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New tech may let you power your home with an electric car

Published Oct 8th, 2023 10:34AM EDT
Kia EV6 Charging
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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New technology could make it possible to use your electric vehicle as a power source for your home. While the idea might seem a little silly, utilizing your electric vehicle as a source of energy for your house could help during power outages and other emergencies. The new tech is called bidirectional charging, and when utilized in EVs, it allows power transfer from the EV battery back to a house’s power system.

There are, of course, several different ways that bidirectional charging could be used. The most obvious is to use your car battery to power your home. This “vehicle to home” charging system would give your home power for roughly two full days, making it an ideal generator for emergency situations that only last 24 to 48 hours. 

The other possibility is that you could use your EV battery to save on some electricity costs. To do this, you could use the bidirectional charging in your EV to charge up your vehicle during off-peak hours, when electricity is the cheapest. Then, during the peak, more expensive hours, you could utilize your car as a power source for your home, thus saving on some energy output from your electric company.

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You could use your electric vehicle to charge devices and power small appliances while camping, too.

It’s a bit complicated overall, but if you really want to save a few dollars throughout the month, it could be an ideal way to do so without having to install solar panels around your home. 

Of course, the other really useful part of using bidirectional charging in your EV is to use it as a power source while camping or on road trips. You could use it to power fans and portable appliances, charge up your devices, and more, all without having to worry about packing an extra generator in the process. This is known as “vehicle to load,” or V2L.

Utilizing V2H or V2L charging with your EV isn’t the simplest thing ever. But it is nice to know that some electric vehicles will offer such helpful tech. Currently, only the Ford F150 Lightning and the Nissan Leaf utilize bidirectional charging, but we’ve also seen similar technology in smartphones like the iPhone 15 and tablets, so it will likely be picked up by more manufacturers going forward.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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