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Cars to Power Homes

Lots of people already power their cars by plugging into their home's electricity. What if it worked the other way around as well for when you suddenly need emergency back-up power?

Electric car pugged into a charger at home

While cities are working on methods to ensure energy security, such as diversifying with microgrids and sustainable energy sources, power outages are becoming more likely as the climate changes.

Or, a tree may fall and cause a blackout by knocking out a power cable to your property. Either way, more backup sources of energy would be a sensible strategy.

General Motors and Pacific Gas & Electric are working to turn electric vehicles into emergency power sources for homes. This process is called bidirectional charging, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: the ability to pull power directly from a source and also power other things.

“Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs, which are so important in our collective battle against climate change,” said Patti Poppe, CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric.

If hooked up in a certain way, electric vehicles would be able to automatically power a home if the lights go out. It would operate like an emergency generator, and estimates state that if rationed properly a vehicle could power an average home for up to three days.

Bidirectional charging has the potential to become a valuable and versatile part of the electrical grid and a useful component to renewable energy. It certainly offers each driver of a compatible electric vehicle a little more security through energy independence.

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