Features/ Tg-explains/ Bi-Directional Charging: Beginner's Guide

Bi-Directional Charging: Beginner's Guide

We all know EVs have batteries that need to be charged, but what if I told you this battery can be your power bank? Surprising, isn't it? That is essentially what Bi-Directional Charging is. Available to limited EVs, this tech helps them become power banks and generators. Let's dig right into it!

How does Bi-Directional Charging Work?

Boil it down to the basic physics level, and we notice there are two types of currents: alternating (AC) and Direct (DC). Our house electricity is the AC type, while the EV batteries operate on DC. EV chargers take care of this bit by converting the AC current of your home supply into DC for your EV. So, if you are planning to make an EV power bank, you'll have to reverse this process. This is the TLDR of the whole process. 

Types of Bi-Directional Charging

Simply put, bi-directional charging types depend on where you send your EV's electricity to. 

There are three broad divisions: vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-load (V2L), and vehicle-to-grid (V2G). The names are self-explanatory, but V2H is used when you want to charge your home, V2L is used for charging appliances, and V2G is used when you plan on selling your EVs' energy to the grid. 

Where Can You Use Bi-Directional Charging?

So picture this: Your EV is parked in the driveway, and there is a power cut at your home. This is when you can use bidirectional charging to make your EV a generator. That's how you can use V2H. 

Let's say you now plan to go out, and you want to charge your camping gear. Rejoice because you were travelling in the most significant power bank you own. Here is where you can use V2L.

Which EVs have Bi-Directional Charging?

In India, we could only find two EVs that support bi-directional charging: the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. As the technology improves and becomes more accessible to implement, we expect more cars to add this feature. 

TopGear Magazine July 2024