EVs Help Keep the Lights On at a Dealership Following the California Earthquake

EVs help keep the lights on at a dealership following the California earthquake 6 photos
Photo: Harper Motors via Facebook
EVs help keep the lights on at a dealership following the California earthquakeEVs help keep the lights on at a dealership following the California earthquakeFord F-150 Lightning gains bi-directional charging option with Charge Station ProFord F-150 Lightning gains bi-directional charging option with Charge Station Pro2023 Kia Niro
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Northern California on Tuesday, leaving thousands without electricity. One car dealership in North Eureka saved the day thanks to the V2L feature of electric vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Kia Niro.
Many Americans scoff at electric vehicles, but they sometimes could prove live saviors. This is because, besides being vehicles powered by batteries, they are essentially giant power banks on wheels. Thanks to a feature called “vehicle-to-load” (V2L), many electric vehicles selling today can power external devices, charge other cars or act as an energy source for homes and businesses.

The feature is offered on the Ford F-150 Lightning and other popular EVs like Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Kia Niro, and Volkswagen ID.4, but not on any Tesla model selling today. Tesla thinks protecting its Powerwall business is more important than offering V2L capabilities on its vehicles. Tesla also argues that using the car as a house battery will accelerate wear, reducing its life. True as it might be, there are now electric vehicles that are even cheaper than house battery packs, one example being the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The V2L feature was put to good use by a car dealership in North Eureka after an earthquake that struck North California left the community without power. The dealership sells new and used Ford and Kia vehicles and saved the day by plugging in an F-150 Lightning and a Kia Niro to provide backup power and continue serving the community. There’s no better advertising for the electric vehicles it was selling than sharing the experience on social media.

This is a little more than a PR stunt like those pulled off by Ford whenever it wants to advertise F-150 Lightning’s bidirectional charging. This move has grown so long in the tooth that people are already making jokes. It’s a sure thing, wherever and whenever Ford holds a presentation about the F-150 Lightning, power will go out to allow the electric truck to prove its capabilities.

Stunt or not, the fact that you can help continue working when the power is out is incredibly useful. Three months ago, a surgeon successfully performed a vasectomy while powering his medical equipment from his Rivian R1T truck. The surgery was performed after the power was cut, and the patient insisted that the doctor go ahead despite the odds.

There are countless situations when an EV battery is a godsend, and that’s why some of them are built with house plugs. This is the case with the Ford F-150 Lightning, which can provide up to 9.6 kW of power across 11 outlets thanks to the Pro Power Onboard feature. Ford PR was so effective in this case that people regularly use the F-150 Lightning as backup power, including in emergencies.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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