Range anxiety. This term has popped up over the past decade as the availability of electric vehicles continues to increase. Essentially, it is the fear of running out of energy. However, that is an oversimplification, as gasoline cars can also run out of energy. The difference? Gas cars can refuel in five minutes and a gas station can be found on most every street corner and on every highway exit. Charge stations are much less available and take four to ten times longer depending on how much juice you want.
To combat this, Ford has announced that the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning and F-150 Powerboost Hybrid will be able to charge other EVs. Using Pro Power Onboard, these vehicles can add 20 miles of range per charging hour to a Mustang Mach-E equipped with an extended range battery and rear wheel drive, or 13 miles per charging hour on another Lightning. These differences in miles of range per hour is due to the efficiency and capacity of the vehicle being charged, not a difference in the charging rate.
Ford is taking their onboard charging system and expanding its capabilities. The Lightning has an available 9.6kW onboard generator and the Powerboost Hybrid carries a 7.2kW power source. Ford has touted both as being able to power tools, accessories, and even your houses. It seems that vehicle-to-vehicle charging is just the logical extension of such technology.
Using the Ford Mobile Power Cord, Ford Lightning and Hybrid owners can hook up to the 240-volt Pro Power Onboard outlet at the rear of the bed and charge any electric vehicle that uses the SAE J1772 charge port. The Mobile Power Cord is a 30-amp connector attached to a control box which runs current to a standard SAE J1772 plug. Customers who wish to use this feature will need an L14-30P to 14-50R adapter to make the connection from the 30-amp connector to the Lightning’s onboard outlet.
Alternatively, as Kyle and Jordan found out last week, one could also get their EV tow charged. They were able to get roughly 30 miles of range in a Tesla Model 3 from three and a half miles of tow charging. However, this method does put more strain on regenerative braking components and cannot be done everywhere. Getting a charge from an F-150, while more time consuming, is a safer way to accomplish the same goal.
This vehicle-to-vehicle charging capability adds an interesting dimension to electric vehicle ownership. If such technology becomes widespread, I could see owners forming close-knit and mutually respectful communities much like we see with boat ownership. It’s well known that if you have a boat and see someone else stranded on the water in theirs, you go help because one day that could be you. We could start seeing that in the EV space as well.