Car-Ready Homes

Net Zero – of electricity or water – essentially means 100% of that commodity plus storage.  Nature provides sunlight and rain when it wishes.  We need those commodities when we wish.  Residential water storage is relatively easy – from the old western rain-barrels to today’s cisterns.  Electricity storage is more difficult and batteries are expensive.

Recently, someone noted that our e-cars have huge batteries.  Why not use the battery in our e-car – for which we’ve already paid – to power our home at night?  Well, e-car recharging uses a one-way system.  If you recall the film, Apollo-13, to get extra power for reentry they had to get remaining power from the LEM by reversing that flow.

I plug my e-car into my home’s system and it’s fully recharged every morning. Why can’t I use that stored power to take care of my home during the night, then recharge it when the sun comes up?  Heavy power-consuming appliances, such as clothes dryers or power tools, are rarely used during the night; our power need is less.  If I could reverse the power flow, I may be able to go off-grid.  Saving money and increasing reliability with renewable energy: a win-win.  Comments afterwards.


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Electric car-ready homes will help

firm up the power grid, Ed Husic says


Governments urged to plan for emerging technologies that will

allow bidirectional charging so vehicle batteries can power homes


Peter Hannam

The Guardian

Sat 27 Aug 2022


Australia’s first mandate to make new apartment buildings “electric vehicle-ready” should be extended to all new housing, potentially turning entire suburbs into virtual batteries supporting the power grid, the federal science minister said.

Ed Husic helped helm Friday’s gathering of federal, state and territory building ministers in Sydney, where it was agreed to amend the national construction code to require new apartment blocks to be capable of charging cars in all their parking spots.

The change, to come into force by October 2023, overrode pushback by some agencies that sought to limit the mandate to an initial 25% of car places.

Husic said getting builders to “rough in” the capacity to charge vehicles in their parking bays made sense as modest upfront spending would avoid significant retrofitting costs once most, if not all, future vehicles become plug-in electric ones.

The Electric Vehicle Council, which backed the changes, estimates apartment blocks account for about 17% of the nation’s housing. Husic, whose western Sydney electorate of Chifley is overwhelmingly made up of low-rise housing, said new EV-charging provisions for blocks of flats should extend to all new homes where practicable.  He told Guardian Australia …


“There is a capacity for the charging in-

frastructure to be put in straightaway.

My preference would be first to explore

[the extension to all standalone homes]

to the fullest extent possible.  At some

point, I think, you’ll see this huge uptake

in EVs, but planning in advance will ease

the transition for less well-off residents.”


Only about 2% of new cars sold in Australia are EVs but the share is widely expected to accelerate.

Emerging technological changes will also allow bidirectional charging so that vehicle batteries can power not only homes but also help firm up the power grid.


“We’re trying to send a signal [to

all governments] to start thinking

about it, to start planning for it,”


Husic said of the potential for so-called vehicle-to-grid charging.  He said …


“There’s a willingness between all fed-

eral, state and territory governments

to work on [the wider EV uptake]. There

was a great degree of interest across

the country to get this happening.”


The Property Council of Australia on Friday said it supported code changes setting up 100% EV-ready apartment buildings.  Ken Morrison, the council’s CEO, said …


“Buildings are the batteries that can

provide enormous load flexibility to

our energy system at little to no cost,

and can soak up excess supply when

renewables are abundant to store

energy and provide EV charging.


“There is no doubt that EVs will play a

much larger role in the future, and the

property industry is thinking ahead with

its application of EV chargers in new builds.”


Ross De Rango, the head of energy and infrastructure for the Electric Vehicle Council, said installing wiring to support charging would add about a tenth of 1%, or $30,000, to a new $30m building.  De Rango said …


“It’s far more expensive and

very difficult to do it later.”


Widespread bidirectional EV charging was still some way off, with only the Nissan Leaf and a couple of Mitsubishi models available in Australia with that capability for now. Most future models, though, would likely to able to offer that option, he said. It would then be up to energy retailers to develop contracts to entice EV owners to sign up.

De Rango said one scenario identified in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s plans for 2050 had the grid able to call on 1m EV owners with 7 gigawatts of storage to support the grid. That’s triple the capacity of Eraring, the country’s biggest power station.

Tim Washington, the chair of the Electric Vehicle Council and the CEO of JET Charge, an equipment supplier, has been working with the Australian National University on a two-year trial to test 51 bidirectional Nissan Leafs to support the ACT’s grid.  Washington said …


“Grids of the future will rely on a whole

range of things, including EVs. I think

we’ll all be driving EVs in the future. If it’s

certain, why not cater for that certainty?”


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Europe is bracing for a winter’s energy that’s both expensive and not necessarily reliable.  Aren’t you dependent on a for-profit utility company to provide reliable power (from mostly non-renewable fossil-fuel-based sources) at whatever rates they see as “reasonable”? I like the article’s last quote:


”I think we’ll all be driving EVs in the future.

If it’s certain, why not cater for that certainty?”


Granted, changing long-standing habits is not easy.  Virtually all of us have driven gas-powered cars all our lives.  It’s what we know.  Changing to electric makes people nervous – and the oil industry has naturally placed many ads to call your attention to “unknown problems.”  A university senior who does part-time work on our site just spent a lot of money to fix his car’s catalytic converter.  When I pointed out that our e-car has none of the elements that have been plaquing him, he had no answer.  But – when will he switch?

And when will you switch to an e-car … and then discover the ways in which you can also power your home, 100%, with free renewable power?


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