Ford F-150 Lightning Owners Get Cheaper Payments Through Grid Sharing Program

Photo: Jim Farley

Ford has partnered with North Carolina’s Duke Energy to establish a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) energy-sharing program that will give participating F-150 Lightning owners a discount on their lease payments (via Canary Media).

“Duke Energy and Ford share many mutual customers, so there’s opportunity for overlap when it comes to maximizing the value of new technology that our customers are adopting,” said Lon Huber, Senior Vice President of Pricing and Customer Solutions at Duke Energy. ​

“By working together, we can reduce the price of the product for our customers as well as provide a needed benefit to the power grid.”

A V2G solution allows electric vehicles (EVs) to essentially be used as mobile battery packs when they’re not on the road. The technology allows EVs to send power stored in their batteries back to the local grid during times of high demand, and the owners are compensated for the energy they provide.

F-150 Lightning EVs are capable of bidirectional charging, an ability Ford showed off — using specialized charging equipment from Sunrun — when it unveiled the electric pickup last year.

Duke will use bidirectional smart chargers installed at F-150 Lightning owners’ homes to siphon power from participating trucks as needed. Owners can simply plug their trucks in while at home, and maybe Duke will tap into them for a little bit.

In return, participants will get a concession of about $25 USD on their monthly lease payments. F-150 Lightning owners will also be able to earn bonus payments for regularly participating in peak events.

“We would consider it a successful pilot if we have high electric vehicle availability during events as well as a high number of happy pilot participants,” Huber said.

Under the program, Duke will only be allowed to draw power from a vehicle up to three times a month in the summer and winter peak seasons, and just once a month in off-peak seasons.

The company is asking regulators in North Carolina to approve a 100-person pilot program for next year. A smaller test is also scheduled for Duke’s Florida territory.

Interested individuals will be able to sign up for the program as they’re finalizing their lease agreement at the Ford dealership. Ford delivered its first F-150 Lightning truck back in May.

Earlier this month, Ford increased F-150 Lightning prices by up to $8,500.

Tesla recently launched its own virtual power plant program in California, offering Powerwall owners the chance to earn money by providing energy back to the grid.