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Some Texans use 2021 Ford F-150 hybrids to power homes amid winter storm


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Randy Jones of Katy, Texas used his 2021 Ford F-150 to power space heaters and other appliances throughout his home when he lost power earlier this week during the winter storm.

Source: Randy Jones

When Randy Jones of Katy, Texas bought his new Ford F-150 a few weeks ago, he didn’t think he’d be using it to keep the lights on in his house during a historic winter storm that left millions without power.

The 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid truck’s onboard generator “gives you the ability to use your truck like a mobile generator” that can can produce up to 7.2 kW of power, Ford says.

Jones, 66, said in a phone interview with CNBC that he bought the truck in part because of that feature, adding that he often loses power due to hurricanes and other storms. When he lost power Sunday night, he got out a few extension cords and decided to put the generator to the test.

“Without it I would have been in the dark and cold like everybody else in the neighborhood,” the retired refinery worker said, adding that he helped neighbors charge their phones and laptops. “Quite a few of the neighbors said, ‘Hey, I’m getting one, like ‘I’m trading my Dodge or GMC,’ because, South Texas, with hurricanes and things like that, we’re always having power outages.”

Jones said he used the truck’s onboard generator to power appliances in his home for three days, until his power was restored on Wednesday. He’s not alone. Jerry Hall, 73, bought his new F-150 at the end of January. It turned out to be perfect timing, he said.

“The truck saved the day,” the Kerrville, Texas resident said in a phone interview. Hall said his home lost power Sunday evening through early Thursday. “It would have been three miserable days without the truck.”

Hall said he and his wife still spent those days without heat, but they were able to run extension cords from the truck into the house to power lights, the refrigerator, television and other luxuries.

“It kept us connected with the outside world,” he said.

Hall added that “the main reason” he bought the truck was because of its onboard generator. He said the rough weather last spring led to some blackouts in his part of the state and he knew he wanted to get some kind of generator. It just made sense, he said, to get a new truck with a generator built in.

Other truck owners have been posting similar stories to that of Hall and Jones in an online forum for F-150 owners. Photos from the forum spilled over onto Twitter, where Ford CEO Jim Farley took notice:

www.cnbc.com 2021-02-18 21:55:34

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