An increasing number of electric vehicles are being launched with bidirectional (two-way) charging capability, and it is expected that within the next few years, this will become an industry standard; many manufacturers have already announced they will include it with future EVs.

Today, there are several types of bidirectional charging available that allow you to charge or power different things, and a handful even allow you to run a house with electricity from their battery pack.

Porsche Taycan V2G

The type of bidirectional charging that allows you to power your house is called vehicle-to-home, or V2H and it’s quite rare among modern EVs. What it does is essentially turn the EV into a stationary home storage battery (like a Tesla Powerwall), with the added benefit that you can also drive it around and power not just your home but any other building that has the necessary electrical hardware installed—it can be used for both home and business applications.

The power these V2H-enabled EVs can output isn’t especially high, though, with the most powerful, the Ford F-150 Lightning, being able to supply 9.6 kW. Other EVs with V2H have an even lower output, which may not be enough if you run two refrigerators, air conditioning, and other appliances with high energy consumption in your home simultaneously. So while it’s possible to run your home solely from your EV’s battery, you may want to reduce your household electricity consumption while disconnected from the grid so that you can keep the lights on for longer.

Ford Charge Station Pro

Even if the EV you’ve chosen supports V2H, it’s worth noting that the home you want it to power must also have a compatible bidirectional charger installed. Not all home chargers or wall boxes have this functionality, so get one that does and have it installed by a certified professional. The aforementioned F-150 Lightning will only work in V2H mode with the $1,310 Ford Charge Station Pro (pictured).

Other EVs with V2H aren’t as picky as the Ford and should work with any bidirectional wall charger. However, there aren’t too many choices for home bidirectional chargers with V2H functionality; many have been announced, but it looks like you still can’t order most of them.

The Wallbox Quasar 2 (expected to cost around $5,000) is one solution that promises to make V2H simple, accessible, and seamless, but it is a bit on the expensive side, and at the time of writing, you still can’t order one. It has its own inverter, so it can bypass the one in the EV, and the only other piece of hardware that you need to buy is an automatic disconnect to cut off the home’s electrical system from the grid when it’s running off the battery.

We should also note that Wallbox has been promising to release the Quasar 2 in North America for over four years since it was unveiled at CES 2020, and the unit is still unavailable to purchase. 

Fermata Energy also has a wall charger with V2G and V2H capability, but it appears it’s not selling them to private individuals and only wants to deal with fleets. The Delta V2X home charger is listed as supporting V2H, and it’s a lot more affordable than the Wallbox charger, costing around $1,500 without installation.

The dcbel r16 is a home DC charger (pictured) that supports bidirectional charging and comes with its own smart home energy management system. It starts at $4,999, but it promises to be “the one that does it all.”

dbel r16 bidirectional charger

With a V2H-capable EV, you will not only be able to power your home for several days (how many days depends on the size of the EV’s battery pack and your daily electricity needs) but also reduce your monthly electricity bill. You can do this by setting up a schedule where your home disconnects from the grid when electricity is most expensive and uses the current that your EV stores in its battery after being charged at night when the rates are lowest.

If you’ve installed an array of solar panels on your house, then you’re only getting extra power on a sunny day if you don’t have something like a Tesla Powerwall hooked up to store the electricity being generated. However, some EVs also allow you to store solar power in their battery packs.

The Nissan Leaf takes it one step further and not only offers V2H but also vehicle-to-grid, or V2G. This allows you to not only store electricity in the EV’s battery pack and then use it to power your home, but you can also feed electricity back into the grid and get paid for it (if your local electricity provider allows this).

General Motors plans to introduce Ultium Home whose centerpiece is the PowerShift bidirectional charger with V2H capability. The company notes that a full Chevrolet Silverado EV battery is enough to provide household power for up to 21 days, although it doesn't state the daily energy consumption figure it used for its calculations.

The bottom line is that you can power your home with an EV, but there are currently few EVs that support this, and the specialized bidirectional charger required for the job is expensive and it requires additional equipment and specialized installation.

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