A recent story on Facebook highlights the power of vehicle-to-load technology.
Vehicle-to-load (V2L) is a technology that allows an electric vehicle (EV) to supply electricity to various appliances such as lights, laptops, televisions, or even refrigerators. It’s a straightforward technology that involves the integration of an inverter in the EV to deliver power through one or more electrical outlets.
New Zealander Katie Pie shared her experience of benefiting from V2L technology in a recent Facebook post. She used a BYD Atto 3 EV and numerous extension cords to keep her house running during a blackout caused by Cyclone Gabriel.
She managed to power essentials like lights, refrigerator, freezer, wifi, coffee machine, kettle, washing machine, and dryer. Manual load management was necessary, such as unplugging the freezer while running the washing machine.
Katie’s original post mentioned that her power lasted for 4 days, powering her basic needs and one load of washing. At this point, her power came back on. With V2L only functioning till 15% state of charge (SoC), she estimated that her EV could have supplied her home with power for 7–10 days.
In an edit to her original post, Katie noted how her husband (an electrician) had an even more optimistic estimate. Katie’s husband estimated that their EV could have powered the home for up to 14 days, as they didn’t have the deep freezer or refrigerator continuously running (something Katie had forgotten).
Katie and her husband didn’t turn the car on during the blackout and didn’t experience any issues restarting the 12v battery when their power was restored.
How V2L Came to the Rescue in Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle
Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle caused extensive destruction in parts of New Zealand’s North Island in February 2023, making it the most expensive tropical cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere. The estimated total damages reached at least NZ $13.5 billion (US $8.4 billion), with insured damage costing at least NZ $1.5 billion (US $920 million).
In response to the crisis, Ecotricity NZ used EVs from BYD, Hyundai, and MG as portable power stations to provide electricity to affected areas. A video shows these EVs navigating severely damaged roads to deliver power during the blackout. BYD, currently the second best-selling EV in Australia and New Zealand, has gained prominence for its contributions in crisis situations.
An EV can be a valuable resource during emergencies and when you’re away from home and require power. However, you may wonder if it’s possible to connect your electric car to your house, if it’s allowed by law, and if it’s convenient. For instance, would it be practical to unplug your house while you’re gone?
It might be necessary to consider having a backup solution, such as a home battery or access to the electric grid. Stay tuned for more updates about how people have benefited from V2L technology.
Image Source: Christopher Yang, https://shorturl.at/bEV19