Need any more convincing that Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a wise choice for you and your family? Let’s do a brief overview of the benefits.
First, you save money. Add up the EV incentives available, like the recent federal $7,500 EV tax credit or state rebates like California’s $2,000 EV rebate, plus the fact that you don’t need to spend a small fortune at the gas station, and an EV just starts to make sense.
It’s also a sustainable move that helps you do your part for the environment. Considering that transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., national averages show that all-electric vehicles produce 65% fewer emissions annually than gas-powered vehicles. If you’re chasing a carbon-free or carbon-neutral lifestyle, an EV is the way to go. Plus, the word is that EVs aren’t just sustainable products. They’re zippy little cars with a lot of get-up-and-go that are fun to drive.
While these are some of the more obvious benefits of an EV, there are more that fly under the radar because they’re so new to the industry. One of those hidden benefits is the ability to use your EV’s battery as backup power for your home.
It might sound too good to be true, but recent advances in EVs and home charging station technology are allowing families to sidestep utility grid outages using their car’s battery.
How Can an EV Power a Building? It’s All About Smart Technology
Vehicle to grid (V2G) or vehicle to building (V2B) refers to the technology that can manage the bidirectional flow of energy between the energy producer (the vehicle battery) and the consumer (the grid or home). This tech can be found in smart bidirectional chargers, and these devices are what make this kind of charging possible.
In the past, it was uncommon to find many EVs that were compatible with V2B or V2G software. However, recognizing its tremendous potential, EV companies are making more of their car models suited for V2B/V2G tech. Even Ford has made an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro that allows for bidirectional power flow for their F-150 Lightning truck.
Bidirectional charging station companies have also developed advanced chargers that work with most EVs out there today. It’s just a matter of time before this feature comes standard with all EVs.
Bidirectional Charging Can Improve Security and Safety, Help You Save Money, and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The size of a light-duty EV battery is about 15-100 kilowatt-hours (kWh). That kind of energy can power smaller individual buildings like homes for about two to four days, depending on how much electricity the household consumes. Charge your EV with solar panels from your home, and you’ve got a mobile battery storage unit that runs on green energy.
This kind of backup battery comes in handy during power grid outages. It can serve to replace or complement a diesel generator to ensure that you and your family stay safe and comfortable when the electricity goes out.
Blackouts are increasing in frequency in the U.S. thanks to an aging grid and a growing number of extreme weather events; 2020 saw residents in some parts of the country losing power for 29 to 60 hours during storm seasons. V2B could easily support the energy needs of these homes. No more looking for the flashlights in the middle of the thunderstorm or filling coolers with ice to save perishable food from the refrigerator.
V2B can also be used to reduce your utility bill. Some utilities will charge their customers based on their household’s peak demand for the month. Also known as peak load, this represents the highest point of energy usage over a given period. Other utilities will charge time of use rates, so all usage during set hours is more expensive.
To help manage these peak demand and time of use electricity rates, EV users can simply charge their battery during off-peak hours, at night, for example, then use that stored energy when their home uses the most amount of energy or when peak rates are in effect.
Solar + V2B: For the Green Win
The future is bright when it comes to V2B/V2G technology, especially when solar energy is involved. Imagine deploying a whole fleet of work trucks that have been charged at home with solar panels, arriving at a job site with the potential to power an entire commercial building. While that scenario is still just a dream, V2B for homes isn’t.
At this point, the question isn’t whether you should invest in an EV; the question is which EV to buy. Make sure your car is compatible with V2B technology, secure a bidirectional charger, and while you’re at it, install some solar to charge those batteries with clean energy. You’ll be making some eco-conscious lifestyle changes that benefit your pocketbook, your family’s safety, and the health of the planet.
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By evee Life Contributor
Published October 18, 2022 11:42PM
Eveelife is an eco-oriented lifestyle platform that helps consumers make more purposeful choices about how they live and what they consume. We do it by curating content and products that help them make more conscious, carbon-free choices while amplifying their EV ownership experience.