The sheer number of pilot programs the Ford F-150 Lightning is participating in continues to grow as fleet customers explore an all-electric future. The EV pickup was joined by the E-Transit in one pilot program working on a variety of Sonoma County, California-based wineries, is being used as a portable backup power source for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and also just joined the new Managed Electric Vehicle Charging pilot program hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), as Ford Authority reported earlier today. Now, Duke Energy has announced that it will use its Ford F-150 Lightning fleet in yet another pilot that aims to explore how customers in Florida may one day be able to utilize the truck’s two-way – or bidirectional – charging capability to power their homes during outages and to help support the power grid.
Duke Energy will be adding five Ford F-150 Lightning pickups to its Florida-based fleet as part of this new pilot program that will focus on homes that have both stationary storage and solar energy capability. The company will also utilize Ford’s Charge Station Pro and the bidirectional charging infrastructure present in the Intelligent Backup Power Home Integration System to test how vehicles can draw power from and feed power back to the grid.
The pilot will focus on how well this new technology functions in the real world – including how the Lightning interacts with other power sources such as solar, how it performs during a power outage, and how it can be used to supply power back to the grid in times of need. Additionally, Duke wants to test how such operations affect the pickup’s battery pack over an extended period of time, too.
“We’re continually testing clean energy innovations to gauge how they perform in complex real-life scenarios,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of pricing and customer solutions. “Like our customers, we’re excited about the prospects of these advancements, and we’re working to evaluate them in controlled environments so we can find ways to maximize their value and benefits.”
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