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Bidirectional charging turns electric cars into home energy storage devices

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Bidirectional charging turns electric cars into home energy storage devices

Charging electric cars at home using a wallbox is a well-known concept, but the reverse process is also possible. According to t3n, VW is now offering so-called bidirectional charging for the first of its ID models via the “Vehicle to Home” function. This means that electric cars can serve as energy storage devices for the home – under certain conditions. Electric cars as temporary energy storage devices could play an important role in the further implementation of the energy transition in the future. For example, it should be possible to compensate for short-term power outages using the electric car battery.

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Bidirectional loading requires certain conditions

According to the manufacturer, the battery of a VW ID model can supply an average household with electricity for around two days. For this to be possible, the electric cars must support bi-directional charging. VW is now making the corresponding “Vehicle to Home” function available. As of now, the first ID models can “serve as additional power storage for the house,” as VW says.

For the time being, however, this only applies to those ID vehicles that are equipped with a 77-kilowatt-hour battery. An update to ID software version 3.5 is also necessary. With this update, electric cars that have already been delivered will also be activated for the function. Important prerequisites for using VW’s bidirectional charging function are a wallbox and the presence of a specific home power plant (S10 E Compact) from Hagerenergy. According to VW, additional domestic power plants will become accessible “later”. The company has not given an exact time for activation. It is also not yet known which other manufacturers will be supported in the future.

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VW is using electric cars to expand home storage

According to VW, with “Vehicle to Home” the electric car becomes an extension of the home storage system. The vehicle can be activated by the home power plant when the home storage needs additional energy. Once the memory is charged, the energy transfer ends. The car then goes back into standby mode. On the other hand, users can charge the electric cars exactly when there is a lot of renewable energy available – and thereby also save costs. VW emphasizes that the power plants cannot completely empty the electric car. To ensure mobility is always guaranteed, the batteries cannot have a charge level of less than 20 percent.

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