Image courtesy Ford Motor Company

Change Is Happening

The US is transitioning away from internal combustion engines (gassers) and toxic energy sources (coal, petroleum, nuclear) and moving toward renewable energy (solar, wind) and electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and stabilize our electrical grid. This transition presents some challenges but brings some exciting new opportunities.

Imagine fueling your car up at home with electricity so you have a “full tank” every morning instead of wasting time driving to a gas station and standing outside in the weather, smelling toxic, flammable fumes, let alone spill some on your clothes and shoes and smell of gas all day. With EV’s and home charging, you simply unplug in the morning and drive off on your day. No early morning mad dashes to the gas station, waiting in lines or being subjected to oil company profiteering.

Imagine saving thousands of dollars each year by powering your car with electricity that’s less expense per mile than gasoline. Plus EV drivers save thousands more on other maintenance items like oil and oil filter changes, air filters, spark plugs, etc … Electric cars are much cheaper to drive and maintain than gassers. They’re also fun, quiet and fast.

Next, imagine using your car to keep the lights on when the main power grid fails

Mobile And Powerful Change

EV’s are powered by electricity, just like your home. For the past decade, electric vehicles and charging routines have been getting more and more mainstreamed and EV owners are used to getting their electricity at home or charging stations out in the community. EV’s battery range and onboard capabilities have grown significantly over the past decade. The Lucid Air has a range of up to 520 miles!

New technology and electrical codes are setting the stage for another transition … powering your home from your car! Bi-directional charging sends electricity from your house to your car or from the car back to the house. This technology is now possible and permits EV owners to power their home in case of a power outage on the main electrical grid and to avoid time of day usage fees in locations where utilities charge more during heavy peak load.

Ford’s F150 Lightning currently has this capability through some proprietary software/hardware and Enphase/Clipper Creek will be releasing it’s own bidirectional charging system soon, making the bi-directional flow of electricity between car and home seamless and giving people more capabilities to keep the lights on when the grid goes down. Other manufacturers and products are rapidly being developed and coming to the marketplace.

A Smart(er) Grid

What this means is a that people will be able to use their car to keep their home’s electricity on during power outages and avoid time of day charges – without using a noisy, carbon emitting gas generator. EV drivers will be able to take their energy storage with them wherever they go. Smart charging systems will allow the driver to decide how much electricity they need so the charging system doesn’t deplete the energy they need to drive the next day. Finally, these smart, bi-directional chargers can help stabilize the grid by being a deployable resource for utilities.

Pairing solar photovoltaics with bi-directional EV charging means you can charge your home and car with the sun and store the energy in your car which can then be used for driving or emergency backup power.