Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/20/24 4:56 p.m.
OHSCrifle said:

How many times has the hotel charger been occupied when you get there?

It's happened once or twice on roadtrips, but not usually. Most hotels with charging seem to have 2-4 chargers, while I've found one with a dozen of them. When they've all been full, I just eat breakfast at a local fast charger before getting back on the highway. Chain restaurants, chain hotels and fast chargers tend to be at the same exits, as they're all there to support road trips. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
5/13/24 11:15 a.m.

I woke up to no power yesterday, and TBH was pretty excited: A real-world test of using my truck as a backup generator!

I walked outside, plugged the truck in, flipped the transfer switch, and just like that the house had power. 

Power was only out for a few hours, and consumption dropped drastically once my water heater and fridge had caught back up, so the truck's range indicator didn't even move. Success!

Recon1342 UltraDork
5/13/24 11:33 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

So, you have an APU with wheels?


maschinenbau PowerDork
5/13/24 11:39 a.m.

Backup house power is such a cool feature that every EV or PHEV should have. I imagine there could be some macro-scale grid balancing benefits if every EV's battery was connected. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/13/24 12:06 p.m.

There are all sorts of interesting things that can happen with EVs connected to the grid - but they also have the unfortunate habit of being away from their home (and their charger) during peak solar production times.

I was talking with some smart folks on the inside of the battery industry about V2H (Vehicle To Home like Tom is doing, not Vehicle To Grid that machinenebau is thinking about ) and it sounds like it might be more of a software thing than anything else. If an EV can fast charge, it should be able to do V2H from an electrical standpoint. The difference is that the inverter would be on the wall of the house and not built into the vehicle like it is on the Lightning. At least, that's my understanding. I find it an interesting idea.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
5/13/24 12:24 p.m.

Yeah, it's super cool tech, and tons of opportunities open up if the EV is better integrated into the system. My truck also supports "intelligent home backup" through its CCS1 (normal charging) port.

My system is dumb: The truck makes 240V power with its onboard inverter, then I throw a physical switch to change my house over from line power to generator (or in this case truck) power.

But the hardware and software is already built-in for my truck's battery to be plugged directly into a bigger house-mounted inverter, then be automatically controlled as one system. I'm too cheap to do that at this point, and I already have a manual generator transfer switch, but in theory the home integration system would let the truck and house work together 24/7 to make sure the truck stays charged and the house has power. If/when I add solar to the house, I'll amost certainly do this, too, as they share some of the same electrical infrastructure. 

Speaking of solar, I would already have panels on the roof if we weren't saving up for an addition that will then change the roof and electrical system, too. My rough math says solar panels make financial sense in a normal house. But in a house with two EVs the payback period seems to only be a few years, assuming I do the work myself (and I would, as I've seen some horrible solar installations around here). Really excited for the future. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/13/24 12:58 p.m.

Solar and EVs go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

About using the Lightning as a backup battery for the house - one of the interesting side effects is that it allows you to move electricity. If there's power somewhere else, you can go and recharge the truck and bring it back home again.

Also, it shows just how massive EV batteries are. A standard Lightning has what, 98 kWh? A Tesla Powerwall unit is 13.5 kWh. They're modular so you can install two or more if needed, but you'd need 7 of them to get close to the Lightning - and that would cost about as much as a Lightning.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
5/13/24 1:06 p.m.

Yeah, my truck stores as much capacity as 10 powerwalls, and as you said it's basically an electric jerry can. My closest fast charger is 10 minutes away at Wal-mart, so the truck is basically a bucket that allows me to carry a week's worth of electricity across town. 

Spearfishin Reader
6/9/24 7:32 a.m.

Tom, you seem like you might be up-to-date on this: can you distill the current tax credit situation to how it relates to Lightnings? $80k sticker is the threshold? Does Model Year matter as long as it's new? 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/9/24 7:39 a.m.

This is a great resource:

But basically, yes. Must be new, model year doesn't matter, $80k MSRP limit. What you actually pay isn't considered. $7500 tax credit. 

NY Nick
NY Nick SuperDork
6/9/24 8:53 a.m.

One of the you tube channels I follow did a let my lightning power my house episode. It was pretty interesting. It's an off grid house so the power draw is probably relatively low but still pretty cool. 


Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/10/24 10:37 a.m.

At 27,000 miles, my truck is finally at the dealership for service.... 

Why? Well, this message appeared in my app, with "service vehicle soon" on the dash. Power was limited to 57% of maximum output, meaning I was forced to drive to the dealership with only something like 330 horsepower. laugh

Of course, I scanned the truck myself before taking it in, and came up with fault codes for the active air dam (not a big deal, they're infamously finicky) and the high-voltage battery (very big deal). My truck has had an open customer service program for months for a battery controller software update and potential HV battery module replacement (basically one of the groups of cells that make up the big battery), but I've been putting it off in order to give the dealerships time to learn how to work on these, and Ford time to stockpile battery parts.

I was bracing for an absolutely miserable dealership experience, and gave up trying to book with the first dealer after their website would only let me make an appointment for oil changes (have to call to book service, uhhh, no).

So instead, I dropped the truck off at Gary Yeomans Ford in Daytona Beach.  And when I arrived, the check-in guy explained that because I was in an EV, I would get "The EV Service Advisor" named Ben. He walked out, said hello, and actually knew how my truck worked, what the common failure modes were, what the open campaigns were, and even wrote down my complaints. Then, when I asked about loaner cars and said I needed a truck, he said EV customers have a different, special pool of loaners and brought a new F-150 up for me to drive. New trucks are expensive, yes, but solving my problem in 30 minutes for "free" is worth something, too.

To say this is a complete 180 from the last time I bought an EV from a gas car company (Nissan) is a wild understatement. Getting the Leaf serviced once required a protracted argument with the service advisor and conference calls with Nissan corporate before the dealership would finally agree to fix the car per Nissan's instructions.

So, now I wait and see what the dealership finds. Wish me (and my truck) luck!

Oh, and for those keeping track at home, F-150 Lightnings have an 8-year/100,000 mile EV component warranty. I'll hit the mileage limit long before 8 years, but it's still decent peace of mind.

tuna55 MegaDork
6/10/24 10:43 a.m.

For what it's worth, when I had the battery recall in the Bolt, I asked Chevy to pay for gas on the loaner, since it is decidedly not cheap for my long commute for a few days. They paid it.


Eager to hear what they found!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/24 10:47 a.m.

Tom, you made me look. Battery warranty is 70% of the original capacity. It would be interesting to see the split between what's considered Electric Vehicle Components and what's Powertrain.  What IS powertrain once you've taken out the electric parts?

Also, 5 years of roadside assistance!

Our New Vehicle Limited Warranty will help give you peace of mind with the following:

  • Electric Vehicle Component Coverage: Eight years or 100,000 miles (whichever occurs first), with retention of 70% or more of the original High Voltage Battery capacity over that period
  • Powertrain Coverage: Five years/60,000 miles
  • Bumper to Bumper Coverage: Three years/36,000 miles
  • Safety Restraint System Coverage: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Corrosion Coverage (perforation only): 5 years/unlimited miles
  • Electric Vehicle Roadside Assistance Program: 5 years/60,000 miles
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/10/24 10:49 a.m.

Yeah, I'm a little unclear, too--and edited my post to better specify "EV components"

But, I mean, take the EV components out and you've got what, four axles? Maybe not even, since they're EV-specific. 

One reason I'm driving this instead of my old F-250 is because when it breaks, it's theoretically someone else's problem. Nice to see that's true at least in this instance. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/24 11:38 a.m.

Wheel bearings and tie rods, maybe?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/10/24 11:40 a.m.

Yeah, I guess so. Seems like a weird distinction.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/24 11:51 a.m.

Ah, I think I have it.

5 years/60k is the standard F150 powertrain warranty, so that's what all the normal parts are engineered for.

EV batteries are required to carry a 10 year/100k warranty according to Consumer Affairs.

According to the warranty booklet for the Lightning

Your vehicle’s Powertrain components are covered for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The extended Powertrain coverage applies to all components of the driveline that are not specifically covered by the Electric Vehicle Component warranty. Powertrain components that receivewarranty coverage for five years or 60,000 miles may include gears, differential, shafts, fluid pumps, seals and gaskets, bearings, mounts, drive shaft, retainers, supports, universal and constant velocity joints.

(2) The high voltage battery and eDrive systems of your vehicle are covered by the Electric Vehicle Component coverage for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. High voltage battery and eDrive components covered by this warranty include the high voltage battery assembly, Bussed Electrical Center (BEC), Battery Energy Control Module (BECM), on-board charger, Inverter System Controller (ISC), DC/DC converter, and eDrive.

So pretty much anything that directly touches electricity vs anything that just transfers mechanical power.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/10/24 11:53 a.m.

Yeah, that makes sense--thanks for digging. Assuming eDrive means the motor assemblies, there's really not much left that isn't an EV component. Or at least, there isn't that much left that I'm not used to replacing myself.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/10/24 11:56 a.m.

I was thinking about the "Special EV service experience" and how it was clearly forced by the service provided by Tesla et al. 

Here's a crazy thought: How many more gas cars would you sell if you also had a good service experience for them? The dealership model is so weird.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
6/10/24 2:54 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I know everybody hates dealer service experiences. But honestly, there are good dealers and bad ones. 

I've spent a large percentage of the last 10 years working behind the scenes at really good dealer service departments. Most of them service 80 or more cars a day, and it appears like there are only bad experiences once or twice every few days. I don't think it is accurate to say that dealers in general offer poor customer service experiences for gas vehicles.  It is, however, accurate to say that the people who have bad experiences are extremely vocal about them.

The reality is that dealerships don't make that much money on selling cars. Their real revenue stream is from the service department, and their primary customer is the manufacturer (who pays them for warranty work, but makes money when the dealer sells cars, and who dictates how the dealership is run).  Dealerships have to work really hard to help customers have good service experiences- it's their bread and butter.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/10/24 4:39 p.m.

That's fair, but my personal experience is that dealer service experiences are generally terrible for me. Maybe everybody else is having a great time.

Based on my past experiences, the standard system seems to force me to interact with somebody who doesn't know anything about cars and isn't interested in learning, and as soon as you ask for anything besides routine maintenance or "$299 disk brake cleaning specials" they want you out of there ASAP.

A few memorable examples:

Last time I had a major OEM warranty claim (Nicole's Chevy Volt), it took four visits to two different dealerships before I encountered a decent service advisor that finally slipped me a note under the table that basically said "we aren't going to fix this car because it's nearly out of warranty and they think you'll give up trying before it expires."  The previous service advisor told me that it was totally normal for the car to randomly coast to the stop on the highway. 100% dead serious. 

The Nissan dealer (besides the above example trying to convince the dealership the car had a part called a "Telematics Control Unit") told me that my brake fluid was dangerously contaminated and I needed a $$$ brake fluid flush immediately. I'd tested the fluid a few weeks before going to the dealer and it passed with flying colors. When I left a bad survey score, the service advisor called to scream at me and told me I was taking food off his table. 

When Nicole's Clarity had its A/C fixed by the local Honda dealer under warranty, I opened the hood in the service delivery area and tons of clips on the core support were missing--I asked them to take it back and finish reassembly.   

And, when I went to this same Ford dealer shortly after buying my truck to buy a replacement 12V battery cover (the Texas dealership broke it trying to charge the battery), they were baffled and kept pulling up diagrams of F-150s with engines in them trying to find the part I was looking for. Yes, I walked in with a VIN and a part number. 

Sorry, but this isn't a system that generally works for me. And FWIW, I'm always polite, calm, and come with a clear wishlist of what I'd like to accomplish. Screaming or being rude doesn't get my car fixed faster. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/10/24 4:45 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I know the feeling... I need to make an appointment with one of the local Dodge dealers to get new key fobs for my minivan.  I'm not terribly bothered by the cost, but I am absolutely dreading the experience. I haven't been to a dealer to service one of my cars in over 20 years. And that was such a crap experience I never went back to that dealer.  Who knows how much money I would have spent there had they not been such thieving morons. 

tuna55 MegaDork
6/11/24 2:23 p.m.

I, also, have had nearly only poor experiences with dealers. I am also kind and careful, not trying to rush or be arrogant. The last good dealer experience was with the PT Cruiser, and it was due for a recall of some sort. I made a latter up which had my name, phone number, VIN, recall number, and left a copy with the service advisor and also taped it to the steering wheel. I got it back the next day without any interaction. That was the BEST dealer service experience.

Toyman! MegaDork
6/12/24 7:52 a.m.

I have used the local Ford and Chevy dealers for certain repairs on my work trucks. Their service quality isn't any worse than the indi shops. If it's a complicated repair, like an electrical problem, they tend to do a better job of diagnosing it than the indi shops. 

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