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Ford and Chevy trucks have a 'game-changing' new feature that could save us during power outages: 'We're going to be fine'

Power outages due to the weather jumped 78% between 2011 and 2021.

Ford and Chevy trucks using energy storage technology to power homes during a blackout

Photo Credit: iStock

Mainstay truck brands like Ford and Chevy have an interesting feature that's growing more prominent in vehicle specs — and it's not greater torque or towing capacity. 

Instead, it's the ability to power a home. 

Certain electric models can help keep the lights on during a blackout. As extreme weather impacts more people, these battery backups could be the last piece of operable tech between homeowners and a lack of power. 

"It's really a game-changer. … EVs are large and can power the house for several days," Ryan O'Gorman, an official at Ford, told the New York Times.

Ford partnered with Sunrun to pair the F-150 Lightning's battery with solar energy as part of a home system based on renewable sunlight, both charging the power pack and energizing the household with the sun. 

Meanwhile, Chevy's electric Silverado boasts a battery that can supposedly keep the lights on for 21 days. The company also notes that storing power and selling it back to the grid is an option in the works. 

It's an exciting possibility, especially if you live somewhere with regular blackouts. But, the tech can be expensive, and it isn't as simple as plugging a truck into your house. 

The electric Lightning and Silverado start at around $40,000 to $50,000. Car and Driver reports that integration systems and other odds and ends needed for the power connection to work at home can cost thousands more. 

But this EV option is currently just at the starting gate. Experts believe that competition in the industry will result in easier use in the near future. 

"What we see as absolutely key is making it simple and affordable for the customer," Mark Bole, General Motors' energy connectivity and battery solutions lead, told the Times. 

And, as planet overheating contributes to a greater chance for severe weather events, the energy security provided by EVs will be welcome news for many. 

Annual power outages due to the weather jumped 78% on average when comparing 2011-2021 to the prior decade. During roughly the past two decades, the weather caused 83% of reported "major" outages, per Climate Central.

The Times report featured a family from Tennessee that has a Ford Lightning. When the power went out with family visiting during Christmas, John Reigard said he knew they'd have heat and power, thanks to his truck.

"We're going to be fine," he told the Times.

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