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2021 F-150 Capable of Level 2 EV Charging with Pro Power Onboard

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For the 14th generation, Ford introduced "Pro Power Onboard" on the F-150. A clever power generator that provides 7.6 kW of continuous power capable of charging EV's like the Mustang Mach-E.

Can Ford’s 7.2-kW Pro Power Onboard charge an EV?
The optional Pro Power Onboard generator can provide up to 7.2 kW of power at 240V. Going strictly by numbers, this would qualify it as a Level 2 charger. However, the world is more complex than simple algebra.

Ford’s Pro Power Onboard was designed with contractors in mind. According to OSHA, portable generators used on construction sites do not need to be directly grounded as long as the generator supplies only the equipment connected through receptacles on the generator. That equipment is then grounded through the receptacles to the frame of the generator.

The power for the Pro Power Onboard outlets is sourced from the high-voltage (HV) hybrid batteries. Those batteries are charged by the engine, which is grounded to the chassis and the frame. In other words, Ford’s Pro Power Onboard is a bonded generator. Ford says that, for loads below 2.4 kW, the engine will cycle on and off to keep the HV batteries charged. For loads above 2.4 kW, the engine will run continuously. It should be noted that, due to their higher power, the HV batteries and the electric propulsion motors are not grounded to the vehicle chassis or frame.

The math and the grounding structure, therefore, allow the Pro Power Onboard to charge an electric vehicle. We reached out to Ford for comment and it confirmed that, in lab testing, the Pro Power Onboard was able to charge the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the brand’s only EV. (Ford, obviously, could not comment on other EVs.)

The new F-150 makes things even easier with a “generator mode.” This function allows the engine to charge the HV batteries and makes the power outlets available, but it locks the cabin and prevents someone from driving the vehicle away. A smartphone app provides updates on power usage and remaining fuel. The system shuts itself off once a minimum fuel level threshold is reached, preventing the tank from running dry.

How long would it take a charge an EV from the Pro Power Onboard?
The Pro Power Onboard is basically a Level 2 EV charger. It is limited to max power output of 7.2 kW. That is a little shy of a 7.6-kW of continuous power from a typical Level 2 charger, but it’s still significantly better than any Level 1 charger.

The battery capacity on the rear-wheel-drive Standard Range Mach-E is 75.7 kWh (though only 68 kWh of it is usable). You would need over nine hours to fully charge that battery with a 7.2-kW source, but let’s consider a worst-case, dead-battery situation. No one fills up the fuel tank on the side of the road when they run out of gas; they simply add a gallon or so to limp to the nearest gas station. Likewise, it makes no sense to fully charge a dead Mach-E battery from a pickup truck generator that runs on gasoline. You’d need about 3 kWh to give the Mach-E a 10-mile range which would, ideally, get you to the nearest charging station. At 7.2 kW, this calculates to about a 20–25 minute charge from the 2021 F-150’s Pro Power Onboard generator. Not bad for a roadside rescue strategy.
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That's some Elon Musk-level shit right there... very cool. Always nice to see Ford innovation!
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