or plumber.  

   If you want you can just hang the box, run the wires,  and until they Are connected into the circuit breaker panel it's impossible to be electrocuted.  Save 90% of the cost. 
     
     If you're willing to work on your cars wiring why should a house scare you?  Turn off the power and you can't be hurt. Double check by testing it before working on it. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
11/28/21 7:27 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Hmm, what are all these black wires for then?

;)

Yep, :-(

STM317
STM317 UberDork
11/29/21 4:21 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to STM317 :

Knowledge is power.  When you give that over to others you lose.  Wiring is pretty simple.  
 Spend some time with professional electricians and you'll find they are just normal people. None of them are brain surgeons.  It's not a terrifying career.  They don't go to work worried they will die.  Physically it's easier than being a carpenter or plumber.  

   If you want you can just hang the box, run the wires,  and until they Are connected into the circuit breaker panel it's impossible to be electrocuted.  Save 90% of the cost. 
     
     If you're willing to work on your cars wiring why should a house scare you?  Turn off the power and you can't be hurt. Double check by testing it before working on it. 

This place constantly reminds me that we trade money for time/knowledge. I'm suggesting that Lightning buyers probably understand that trade off pretty well, and are likely to be more comfortable paying a specialist to have this type of service seamlessly integrated by a pro while they go about their lives than DIY to save a few bucks. I'm not suggesting that it's impossible, or even that difficult to wire up your own. I'm suggesting that the number of people that are actually going to do that has to be a very small percentage of Lightning buyers. The vast majority of people aren't going to have the knowledge, tools, and or willingness to take on that task. So most people will end up paying $50k+ for the truck, plus thousands more for the inverter/transfer switch and their installation.

It's a cool option for Ford to offer, and they're getting lots of good press from it. That doesn't mean that it's the superior option in many situations. If you've got NG available, then a standby generator likely makes more sense for similar money. If you're the "I've got to DIY everything" type who's willing and able to wire up your own transfer switch, etc then a <$1k portable gas generator probably makes the most sense. Or use the truck's onboard 240v power outlets to run just the essentials instead of the higher power charge port/80 amp wall unit with automatic integration. That's what lots of F150 Hybrid owners did in the Texas power outages last year.

NGTD
NGTD PowerDork
11/29/21 7:18 a.m.

Late to the party, but I'll chime in.

I have a 2018 Chevy Volt and I live in Central Ontario, Canada. I commute 130 km a day (about 80 miles) round trip. I bought my Volt in Feb 2021. I paid less than $20K CAD for the car.

Yes, you lose range in the cold weather. Up until just a couple of weeks ago, I was still doing the commute in straight EV Mode (I am able to plug into 120V at work). I do things to avoid burning gas, like keeping a window open to stop the windshield fogging at temperatures approaching freezing , that some people might think is odd. But it's part of the fun of a PHEV, trying to stay off the dino juice. The Volt will start the gas engine to get heat once the temperatures fall below 0C (32F).  You can't do anything to prevent this. I have heard that this point may be adjustable in the 1st-gen cars but it's not in my 2nd-gen. But it's really not a big deal. I might burn 1-2L of gas a day vs my 08 Rabbit that in these temps would burn 10-12L a day.

To put it in perspective, in my 2008 VW Rabbit over 41526 miles, I used 5572L of gas, which at today's prices would be approximately $7522 CAD. In my Volt, I have done 34000 miles and used 1132L. If I extrapolate that to the same amount of miles as the Rabbit, I get 1382.6L of gas, with a projected cost of $1866.50 CAD. So in 9 1/2 months, I have saved over $5600 in gas.  I have a Level 2 charger at Home and my Electric bills have increased approx. $40/month, so when I take that off, my savings are OVER $500/month!!!! At this rate, the car will be paid for from fuel savings in less than 3.5 years.

I should mention that the majority of the fuel I use is on road trips. My kids live 300km from me and once a month their mother meets me half way and once a month I have to drive there and back. The Volt simply doesn't charge fast enough to bother with on-the-road charging, so I just run in Hybrid mode. Even then I still get around 50 mpg (Imp), which is still 25% better than the Rabbit. 

I love my Volt and I regret that Chevy stopped making them. I wasn't ready to go straight EV, but I am happy with my PHEV.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
11/30/21 12:10 p.m.
STM317 said:

As for the wiring, there are a lot of older homes that only have 100amp service to begin with. If a Lightning owner wanted to install the 80 amp charger to enable faster charging and home power backup, they might have to double their service.

This is a common refrain " But my older home only has a 100 amp service, so I can't have an EV!"

My 1932 home had a 100 amp service when we got it in 2001, but it had been upgraded from a 50 amp fused service before that and from a knob and tube wiring before THAT. At some point you just nut up and install a better service to you house if for no other reason that increasing home value. I did that back in 2006 with no vision of an EV in my future. More like a hot tub and a couple more useful circuits in the new 2 car garage, and simple future-proofing.

If you're even THINKING about an EV and you only have a 100 amp service, it's probably a good time to upgrade ANYHOW. And if you're spending the coin on a Lightning, might as well spend a bit more on a value-adding upgrade to your home as well. It's the one part of the equation that won't be depreciating. Saying you're limited by that old house service is BS.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/21 12:19 p.m.

I agree that modernizing wiring is always a good thing, but it is a potential extra cost that needs to be taken into account.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
11/30/21 12:43 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I agree that modernizing wiring is always a good thing, but it is a potential extra cost that needs to be taken into account.

It's an extra cost that adds value to the home. It should be considered part of the house cost, not part of the cost of an EV, as it stays with you and can be used for more than just the EV. I mean do you count the cost of the tools tools to do a new car build as part of the cost of the car, or are you amortizing them out over the entire lifetime of use you get out of them for the next car or home project you undertake? This is the same.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/30/21 1:10 p.m.
Chris_V said:

It's an extra cost that adds value to the home. It should be considered part of the house cost, not part of the cost of an EV, as it stays with you and can be used for more than just the EV. I mean do you count the cost of the tools tools to do a new car build as part of the cost of the car, or are you amortizing them out over the entire lifetime of use you get out of them for the next car or home project you undertake? This is the same.

Sure, but it's still $15-20K out of pocket.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
11/30/21 1:15 p.m.

Depending on other electrical loads in the house, 100 amp service doesn't necessarily mean no EV, even without upgrading.  It just likely means no super-mega fast charger for that EV.  But a lower power charger may still be quite possible to accommodate. 

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