Volvo’s upcoming flagship electric vehicle, the EX90 SUV, will feature bidirectional charging capabilities with enough battery capacity to power a customer’s home, the company announced.
Bidirectional charging is quickly becoming a highly sought-after feature in many electric vehicles. And it works exactly like it sounds: with unidirectional (one-way) EV chargers, electricity flows from the electric grid into the electric vehicle; with bidirectional (two-way) EV chargers, electricity can flow both ways.
Volvo’s EX90, which will have its official debut in November, is the latest to boast the capability. Customers in “select markets” will be able to use the car’s lithium-ion battery to “power their homes and portable devices,” the company says. It can also be used to sell energy back to the grid.
Customers in “select markets” will be able to use the car’s lithium-ion battery to “power their homes and portable devices”
Volvo isn’t alone in boosting the ability of a fleet of EVs operating as a virtual power plant of sorts. General Motors and BMW are both partnering with California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company around the idea of “vehicle-to-grid” technology.
The idea is to use bidirectional charging equipment to push and pull energy from electric vehicles at any given time. In essence, it treats high-capacity batteries not only as tools to power EVs but also as backup storage cells for the electrical grid.
This could come in handy during a blackout since some automakers are selling their EVs as mobile generators. Volvo hasn’t revealed much about the EX90’s energy capacity or onboard power, but we should expect to get more answers in a couple weeks.