Ford CEO promises he’s ‘not trolling’ Musk by including chargers to help rescue dead Teslas on new electric pickup truck
Ford drivers have been joking about helping “Tesla drivers in need.”
Why? It’s because Ford Motors’ new F-150 Lightning electric trucks come with charging adapters that can send power from the pickup to Teslas.
This prompted jokes like the above to circulate on electric vehicle blogs, but Ford’s chief executive officer Jim Farley went on Twitter to dismiss any suggestions that the new feature is “trolling” Musk or Tesla owners. Instead he says the charging feature is “just helpful.”
Discussion of the charging feature began on an online forum for Lightning owners when users joked about helping stranded Teslas in need, according to InsideEVs, after discovering the charging units came with an adapter that fit into Tesla’s unique ports.
One user on the discussion board wrote, “I took delivery of my 2022 Lightning and as I’m going through the included items I found an adapter to charge Teslas. Interesting find. If I find any dead Teslas I’ll let my Ford Lightning come to the rescue.”
Another replied, “Interesting. Please post pictures of these adapters. I love the idea of helping out stranded Teslas!”
Ford has made the bidirectional charging capabilities a major selling point of the F-150 Lightning as it allows customers to use their truck’s battery as a backup generator for homes or worksites.
But beyond backup generation, bidirectional chargers can also be used to help utilities manage grids in peaks of demand and can allow owners to sell their electricity back to the grid in times of need. Now it is being used to charge other cars, in this case Teslas.
While Tesla has the second largest U.S. public charging network, boasting 19% of all connectors, according to Bloomberg NEF data, and has plans to triple the size of its supercharger network over the next two years, Ford is hoping to gain more traction in the market.
The company is investing $50 billion into the market to become “all-electric,” according to Bill Ford, the executive chairman of the company. And the company is hoping the electric version of its F-150—America’s bestselling vehicle for the past four decades and Ford’s most profitable model—will revolutionize the company like the Model T did.
“That gives us a chance to redefine the company like we did in the teens and ’20s with the Model T,” Ford CEO Jim Farley previously told Fortune.
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