Electric Vehicles May Offer Home Backup Power

According to a recent article in Car and Driver magazine, all electric vehicles (EVs) can store enough energy to power a home for several days, at least in theory. The tricky part is converting that energy to usable AC current for your home.

Your Car as a Power Source

The battery in an EV is similar to other home backup batteries. Its high-capacity DC storage can be converted to AC to feed your home circuits, but only if some conditions are met.

First, the EV must be able to send power as well as receive it. This is known as bi-directional charging.

Most EVs only have one-way charging ports. In order to be a home backup source, the vehicle must also have output capability. So far, the only vehicle with direct vehicle-to-home (V2H) ability is the Ford F-150 Lightning. Others like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander and Eclipse use what’s known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology which involves connecting to the utility power grid and can have issues with local utility regulations. But other companies like Volkswagen plan to bring V2H-enabled EVs to the market as soon as fall 2022.

Getting Connected

Regardless of what home charging system you use, the V2H or V2G interface is a sophisticated device that should only be installed by a licensed professional electrician. Any backup system can cause catastrophic damage to your home’s electrical system, including deadly fires, if improperly installed.

Ford has a proprietary V2H charger for the Lightning that comes standard with the extended-range model and as an option with standard versions. The Lightning also has vehicle-to-load (V2L) outlets that can be plugged into like with a generator.

Other options are sold as aftermarket options, mostly using V2G connections. For more information on how these various chargers work, see this article from the Clean Energy Reviews website.

Be Safe. Call a Pro

Adding a home EV charging station makes sense for many homeowners. It lets them charge their vehicle(s) conveniently at home, letting them use their time better and avoid the hassle and expense of using commercial charging stations. Plus, since they’ll probably be charging overnight, they’ll be buying electricity at off-peak rates instead of higher daytime prices (and without retail markups for overhead and profits).

With bi-directional chargers like the ones discussed above, an EV can also become a source of backup power for your home. Presuming it’s at your home, of course.

Plus, charging stations add value to a home when it comes time to sell.

Allstar Electrical Services has installed dozens of EV charging stations in homes, parking garages, and at businesses with multiple EV fleets. We’ve helped Coloradans increase efficiency while adding comfort and convenience to their homes and businesses for over 20 years.

For an estimate on installing a home EV charger or to learn more about the many ways upgraded electric services and emerging technologies can improve your home or business, schedule an appointment our website or give us a call at 303.399.7420.