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?
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.