Two-way ‘vehicle-to-home’ charging will enable electric cars to power homes during blackouts or peak times. However, it could be years before the majority of electric vehicles are compatible with the technology.
A new charging system – that enables electric cars to power homes – is poised to go on sale in Australia after years of regulatory hurdles.
Dubbed V2H (‘vehicle to home’) or V2G (‘vehicle to grid’), the technology enables the battery of an electric car to be used as a domestic power source during a blackout – or in peak periods.
The technology can also transform an electric car into a ‘smart home battery,’ to help owners cut their domestic power bills.
For example, electricity can be taken from the grid at the cheapest off-peak times, and stored in the car for use during periods when it is most expensive and in demand.
The concept has been touted by engineers and manufacturers as a solution to grid instability and inefficiencies, however regulatory challenges in Australia have prevented roll-out until now.
Currently, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross plug-in hybrid and Nissan Leaf electric hatchback (shown below) are the only vehicles sold in Australia compatible with the technology.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and upcoming Kia EV6 are fitted with the hardware required to send voltage from their battery pack to another source, however the vehicles’ existing software does not yet allow this.
The US-built Ford F150 Lightning pick-up – which is not sold in Australia – was recently revealed with V2H charging, and, according to its manufacturer, can “power a typical-size home for up to three days in the event if an outage.”
Drive has reached out to several Australian manufacturers of bidirectional charging infrastructure, and this story will be updated when more information on local timing and pricing becomes available.
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