Ford is working with its dealer network in Texas to mobilize a fleet of 2021 F-150 PowerBoost Hybrids with Pro Power Onboard to help hundreds of thousands of Texans still without power after unprecedented winter weather.
With reports of families standing in line at shelters and sleeping in vehicles to stay warm, Ford is providing incentives to its dealerships in Texas to mobilize the more than 1,300 F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid units equipped with Pro Power Onboard. These onboard 7.2 kW generators can be used to help residents still without power.
“When an unprecedented disaster strikes, Ford answers the call,” said Andrew Frick, Ford vice president of sales for U.S. and Canada. “Texans have long been passionate advocates for Ford and our Built Ford Tough pickups; now it’s our turn to honor some of that devotion by mobilizing our inventory of generator-equipped F-150 Hybrids to help those in need of power.”
Ford customers in Texas have already been using their F-150 PowerBoost Hybrids with Pro Power Onboard to power their homes and help neighbors following severe cold weather and a winter snowstorm that forced rolling blackouts throughout the state.
Randy Jones, a retired refinery worker from Katy, Texas, had just purchased an F-150 Hybrid with Pro Power Onboard and used his truck’s generator to power his home and charge neighbors’ electronics.
Jones purchased his 2021 F-150 Hybrid in early February – less than two weeks ahead of the record cold temperatures and snowstorms that caused the power grid to fail in the early morning of Feb. 15.
“I searched for about three weeks until I found one,” Jones said. “I knew I might need the generator at some point, but I wanted the reclining seats as well. I could’ve bought it without the generator, but now I’m glad I waited.”
He originally opted for Pro Power Onboard partly in case he needed to help relatives in south Louisiana, who sometimes lose power due to hurricanes. He didn’t anticipate needing it immediately for a winter storm in Texas.
“When the cold front hit, the power went down,” Jones said. “We woke up in the morning to no heat and no light, and noticed the fridge was getting warm.”
That’s when Jones remembered he had a generator on wheels sitting in his garage, so he backed it out, pulled out some extension cords and put it to work until power was restored Wednesday.
“It worked as advertised and I’m glad I got it,” he said. “I ran it for 10-12 hours a day for three and a half days.”
With his F-150, Jones was able to power a heater, his refrigerator, a coffee maker, a TV and charge his electronics. Next, he offered up some electricity to his neighbors so they wouldn’t have to charge their electronics in their vehicles.
“My neighbors don’t have generators, and they were tired of sitting in their cars for hours trying to charge up their kids’ tablets or their cellphones, so they came over and I let them use the power strip I had in the garage; we had 5-6 phones and tablets going at a time.”
Dan Basile, a cybersecurity analyst from Bryan, Texas, said his family lost power early in the morning of Feb. 15. He also had just purchased an F-150 Hybrid with Pro Power Onboard in January.
“We didn’t think we’d be using it so soon,” he said. “We were without power for about 10 hours in the first round of rolling blackouts. We had the gas fireplace going, but it wasn’t the same as having an actual heater on in the house.”
That’s when Basile ran extension cords to house to get his furnace running, which was crucial in keeping the pipes in his attic from freezing.
“It made everything a lot easier,” he said. “We plugged in whatever made sense to plug in and ran it off and on as needed.”
Basile said he’d been shopping around for a truck for a while and is glad that he waited a little longer for his F-150 Hybrid.
“I kind of held out and looked for that specific addition which took me several weeks to get ahold of,” he said. “I found one for sale and I was pretty happy, and I’ve been super thrilled with it even before all this happened.”