Bidirectional charging: E-cars as electricity storage on wheels

Bidirectional charging: E-cars as electricity storage on wheels

Is bidirectional charging the future of e-mobility? A fair question, because the use of the battery installed in the electric car makes absolute sense for buildings and the power grid due to its performance strength – both from an economic and ecological perspective.

Bidirectional charging

Generally, the battery in electric car is designed to store energy and use it for vehicle operation. However, if it is equipped with bidirectional charging capability, the electric car can literally be used as an energy storage device on wheels, passing the stored energy on to other electrical devices. In a simplified sense, bidirectional means charging in both directions. 

In bidirectional charging, a distinction is made between the following concepts:

  • Vehicle-to-grid (V2G): this technology allows the electricity from the vehicle battery to be released back into the public power grid. So if the power grid has bottlenecks, V2G can relieve them.
  • Vehicle-to-home/ vehicle-to-building (V2H, V2B): Here, the electric car acts as an electricity storage unit for buildings. Surplus energy, e.g., from a building's own solar system, is first stored in the vehicle's battery and then fed into the building's grid.

So electric cars not only get us from A to B more sustainably and quietly, but many innovative technologies, such as bidirectional charging, make the electric runabouts an important part of our future lives.

Advantages of bidirectional charging

Several factors speak for the concept of bidirectional charging. For one thing, the electric vehicle, compared to the combustion engine, can make good use of its idle time by using the batteries as buffer storage. In addition, bidirectional charging means cost savings for the domestic as well as the public grid: Homeowners consume the electricity they generate themselves, and grid operators reduce their load management costs. Ultimately, the electric car functions as a universal power source and is also a driver of the energy transition.

Electric vehicles have already developed from a niche to a mass product and will experience even greater market penetration in the coming years. Not using the enormous potential of batteries would be a waste in the truest sense of the word. 

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