Weather conditions are easing in Texas at least somewhat. More people have power and the safety of the water supply is being handled to a degree. The winter blast that more or less crippled the state is leading to a very unlikely hero. A truck. Not just any truck. It's the new Ford F-150 hybrid truck with Pro Power Onboard.

Randy Jones lives in Katy, Texas. He owns one. He used his F-150 to hook up to his home to keep the power going. When his ingenious workaround was revealed, the story literally went around the world. He’s not the only Ford truck owner who used the workaround. He’s just the one who got the attention.

Ford was telling dealers about the same time to make those trucks available where they could do the most good. And since the hybrid pickup started to get noticed due to the energy crisis from the Texas storm, Ford reports a big jump in requests to dealers around the country for the truck that is set up to run on both gas and battery power. Utilizing the Pro Power Onboard package, the F-150 can turn out better than 7 kilowatts of power. That’s plenty to keep the essentials up and running in an average home.

Lucky owners like Jones have spent some time online at forum sites sharing some information with others about how they used their new trucks to link up with their homes to power heating systems and keep appliances going.  They’re also letting friends and neighbors use their systems to charge tablets and phones.

Ford reports a huge spike in visits to its website for information about the trucks. A Ford spokesman says the automaker can rapidly boost production if that is needed.

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