Volvo’s upcoming flagship electric vehicle, the EX90 SUV, will offer two-way charging capabilities with enough battery capacity to power a customer’s home, the company announced.
Bi-directional charging is quickly becoming a highly sought after feature in many electric vehicles. And it works exactly as it sounds: with unidirectional (one-way) EV chargers, electricity flows from the grid to the electric vehicle; bidirectional (two-way) EV chargers allow electricity to flow in both directions.
Volvo’s EX90, which will make its official debut in November, is the latest to have this 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 “selected markets” can use the car’s lithium-ion battery to “power their homes and portable devices”
Volvo is not alone in improving the power of a fleet of EVs that act as a kind of virtual power plant. General Motors and BMW are both partnering with California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company on the idea of ”vehicle-to-grid” technology.
The idea is to use bi-directional charging equipment to push and pull energy from electric vehicles at any time. Essentially, it treats high-capacity batteries not only as tools to power EVs, but also as backup storage cells for the utility grid.
This can come in handy during a blackout, as some automakers sell their EVs as mobile generators. Volvo hasn’t revealed much about the energy capacity or power on board the EX90, but we should expect more answers in a few weeks.