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Peter Key's picture
Freelance Writer, Editor, Consultant Lansdowne, Pa.

I've been a business journalist since 1985 when I received an MBA from Penn State. I covered energy, technology, and venture capital for The Philadelphia Business Journal from 1998 through 2013....

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The latest EV capability — vehicle to load

image credit: © Hyundai

The idea of using electric vehicle batteries to provide power to the home in which they’re being charged or to the grid at large isn’t new, but Hyundai is taking it one step further.

The Korean automaker’s upcoming Ioniq 5 crossover will allow homeowners to power almost anything that can be plugged into a wall socket, according to an article by Rob Stumpf for Popular Science.

The Ioniq 5 will feature two outlets that support what Hyundai calls vehicle-to-load, or V2L, functionality. One is inside the car in case you really want to microwave some popcorn while driving and the other is at the charging port and can be used while camping or in case of a blackout. Hyundai says the Ioniq 5’s battery can power a mid-sized air conditioner and 55-inch television for up to 24 hours.

Hyundai’s sister company, Kia, recently said its EV6 will have the same capability.

Other electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, have vehicle-to-home, or V2H capability, but they typically provide it through their chargers, not from outlets built into the car.

Volkswagen plans to enable all its MEB-based electric vehicles to support bidirectional charging next year, according to an Electrek article by Fred Lambert.

The more EVs that feature it, the sooner technologies such as vehicle-to-grid, or V2G, can be rolled out. That could allow companies to aggregate plugged-in EVs and use the power in their batteries to provide grid services such as frequency control.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 26, 2021

Interesting feature-- this seems like something that would be nice to have on occasion, but typically more niche. I wonder what the impact is on cost / efficiency of the car-- hopefully not notable, because otherwise I'd rather they focus on keeping costs low and ranges high!

Roger Arnold's picture
Roger Arnold on Apr 27, 2021

A niche? I dunno. It's a feature that actually costs very little to implement. The power electronics that any EV needs to drive its motors can easily be tweaked to supply multi-kilowatts of AC power to power tools or home appliances. It's a feature you might never use, but just knowing that it's there, in case of emergency... I think it's something that could easily tip a close purchasing decision.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 27, 2021

Fair enough, Roger-- I guess if it really is that little of a cost to install, then it could be a no brainer!

Michael Casey's picture
Michael Casey on Apr 28, 2021

V2H would be a very useful feature. I have a 20 kWh Sonnen battery for load shifting and emergency backup (I live in an area in Southern California that is subject to PSPS during high fire danger wind events). The cost of the stationary battery is more than half the projected cost of a new Ioniq 5, which would have probably 3 to 4 times the storage capacity.

Charles Botsford, PE's picture
Charles Botsford, PE on Apr 28, 2021

Hi Peter,

AC power from the EV will be limited to niche applications (V2L, V2H) unless the on-board charger (OBC) has 4-quadrant inverter capabilities (like a solar inverter to grid). The California VGI folks are working out Rule 21, IEEE1547, and the recently balloted SAE J-3072 (AC V2G) to prove compatibility with the grid. The three California IOUs (SDG&E, SCE, and PG&E) will be conducting AC V2G pilot studies to take the next step. EV OEMs should stay engaged with this effort so that they make an OBC that is functional for V2G.

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