What’s Bidirectional Charging and Which EVs Offer It?

What’s Bidirectional Charging and Which EVs Offer It? There are many reasons why shoppers choose an electric multi-car—environmental concerns, avoiding the hassle (and cost) of a gas station, or having the latest tech features are some of the motivating factors. Although two-way charging is still in its infancy, it could soon bring more benefits to owners and the electric vehicle infrastructure. This emerging technology aims to power the electric vehicle’s battery, whether it’s to power a home during a power outage or return power to the grid en masse. Read on to find out what bi-directional charging is, what vehicles it offers today and what the future holds.

What is bidirectional charging?

Most electric vehicles today use one-way charging, a process in which electricity is taken from the grid and transferred to charging the car’s battery.

On the other hand, bidirectional charging turns charging into a two-way street: Electricity can flow from the grid to charge a vehicle, or it can flow from an EV to the grid or to a home, office building, or device. With bidirectional charging, the DC power must be converted back to AC through a dedicated charger or inverter within the vehicle itself.

What’s Bidirectional Charging and Which EVs Offer It?

V2G, V2H, V2L: What’s the difference?

Hyundai-ioniq-5-2022-oem-02-angle - exterior - rear - silver. jpg
Two-way charging enables vehicle-to-network (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) charging. As adoption of electric vehicles grows, V2G aims to provide large amounts of electricity from vehicle batteries to balance energy requirements. Additionally, the technology can optimize energy use based on the time of day and utility costs; For example, during times of peak energy use, electric vehicles can be used to return power to the grid, and they can be charged at off-peak times at a lower cost.Meanwhile, V2H takes energy from the car’s battery and uses it to power the home or building. This reduces the demand on the network, and can act as a backup during a power outage. V2H can also provide potential savings if an EV can provide power to the home during peak hours when utility rates are at their highest.A third type of charging, vehicle-to-load (V2L), allows the vehicle to provide AC power to charge household appliances and large electronic devices; Unlike previous methods, however, the V2L does not require a dedicated two-way charger. Instead, it uses a built-in inverter to send power to the device.

According to Sam Fiorani, Vice President of Global Vehicle Forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, the value of bi-directional charging will be realized in the coming years as more electric vehicles introduce the technology and the infrastructure is able to better support it.

“By the end of this decade, this will be the standard rather than a special feature,” Fiorani wrote in an email to “As more and more homes and apartments are built or upgraded to incorporate car charging, the benefits will be evident, particularly after a power outage where a refrigerator, sump pump, or other necessary item is required to run.”

Electric vehicles with bidirectional charging

While the potential benefits of bi-directional charging are numerous, the electric vehicles that provide power today are still limited. Currently, only V2G and V2H and the two widths respectively. V2L is available in . For Hyundai, this technology acts as a gateway to more advanced bi-directional charging as the automaker drives V2G capability overseas.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan recently approved a two-way V2G charging system for the 2013 or newer Leaf through a partnership with service provider Fermata Energy. When the EV is plugged into the Fermata Energy Charger, the charger monitors the building’s electrical load and can use the Leaf battery to power the building when energy demand and costs are at their highest. The technology is currently designed for commercial buildings and fleet vehicles, but the automaker says it is actively working on making it available for residential use.

Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat 2022-17 Outboard Dynamic Drag Front Angle
Unlike Leaf’s V2G Shipping, which is targeted to fleets, the Ford F-150 Lightning 2022 V2H is offering to individual owners through availability. Using 80 chargers with up to 131 EES, the system can power an average home for up to three days on a normal charge, or up to 10 days when rated, the automaker estimates. The charging station is included with the F-150 Lightning Broadband or Lightning Standard Band. An IBP home integration system is provided by Ford’s solar partner, the equipment costs $3,895 and installation costs vary by location.

Hyundai Ionic 5, Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6
Each offers V2L capability with high-current outlets that can power devices or provide backup power when needed. Their common vehicle platform uses an integrated charging controller that provides up to 3.6 percent of the power to charge large items such as electric bikes or camping gear. According to the automaker, the system can run a 55-inch TV and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. Appliances can be plugged into a 220V socket under the car’s rear seats, or an adapter can be used with the external plug.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Although it’s a plug-in hybrid and not a pure EV, the GT range-topping 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers standard V2L charging with two standard 120V AC power outlets inside that provide 1.5 kW of power for camping gear or home appliances.

What’s Bidirectional Charging and Which EVs Offer It?

Future: V2X

In addition to the above examples, many electric vehicle manufacturers are actively working to adopt Vehicle All-Thing (V2X), which integrates all of the bi-directional charging described above. Hyundai is running two beta programs in Europe to test the V2G charging software on modified versions of the Ioniq 5; Lucid, the luxury electric vehicle manufacturer, says it will soon offer two-way charging for; In 2021, Volkswagen promised to add bi-directional charging for all ID models equipped with a 77 kWh battery; And in April, Ford, GM, and Lucid joined the DOE alliance as part of an effort to design a plan for a large-scale V2X infrastructure.

According to Fiorani, once bi-directional charging becomes mainstream, it will revolutionize how electric vehicle owners use their vehicles. “This is a feature that will be essential for all electric vehicles eventually,” he notes. “Currently, people are thinking about their cars and [pickup] Trucks are separated from their homes – it’s just a way to get to work or to the store. But electric cars will be more integrated into owners’ lives just as their phones have become over the past 20 years.”

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