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Ford Motor Co. and PG&E Corp. plan to test the use of a new electric truck to power homes during blackouts as the California utility giant seeks to reduce the impact of outages during wildfires and storms. 

The companies will test the ability of Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric vehicle to send power flowing back to a house and connect with the grid, Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley and PG&E Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe said during an event Thursday night at the CERAWeek by S&P Global energy conference in Houston. 

Ford’s battery-powered F-150 is the first of its kind that can be used as a backup power source. PG&E will test five trucks this year, Poppe said in an interview. 

PG&E shares rose as much as 1.8% before the start of regular trading in New York Friday. Ford 2%.

PG&E has been exploring ways to minimize preemptive power cuts to customers at times when high winds raise the risk of wildfires. Electric cars, which are becoming more common in California, could be one way residents keep the lights on during the shutoffs, Poppe said. 

Earlier this week, PG&E said it will work with General Motors Co. to test electric cars as a backup source of home power.

 

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