When I say we can have free electricity, I’m not joking. The technology is here and is both available to all and very affordable – if you have sunlight reaching your home. Our Garden Atrium homes have photovoltaic panels that provide 100% of the electric power we need – for home and car. On days when we generate more power than we use, the excess goes into the grid. At night, we take power back from the grid, and at year’s end, our meter should read zero. However …
Our local utility now charges a fee for the privilege of being hooked up. And they’ve added additional fees unrelated to power consumption. So …
We are already off-grid with regard to water, and enjoy chemical-free water without a water utility bill. I’m increasingly inspired to do the same with regard to electricity. Here’s a report describing how. Comments afterwards.
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Bidirectional Charging and EVs:
How Does It Work and Which Cars Have It?
A growing number of automakers are adding the feature,
which allows your EV to double as a home battery.
Sept. 4, 2023
One of the most talked about features in the EV world works only when your car is parked: Bidirectional charging allows owners to turn their vehicles into four-wheeled batteries, sending power back to their homes, appliances and even to the utility grid.
Currently, bidirectional charging is available in only a handful of cars, including the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Nissan Leaf. But its popularity is growing: In August, GM announced that the technology will come standard in all its electric vehicles by model year 2026.
And while Elon Musk has downplayed the technology as “inconvenient,” Tesla confirmed that all of its models will support bidirectional charging functionality by 2025.
In California, legislation requiring bidirectionality as a standard feature in all EVs sold in the state already cleared the Senate and is being considered by the House. the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Nancy Skinner, said in May …
“EVs are energy storage on wheels. Why
waste that battery, given how few miles
most people use the vehicle in any given day?
But we need to make it as easy as possible.”
Here’s what you need to know about bidirectional charging, including how it works, which cars have it and whether it’s the next big thing in energy storage.
What is bidirectional charging?
Typically, EV charging is a one-way process: Alternating current (AC) electricity — the kind that comes from a wall socket — is sent from an EV charger, outlet or other power source to a car’s battery, where it’s converted into direct current (DC) energy.
But bidirectional charging allows the vehicle to convert stored DC energy back into AC electricity for a variety of uses.
How can I use bidirectional charging?
Depending on the setup, the power stored in the battery can be used in different ways:
Vehicle to home (V2H): Also known as vehicle to building (V2B), this functionality allows your car to serve as a backup generator during a power outage. A fully charged EV battery holds about 60 kilowatt-hours of electricity on average, enough to power a home for two days.
With smart-charging technology, you could also use V2H tech to lower your energy bill by charging your EV during off-peak hours and powering your home when prices are higher.
Vehicle to grid (V2G): A vehicle with V2G charging capability can send electricity back to the utility network, just like homeowners with solar power can do. Not only are you helping stabilize the grid, you get paid for the energy you provide.
An EV owner with a V2G charger could save up to $150 per year on their electricity bill, according to data from the University of Rochester.
Vehicle to load (V2L): The most basic type of bidirectional charging. Typically, an adapter is all you need for your car to power camping equipment, power tools, home appliances or other standalone devices.
Vehicle to vehicle (V2V): Another form of V2L, this allows EV owners to provide power to an EV that’s run out — similar to giving a “jump” to a gas-powered automobile.
Vehicle to everything (V2X): An umbrella term that encompasses all bidirectional charging options.
Which EVs offer bidirectional charging?
Only a limited number of EVs sold in the US offer any form of bidirectional charging. They include:
- Ford F-150 Lightning (V2G)
- Genesis GV60 (V2L)
- Hyundai Ioniq 5 (V2L)
- Hyundai Ioniq 6 (V2L)
- Kia EV6 (V2L)
- Kia Niro (V2L)
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (V2L)
- Nissan Leaf (V2H, V2G)
- VW ID.4 (V2H)
When will bidirectional charging become standard?
While bidirectional functionality is by no means universal, automakers are swiftly adding it to their lineups to meet demand and, potentially, get ahead of regulators.
General Motors will make V2H charging a default feature starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST. The GM rollout will continue with the 2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, the 2024 Cadillac Lyriq and the 2025 Escalade IQ, Cadillac’s first full-size all-electric SUV.
Making bidirectionality standard “will help accelerate GM’s vision of an all-electric future,” GM Energy Vice President Wade Sheffer said in a statement.
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The COP28 conference is led by strong fossil fuel interest groups. And political leaders say how they’ll reach net zero by 2050 … and how they’ll do other things to phase out fossil fuels in the next five or ten years. I’m increasingly cynical when it comes to believing all the hype. As new information floods into our lives, we forget the old announcements. And politicians and corporate leaders know that.
My Garden Atrium home has a 5 kilowatt-hour array that meets 100% of our needs. So, when I saw that most EV batteries store 60 kilowatt-hours, I knew my home’s power could easily last through the night, until the dawn, when the sun recharges everything.
In addition, when power outages come – and they are increasing – the sun continues to shine, anyway. If you’re generating power when the sun is out and have sufficient stored power when the sun is not out, you’ll enjoy a guaranteed continuous source of electricity, regardless.
I’m now ready to disconnect!
How about you?
If we truly want to enjoy life on a healthy planet, we each need to take personal action to do so. It’s time to “walk the walk.” The technology exists. It’s not only affordable, but it actually lowers our cost of living. (I detailed the costs in my “Dollars & Sense” blog.) But … it’s up to each of us. I’m doing it, and you can too. I think only consumer pressure will cause the change we need. Remember how quickly air quality improved and sea life returned to waters it had abandoned when we stopped driving at the onset of the covid pandemic? Adding D’s comments …
“We have nothing to add. The article is complete. If every person bought a bi-directional e-car vehicle, it would take pressure off the grid and keep fossil fuels off the road. It would absolutely help … massively.”