Unlike Ford who's encouraging the practice.
The new 2021 Ford F-150 was the unexpected hero last week across Texas. Widespread power outages occurred throughout the state following a devastating winter storm and millions of Texans were left without power or the ability to heat their homes. Enter the F-150 and its Pro Power Onboard generator.
This innovative and brilliant feature was able to provide sufficient juice to power many home appliances, such as space heaters. The F-150 isn't the only new vehicle that can produce electricity. How about all-electric vehicles like Teslas? Sounds like a great idea but the automaker, according to Electrek, has made clear owners will void their warranties if they do.
A new Tesla Model S, or any Tesla for that matter, is not equipped with bidirectional charging for vehicle-to-grid or vehicle-to-home usage. Not surprisingly, some Tesla hackers have discovered an alternative way to power some things. Owners can plug a 2,000-watt inverter to the car's 12-volt battery or, alternatively, connect to that battery through the penthouse structure under the rear seat. Thanks to the low voltage architecture, it's apparently possible to get power from the main battery pack to power devices on the inverter.
Doing this can provide enough power for things like refrigerators and some house lights. But still, Tesla doesn't want owners doing this.
However, they'll likely only get caught if they post their exploits on social media. That's exactly what happened to one owner who took his Tesla to a service center after the car sent alerts indicating the 12-volt battery was shot. Technicians were about to replace the battery but then found his online post on a local Facebook group. The owner's warranty was voided immediately. Unfortunately, the guy didn't read the warranty's fine print where it explicitly states "Using the vehicle as a stationary power source" is not to be done.
Meanwhile, Ford is encouraging F-150 owners and dealers to use their trucks' generators to help those in need.