A Tesla owner learned this the hard way and got the battery replaced at his own cost

The winter storm wasn’t been kind to the Texans with basic services like power and water taking a big hit. A lot of good Samaritans have come to the rescue, including Ford, who had asked the dealerships to loan out the F-150 trucks with Pro Power onboard generators to people without power at home. In such dire situations, one would assume that using EVs as a stationary power source would also be a good idea, but as it turns out, it’s not the case with Tesla.

As pointed out by ‘Green’ on Twitter, using your Tesla as a power generator will void its warranty. If you already have, well, don’t talk about it on social media.

It Voids The Whole Car Warranty

If You Care About Your Tesla's Warranty, Don't Use It to Power Your Home Exterior
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Green, a ‘messenger’ known to hack the Tesla systems, shared a few screenshots of a post by Bob Schatz on a Facebook group “Tesla Owners Club Portland”.

Bob talks about a hack wherein he used his Tesla to power some appliances.

Tesla vehicles do not support bi-directional charging, but Schatz purchased a 2,000W inverter which he then connected to a gas furnace, his computer, a few lights, and a refrigerator. However, he added that the car was shutting down over a few days and stuff like music, navigation, and the garage door opener didn’t work. The battery was strong, but the system kept prompting Bob to replace it.

He is now getting it replaced by Tesla, but it’s not under warranty because the automaker found this Facebook post and noted that Bob has “violated the use of the car”. Green later discovered the relevant section under the “exclusions and limitations” section in the owner’s manual which clearly mentions that using the vehicle as a stationary power source will void the warranty. But, if you’ve already done the deed, here’s Green’s advice for you to save yourselves – if you ended up connecting to the car battery anyway and the 12V alert came on - disconnect both HV and 12V battery for 30 seconds to clear the alert.

Ford F-150 To The Rescue

2021 Ford F-150 Exterior
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On a side note, Ford urged the dealerships to loan out the F-150s with Pro Power Onboard sitting in the lots to people in need. Ford has said that there are 415 trucks with the generator sitting in the lots. The dealers who loan the trucks will receive an incentive of $600 from the automaker for every truck put into the loaner fleet.

“For well over a century, Ford Motor Company and our dealer partners have been there to support and serve our communities in time of need,” Ford said in a letter it sent to Texas dealers. “Our Texas communities need all the support they can get right now. You can make a significant difference in our community by providing assistance during these very tough times.”

2021 Ford F-150 Exterior
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The 2021 F-150 can be had with a two-kW generator on every engine option except for the base 3.3-liter V-6. If you opt for the 3.5-liter, V-6 PowerBoost hybrid engine, the F-150 comes standard with a 2.4 kW generator, but can be had with a much larger 7.2 kW generator for extra monies.

Final Thoughts

If You Care About Your Tesla's Warranty, Don't Use It to Power Your Home Exterior
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It’s quite baffling to see Tesla not offering bidirectional charging on its cars. Hyundai’s latest product, the Ioniq 5, comes equipped with vehicle-to-load technology that allows you to power other devices and appliances. It would be great if Tesla offers it in the future models, but for now, folks who’ve already made use of the ‘hack’ better keep the news to themselves and not Tesla know about it!

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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