Jul 27, 2022 - Economy

Ford's electric pickup truck can even power a rock band

Members of the Exhaust Tones garage band, with amps and sound system powered by Ford's electric pickup truck

Members of the Exhaust Tones garage band, powered by Ford's F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. Photo: Bill Rapai for Axios

The electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck made an unexpected guest appearance at my recent backyard birthday party.

Why it matters: It turns out the Lightning's two-way charging system has other uses beyond powering job sites or campsites. My musician friends used the truck to haul their band gear to the party and then plugged their amps and sound system into its multiple power outlets.

The big question: Could the Lightning power a fun night of rock ‘n’ roll and still leave enough juice for the band to drive home afterwards?

  • The answer, luckily, was yes. (I didn't want them sleeping on my floor!)

The context: The Exhaust Tones, a band formed by a bunch of auto writers in Detroit, have played my backyard venue before.

  • This time, Autoweek executive editor Tom Murphy proposed a crazy idea: Since a $93,509 SuperCrew Platinum Lightning model was on loan to his publication the same weekend as my party, why not put it to good use?
  • Instead of plugging their equipment into my garage, as they'd done in the past, they'd run everything off the Lightning's 9.6-kW Pro Power Onboard system.

Details: They pulled the pickup halfway into my garage — leaving the bed available as a drum riser — then plugged two giant PA speakers, three monitors, four amps, a 12-channel mixing board and a guitar pedal into the bed.

  • After tripping the truck’s onboard breakers a few times, they decided to spread out the power draw to take full advantage of the Lightning's multiple outlets: two 120-volt plugs in the cab, four in the bed, and four in the "frunk" (the front trunk), plus a 240-volt outlet in the bed.

The bottom line: Three hours of rock and roll consumed barely a trickle of the truck's stored power.

  • With an EPA-estimated range of 320 miles, the Lightning had almost 80% of remaining battery range when the band arrived.
  • When they packed up for the drive home, it still had 75% (241 miles of range).

Go deeper: Read Tom's full account in Autoweek.

Go deeper