Early customers of the new Ford F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck uncovered that their new motor vehicles arrive with a surprising accent–an adapter for a Tesla charger. The adapter won’t enable the F-150 demand at Tesla Supercharger stations (whilst Tesla has promised to open up these to other EVs soon). As a substitute, the adapter indicates Tesla drivers can charge their car by plugging them into the F-150 Lightning.
What the heck is going on in this article? It’s the most up-to-date clever transfer in the very intelligent rollout of a product or service that is both brand name-new and legendary at the identical time. When Ford initially announced that an F-150 EV was coming, it introduced a movie in which a Ford engineer utilized a prototype to tow a freight prepare weighing extra than a million pounds even though a team of skeptical gas-powered F-150 entrepreneurs looked on.
Following, Ford announced a shocking function called bidirectional charging. In a electrical power outage, you could turn your lights back on by plugging your home into your truck. This could be a very valuable aspect in the American West, in which pickup vans are ubiquitous and wild weather on a regular basis provides down power traces. But it was also a subtle way of bragging about the formidable capacity and trustworthiness of the F-150 Lightning’s lithium-ion battery.
Then a person at Ford experienced an additional shiny concept. Considering that the Lightning would give customers the capability to power other appliances and equipment, why not give them the means to cost other EVs as properly? As a sensible subject, this is a lot a lot less useful than the skill to energy a dwelling. Much more and a lot more charging stations are being constructed throughout the state, and most EVs can be charged (albeit little by little) from a residence outlet. So generating the ability to cost an EV from the Lightning seems more intended to underscore the truck’s skills than to be actually practical.
Shock! You have a Tesla adapter.
Prospects who acquired the first batch of F-150 Lightnings to roll off the assembly line were surprised to locate not only the common J1772 adapter that would permit them demand other EVs from the Lightning, but also a unique more adapter that would let it demand Teslas, which have special proprietary plugs.
“F-150 Lightning can demand other EVs working with its bidirectional charging capability and we are transport our first Lightnings with adaptors so F-150 Lightning clients can lend a hand if desired,” a Ford agent advised The Verge. That suggests that only the earliest buyers to invest in the F-150 Lightning will get these accessories, though any F-150 Lightning operator who would like them can simply buy them as aftermarket goods.
What is actually the position of all this? For most motorists, a auto isn’t really just a suggests of acquiring from location to location–it really is also an expression of their id. Electrical motor vehicles, and Teslas in certain, are involved in most people’s minds with urban elites and Silicon Valley. Pickup vans are related with farms and rural places, and with the West and Midwest. It is really no incident that when Tesla built a pickup truck, it looked very little like a regular truck, and appeared purposely created to enchant science fiction supporters.
It appears obvious that most traditional pickup truck drivers really don’t consider much of Teslas, and vice versa. In truth, Elon Musk declared in the spring of 2019 that the Tesla Cybertruck “will be a much better truck than an F-150 in conditions of truck-like features.” Ford’s online video of the truck towing the coach arrived just a couple of months later on.
This may well make clear why the new F-150 Lightning entrepreneurs reacted to the Tesla adapter with this kind of glee. “Lightning to the rescue. We can enable all all those poor dead Teslas,” crowed a single on a discussion board for Lightning owners. “I sooooo want that package! I’ll add a bumper sticker ‘Tesla Rescue Squad,'” one more responded.
In other terms, Ford grabbed a couple excess headlines for its new truck, delighted its buyers, and angered Tesla proprietors at the very same time–all for the price tag of a number of charger adapters. It was also good an opportunity to go up. And an ingenious little bit of marketing and advertising that we can all master from.