Volkswagen's EVs will do so much more than just charge themselves
Not using your EV will fetch you money
Much like the advancement of smartphones, even cars with their latest EV push will see multiple features get crammed into one product. While cars were seen as a mere mode of transportation until now, the advent of electric propulsion further evolves it into something more - a portable source of energy.
According to German publication Handelsblatt, Volkswagen is looking to equip all its forthcoming electric cars underpinned by the MEB platform with bidirectional charging. This will enable the electric charge to flow both to the vehicle as well as from the vehicle. So, in essence, the car can double up as a portable power station, capable of powering homes or buildings.
Currently, engine-equipped cars don’t serve a secondary purpose when dormant. But the introduction of this technology will see EVs being utilised as a secondary power source in case of a power outage.
This power-sharing business would further extend to the entire power grid of the area once carmakers perfect the V2G technology. When in operation, ‘V2G’ or “vehicle-to-grid” technology will allow EVs to transfer their onboard energy back to the grid while the car is stationary. I mentioned business earlier, as power companies could potentially start paying users for injecting unused energy back to the grid.
EV owners could further receive a higher compensation if they utilised this technology during peak charging hours or between an area-wide power outage. Therefore, your electric car could serve multiple purposes, including a portable power bank for other EVs or homes or bigger buildings or a potential revenue-generator when not in use.
Starting with the ID.4, which has its launch slated for early next year, all VW EVs underpinned by the MEB platform are being lined up to possess this energy-efficient technology. Furthermore, even Tesla is providing the same, even with its mass-market offering Model 3. Knowing Musk and his innovations, one can be certain to find this technology being offered in all models of the Tesla lineup.
While carmakers worldwide are coming up with an EV of their own, very few seem concerned to integrate such a useful feature in their offerings. Currently, only a handful of cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the upcoming Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 boasts of the same. Though the advantage with the VW group working on the V2G technology is that rest of the brands under its umbrella, such as Porsche, Audi, Skoda, would also procure this at a later stage.
Furthermore, if the pandemic effect is anything to go by, work from home has reduced the need to travel by a significant margin. And if this trend continues in the longer run, EVs with V2G would not only benefit the owner via revenue-generation but also supplement the huge power demand that is ever-prevailing in the bigger cities of the world.