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How Does the Ford F-150 Generator Work and How To Use It

How Does the Ford F-150 Generator Work and How To Use It

Staying relevant in the minds of pickup truck buyers for over four decades is not only a testament to Ford’s craftsmanship but is also a nod to its engineering teams for continuous innovation. Case in point is the new F-150’s onboard power generator.

The Ford F-150’s generator, known as Pro Power Onboard, is available in three configurations ranging from 2.0 kW to 7.2 kW. Pro Power Onboard runs on an independent battery system and depending on the engine type, it can power up to four 120-volt devices and even run 240-volt industrial equipment.

Whether it is used for home improvement projects, at job sites, or just to provide some peace of mind, having a generator built into an F-150 is a game-changing concept. Here is everything you need to know about Ford’s Pro Power Onboard generator that by all accounts, could be rewriting the pickup truck playbook for years to come.

How Does the New F-150 Generator Work?

The basic premise of the new F-150’s generator is that whether for work or play, many of its drivers are hauling around their own portable generators anyway, so why not integrate one into the design of America’s most popular pickup truck?

Ford’s engineers came up with a way to offer the convenience of a portable generator without the hassle of loading and unloading one from the bed of the truck.

They figured out a way to utilize the engine as the onboard generator’s power supply, and thus, a groundbreaking, potentially trendsetting, and definitely game-changing, idea, was born.

Ford’s aptly named Pro Power Onboard is an onboard generator system that is available on both conventional gas engine and hybrid engine F-150 models.

  • On F-150s with internal combustion EcoBoost engines, a 2.0-kilowatt generator is available as an option and it features a 24-volt battery system that is completely separate from the vehicle’s own 12-volt battery (it even has a second alternator to support the generator’s operations)
  • F-150s with Ford’s hybrid PowerBoost engines come standard with a 2.4-kilowatt generator and for the ultimate on-demand portable power, an optional upgrade to a 7.2-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard system is available (source)

Whether an F-150 has a conventional engine or a hybrid engine, so long as the truck has gas in the tank, it can keep the generator running. In fact, on a full tank, Pro Power Onboard can power a bevy of electrical appliances, devices, and power tools for up to 85 hours (more on this later).

Does the F-150 Have To Be Running for the Generator To Work?

The beauty of the F-150’s Pro Power Onboard system is that as the name says, it provides professional-grade power onboard the truck. This generator is fully and seamlessly integrated into the truck bed and is primed to supply 120 or 240-volt power (depending on the model) on-demand with minimal fuss.

But with so much plug-and-play power ready at the asking, does the truck have to be running to keep the electricity running?

It depends on what type of engine the F-150 is equipped with:

  • On conventional, gas-powered F-150s, the internal combustion engine must be running in order to use the onboard generator (source)
  • On hybrid F-150s, however, the engine does not need to be running in order for Pro Power Onboard to work (in fact, the generator will automatically cycle the gasoline engine on and off as needed to keep the generator’s own batteries adequately charged)

Even while the truck is being driven, the onboard generator can be used to power small appliances like mini-refrigerators or charge cordless power tools while on the road between stops.

How Do You Use a Generator on a Ford F150?

The design of the F-150’s generator is so straightforward that any driver who can plug in a 120-volt (or in the case of the 7.2-kW generator, a 240-volt plug) appliance or device is ready to use it from the get-go.

Monitoring the performance of the onboard generator can be done from the truck’s main console touchscreen display or even through a smartphone using Ford’s specially designed app.

Here is a closer look at the power supply capabilities of the three versions of Pro Power Onboard:

  • 2.0 kW – with 2000 watts of available power, this generator can power small power tools (like an 8” circular saw), portable heaters, and audio/visual equipment (like televisions and speakers)
  • 2.4 kW – this generator comes standard on hybrid F-150s with PowerBoost engines and with 2400 watts of available power, it can accommodate commercial equipment like air compressors, mixers, saws, and jackhammers (source)
  • 7.2 kW – with 7200 watts of available power, this top-of-the-line generator can support an entire operation by powering equipment like air compressors, saws, drills, work lights, welding equipment, and even plasma cutters

The F-150’s generator can handle a wide range of power needs, from the occasional tailgating party to power-hungry commercial equipment.

Does the Ford F-150 Have a Built-in Generator?

Depending on the particular model on which it is either optional (certain EcoBoost internal combustion engines) or standard equipment (PowerBoost hybrid trucks), a Ford F-150 truck has a built-in generator known as Pro Power Onboard.

Seamlessly integrated into the sidewall of the bed of the truck, this generator operates independently from the F-150’s own electrical system but relies on the vehicle’s engine to provide plug-and-play power for a variety of applications.

Here is a look at what is included with each option: (source)

  • The 2.0-kW generator, which is the only option available for gas-powered trucks, features two 120-volt grounded outlets that together can supply 2,000 watts of power (by comparison, most outlets found in truck beds can muster no more than 400 watts)
  • The 2.4-kW generator ups the wattage to 2,400 from dual 120-volt outlets, but more significantly, on a full tank of gas, this version of the Pro Power Onboard system can keep the electricity flowing for up to 85 hours
  • The 7.2 kW generator is optional on hybrid versions of the F-150 and offers four 120-volt outlets plus a 240-volt outlet to power a variety of commercial equipment at full load (i.e., up to 7200 watts) for up to 32 hours on a full tank of gas

Whether it is put to use to power an office on wheels or a mobile entertainment center, an F-150 with a generator is capable of running just about any type of equipment in practically any away-from-home setting.


With available options ranging from 2000 watts to over 7000 watts (a typical portable generator provides around 4000 watts), the F-150’s onboard generator is a comprehensive solution that can address a wide variety of power needs whether it is on a job site, at a remote location, or in the event of an emergency.

Just as important as keeping the electricity flowing, Ford’s Pro Power Onboard provides peace of mind.

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