Sunrun adds Ford F-150 Lightnings to its fleet | Rare Techy
I used to work in the solar industry so this is close to my heart. I joined the commercial and industrial solar (C&I) industry in 2015. At the time, Zimbabwe was undergoing a massive capacity rationing program as the utility struggled to meet demand. This was due to a number of reasons, including aging coal-fired power stations and a severe shortage of foreign exchange that meant they struggled to import power from their neighbors South African Power Plant (SAPP). Power outages at that time were unbearable and often lasted up to 18 hours a day. This means that people were affected not only by daytime jobs, but also by evening peak periods at home, lasting until 11pm. That’s why we researched home solar power solutions with battery storage for backup during a power outage.
One of the companies in the home solar industry that I followed very closely and looked up to at the time (and still do) was Sunrun. Sunrun is America’s first solar company, and so I’ve been following them closely to keep abreast of developments in the home solar market. Sunrun now has an exciting partnership with Ford, working together to make vehicle-to-home (V2H) technology available to people who purchase the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. Sunrun also offers EV chargers.
As Zach said in his article about Sunrun now offering EV chargers, “On the transportation side, we’ve been burning things and burning things to push big heavy vehicles (and ourselves) forward.” Since most of the world’s vehicle fleet is still ICE vehicles, the people burning stuff to get from A to B include the clean energy sector, including solar companies. I worked in both business development, sales and technical operations at my old job in the solar sector in Eastern and Southern Africa. In all of these roles, a person drives a lot or Ubers around town and country. Most of these vehicles are still fossil fuel vehicles and we need to electrify them as soon as possible. That’s why I was very excited to read Sunrun’s latest announcement this week that it has added Ford F-150 Lightnings electric pickup trucks to its fleet.
Sunrun has begun rolling out these F150s across the country and has set a goal of transitioning half of its fleet to electric or hybrid engines by the end of 2025. This is all very exciting to me, especially since I can relate to this having worked in the solar industry. In this industry (as in many other sectors) there is a lot of effort involved in visiting customers for sales visits, installation visits, as well as follow-up visits for general operational and maintenance issues. In sales, the sales cycle can be quite long, especially in the C&I sector for long-term power purchase agreements. This means dozens of trips to see the same client over an extended period of time, along with engineering site visits and traveling around on other business. Solar companies adopting electric vehicles in their operations with all driving is a great advertisement for electric mobility. They meet many people in their homes and offices and are a great channel for EV exposure.
In addition to reducing transportation emissions, solar companies can partner with electric vehicle companies, as Sunrun and Ford have done in several areas of the EV and solar value chain. As the adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar power continues to grow, more and more people are charging with the sun, reducing efficiency and reducing both their home electricity bills and their vehicle fuel bills.
Featured image from Sunrun
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