2021’s Top Ten Tech Cars: Ford F- 150

It’s a 7.2-kilowatt generator on wheels

1 min read
Image of the 2021 Ford F-150.
Photo: Ford Motor Co.

America's perennially best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150 pickup, has gone hybrid, and there's an all-electric version in the works. And aside from showing class-best fuel economy of 9.8 liters per 100 kilometers (24 miles per gallon), the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid finds a versatile sideline as a megapowered mobile electric generator.

Base price:

US $30,635

The onboard system cranks out up to 7,200 watts, enough to supply a home during power outages. Ford says the system could power 28 typical home refrigerators. More practically, the Ford could simultaneously power a TiG (tungsten inert gas) welder, air compressor, plasma cutter, chop saw, angle grinder, and work light, all with no need to carry a noisy, bulky gasoline generator in a pickup's bed.

A cargo-box panel, in the bed, has four 120-volt outlets and one 240-V connector. And there's a pair of household outlets in the cab. A touch screen displays power draw in watts for each of two circuits.

The truck's mini power station is fed by a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) motor-generator sandwiched between the truck's gasoline engine and its 10-speed transmission. A garden-variety power inverter converts DC power to AC and smooths power spikes so users can plug in laptops and other sensitive electronics.

A 1.5-kilowatt-hour onboard battery supplies power. Once it's depleted, the gasoline engine fires up automatically to keep energy flowing and recharge the battery.

A robust 7.2-kW generator is a US $750 option for the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid, which comes standard with a 2.4-kW generator. And there's a 2.0-kW unit on nonhybrid models. The fuel-saving hybrid system itself adds $2,500 to $4,495 to the basic truck's price, depending on the model.

The Conversation (0)

AMD’s Lisa Su Breaks Through the Silicon Ceiling

The CEO is the first woman to receive IEEE's highest semiconductor award

5 min read
AMD

When Lisa Su became CEO of Advanced Micro Devices in 2014, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. Since then, AMD's stock has soared—from less than US $2 per share to more than $110. The company is now a leader in high-performance computing.

Su received accolades for spearheading AMD's turnaround, appearing on the Barron's Top CEOs of 2021 list, Fortune's 2020 Most Powerful Women, and CNN's Risk Takers.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Video Friday: DARPA Subterranean Challenge Final

1 min read
DARPA

This week we have a special DARPA SubT edition of Video Friday, both because the SubT Final is happening this week and is amazing, and also because (if I'm being honest) the SubT Final is happening this week and is amazing and I've spent all week covering it mostly in a cave with zero access to Internet. Win-win, right? So today, videos to watch are DARPA's recaps of the preliminary competition days, plus (depending on when you're tuning in) a livestream of the prize round highlights, the awards ceremony, and the SubT Summit with roundtable discussions featuring both the Virtual and Systems track teams.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

NYU Researchers Pave the Way for Future Shared Mobility

The C2SMART Center at NYU is tackling the most pressing issues in urban transportation

5 min read

NYU researchers led by civil and urban engineering professor Joseph Chow are working in the area of micromobility, a category of transit that includes electric bicycles and scooters, which has grown in popularity in cities around the world.

Shutterstock

This article is sponsored by NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

The collection of technologies and markets that comprise so-called "shared mobility" now constitutes a $60 billion market, according to some estimates. This enormous growth has at least in part been driven by the aim of reducing vehicle carbon emissions to address climate change concerns.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Trending Stories

The most-read stories on IEEE Spectrum right now