Electric vehicles are normally charged in one direction – from a charging station to a car. But some EVs have the capability of bidirectional charging when they share their electric power with another device or a group of devices. Here we’ll talk about such models.
Bidirectional charging can be of three types: V2L, V2H, and V2G
Vehicle to Load, V2L or VtoL
V2L does not require a bidirectional charger. A V2L adapter is plugged into your Type 2 charging port to allow the car to operate as a portable battery pack with a standard 120/240-volt power supply.
Vehicle to Home, V2H or VtoH
The vehicle plugged into a bidirectional charge point serves as a source to power a home: it works in the same way as a stationary home storage battery.
Vehicle to Grid, V2G or VtoG
The EV’s energy is used to stabilize the grid through a ‘smart’ bidirectional charger (typically part of a Virtual Power Plant (VVP), and your energy retailer controls when the battery is charged or discharged subject to defined parameters.
Electric Vehicles You Can Use as Power Bank or Generator
This is the only V2H and V2G compatible car on sale today; V2L is unavailable for it. The battery capacity is 36-62 kWh.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
The car with a 54-77.4 kWh battery provides V2L functionality. It can support devices and appliances with a maximum load of 3.6 kW: that’s enough to power a refrigerator, a Wi-Fi router, and a couple of heating pumps. Devices can be connected internally via a powerpoint or externally via an adapter.
All said about the Hyundai Ioniq 5 applies to the Kia EV6 (54-77.4 kWh) model as well.
Ford F-150 Lightning
All three types of bidirectional charging (V2L, V2H, and V2G) are available in this electric pickup truck with a battery capacity of 98 kWh or 131 kWh. The vehicle can pump as much as 9.6 kW into your house, but you’ll need to install the electrical hardware – a 19.2 kW Ford Charge Station Pro and a Home Integration System.
MG ZS EV
The electric SUV (50.3 kWh) is V2L capable and supports a maximum load of 2.2 kW.
Kia Niro EV
The small e-SUV with a 64.8-kWh battery pack provides V2L functionality (an interior plug for all models and an exterior adapter for the GT-Line trim). It is able to support devices and appliances with up to 3.6 kW load.
Genesis GV60, GV70, GV80
The GV60 and GV70 feature a 74.0 kWh battery pack, and the GV80 comes with an 82.5 kWh battery. All three have a V2L adapter as standard and support appliances/devices with a maximum load of 3.6 kilowatts.
Such models as the Porsche Taycan and Volkswagen ID.4 are known to get bidirectional charging capability (V2G) soon.
How much charge is enough?
We can quickly and easily calculate. For example, a Nissan Leaf with a fully charged 62-kWh battery will be able to power devices consuming 2 kWh from an electric car within 31 hours. The more economically you consume, the longer your battery will last – everything is as logical as possible.
Upper photo: 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70