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How The Pro Power Onboard Generator in The 2021 Ford F-150 Works

The onboard generator in the 2021 Ford F-150 offers versatility and options. Pro Power Onboard generator available in both gasoline and hybrid F-150. Has the ability to power an entire job site or a tailgate party.


When Ford launched the 2021 F-150 last week, there was a flurry of information. It was information overload. So as we’ve all gotten to dive deeper into the 14th-generation F-150, some questions arose from my readers here at Torque News.

Some wondered exactly how the onboard generator worked. And how much it could power and if the engine had to be running in order for it to work. Likewise, one person inquired if it was only available on the brand-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid. So, let’s dive right in and get some of these questions answered about Ford’s revolutionary Pro Power Onboard Generator.

2021 Ford F-150 Pro Power Onboard GeneratorIs the Onboard Generator Available on the gasoline engine in the 2021 Ford F-150?
In a word – yes. The Pro Power Onboard generator is available with 2.0-kilowatts of output on the 2.7-liter, 3.5-liter (Ecoboost) and 5.0-liter gasoline engines. So you don’t need the new hybrid truck in order to have this feature.

To get the maximum kilowatt output however, you will need the new 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid. According to Ford, “2.4 -kilowatts, which comes standard on the PowerBoost hybrid and 7.2 -kilowatts is available on the PowerBoost hybrid for max power generation.”

How Does The Pro Power Onboard Generator Work?
One reader asked if you needed to have the engine running in order to utilize the generator. I asked Mike Levine, North America Vehicle Communications Manager, this question and he said: “As long as the battery has sufficient charge, you can power items off the battery alone. The engine restarts when the battery needs to be recharged.”

So just how does it work then? Power is accessible through in-cabin outlets and up to four cargo bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets, with a 240-volt 30-amp outlet on the 7.2-kilowatt version.

There’s an optional 120V and/or 240V outlets capable of supplying 2.4kW or 7.2kW available on the Pro Power Onboard. A 2.4kW or 7.2kW inverter converts direct current from the high voltage battery to standard alternating current, which is useful for powering tools and devices.

F-150 Powerboost engine graphic

The graphic above demonstrates how the new PowerBoost hybrid system works in concert with the 3.5-liter gasoline engine.

What Can I Power With The Pro Power Onboard Generator in the Ford F-150?
Well that’s an open-ended question, because quite frankly you can power almost anything. But for how long you can power something becomes a little more complicated.

Pro Power Onboard generator in the 2021 Ford F-150 features more exportable power than any light-duty full-size pickup, giving you the ability to use your truck as a mobile generator. It is available with three levels of electrical output depending on engine choice.

Pro Power Onboard Generator Ford F-150

Ford provided me with this chart (pictured above) to demonstrate the three levels of available output and what those levels could power.

What this chart shows is that the 2021 Ford F-150’s onboard generator offers versatility for job sites, weekend warriors and everyday use. From powering a saw to running a mini fridge for tailgating, the F-150 can do it.

Bump up to the 7.2 kilowatts output and the F-150 becomes a real showoff with the ability to power an air compressor, chop saw or an electric griddle.

2021 Ford F-150 Pro Power Onboard Generator bed

When rumors leaked about Ford putting a hybrid in the new F-150 the immediate reaction was negative. People wrongfully assume that it would be like a Prius. Little did they know that it would become one of the most capable and versatile trucks Ford has ever produced.

With the 2021 Ford F-150 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid you not only get a fuel-efficient truck with 700 miles of range, but with the Pro Power Onboard generator there’s enough energy to power 28 average refrigerators, charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes or run an entire job site worth of tools. I’d say that fits Ford’s moniker of Built Ford Tough indeed.

Are you warming up to the idea of a hybrid F-150? Does the onboard generator interest you? Leave me a comment.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.


Bart Bivar (not verified)    September 13, 2020 - 7:58PM

I love the idea of the 7.2 kw generator in a truck. Along the gulf coast we suffer from hurricanes during the summer months, and having a pickup that would replace my generator seems like a good idea. I'm wondering what would be required to tie into the house's electrical system so that I could power the house when power goes down (sometimes for weeks). Is there a way to power the house via the F-150 7.2 kw system....would there need to be modifications to tie into the main fuse box?

Jimmy Dinsmore    February 22, 2021 - 3:47PM

Of course! Why wouldn't it? The generator (small, medium and large) is available on all trims/engines. The large one, the 7.2 kW is only available on the hybrid power train though. With or without AWD.

Richard B Davis (not verified)    March 24, 2021 - 3:54AM

I am looking at buying a 2021 F150 primarily because I want the 2 kw system with a 36 gal gas tank to serve as a generator alternative in the event of a major electrical outage. So the question I have relates to average vs. peak draw. I want to be able to plug in my freezer and refrigerator if the grid goes down. The truck has two 110 volt, 20 amp circuits. the fridge/freezer each on average draw about 5 amps but surge draw is 10 amps. So, with only 2000watts/110v or 18.2 amps in theory available, will I not be able to have both plugged in....or.... can i plug one in, wait a while, then plug in the other, and assume the chances of them starting simultaneously thereafter is very low. Can the truck serve my potential needs?

James Coogan (not verified)    November 22, 2021 - 10:42AM

new F 150 --tried plugging into exiting connection and car shows ground fault??? everything else works ok --generator/wire /existing power --How do I get it to work --dealer gave no instructions --said there should be a reset button??--but he had no idea where or what the 3 buttons are for on the panel --he had no book to give me ????? Already had my horn burn up at 4oo miles could it be related ?? jim