Ford engineer Lightning EV tech explains Pro Power Onboard | Rare Techy
Vyas Shenoy, the Ford engineer behind the Ford F-150 Lighting electric truck’s advanced Pro Power Onboard technology, says the feature means more to him than just portable power.
Ford has sent shockwaves throughout the automotive industry with the introduction of its all-electric F-150 Lightning. If you haven’t seen one of these in the wild yet, just wait. They are something.
The Lightning continues to win over customers, selling a record 2,436 units in October, remaining the best-selling electric truck in the U.S. despite growing competition. A total of 11,196 Lightning pickups have been sold through October 2022, as Ford begins production next year.
Lightning drivers have discovered that their electric truck has more capabilities than their gas-powered peers can dream of, which is why Ford is calling it the smartest and most innovative F-150 yet.
Ford F-150 Lighting includes the innovative Pro Power Onboard feature, which essentially turns the vehicle into a powerful mobile power bank.
With up to 9.6kW of power distributed across 11 sockets, drivers can plug in whenever and wherever power is needed. Drivers have found convenient ways to use power, such as:
- When thousands of customers lost power during Hurricane Nicole, Bob Hathaway used his Ford Lightning to make the most of it, bringing in a coffee maker and a toaster (he even let his neighbors get power).
- Lafayette High School student Remy Oktay needed help getting his electric plane to Pennsylvania, so several Ford F-150 Lightning owners stepped in, charging the plane for hours.
- The film crew turned to Ford electric vehicles to power the film set (everything down to the coffee machine) located deep in the forest.
Meanwhile, the technology mastermind, Ford engineer Vyas Shenoy, says the portable power of an electric truck “is a perfect testament to the full circle of life” after electricity is a luxury.
Ford Engineer – F-150 Lightning Pro Power is an “emotional feature”
Shenoy grew up in a small village in southern India where the electricity could go out for weeks at a time. In a LinkedIn post on Ford’s page, Shenoy explains:
Where I grew up in India, we had a mandatory blackout every day. And during the monsoon we had to live without electricity for weeks because the trees had fallen and it was flooded. No infrastructure had been developed to support the grid, as all the power went to the big cities.
Even everyday items like battery-powered flashlights were hard to come by for many of us. Shenoy says, “They were the real goods,” adding around 11th grade, “we started getting 12-volt batteries—a portable charger with a 12-volt battery and two fluorescent tubes that you could use for studying.”
Meanwhile, he added: “They were very expensive and a luxury to afford.”
Shenoy was determined for a better life, earning a Bachelor of Engineering and a Diploma DME (GL) in Mechanical Engineering from Manipal University, India.
He wanted more. Shenoy wanted to pursue higher education in the US, but again it was expensive.
Imagine a person struggling to get a battery for their studies now investing in higher education in America.
To help his son achieve his dreams, Shenoy’s father gave him the ownership rights of the family home. Shenoy took the opportunity, took a loan against the property and headed to the US without knowing anyone.
My mission is from zero to hero.
Shenoy earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Michigan and then joined Ford, where he helped develop the Pro Power Onboard for the F-150 Lightning.
Shenoy’s parents visited him over the summer, and knowing their struggle, he brought an electric Ford truck to the house to show them what he had been working on. He said, “My parents were on cloud 9.”
Looking back, Shenoy takes immense pride in what he has achieved with Lightning, adding:
I have seen what it means to grow up without electricity, getting my education under that kerosene lamp. And now to be on this ambitious journey with a fantastic team on Ford’s technological breakthrough that can deliver up to 9.6kW of power through an electric truck is the perfect testament to life coming full circle. I have seen the other side of life without electricity and I am betting on a future where we don’t have to worry about such things.
Shot by Electrek
We’ve been following Ford’s electric journey closely this year as drivers experiment with new ways to use innovative features like Pro Power Onboard in their new Lightning trucks.
Hearing Shenoy’s story gives new meaning to “coming full circle,” and the automaker’s electric journey is just beginning. Ford’s Pro Power Onboard demonstrates another strength in which electric vehicles can benefit users with portable power.
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