The idea of using coordinated electric-car charging to stabilize the grid has been discussed for years, but is still in early stages of development. Volkswagen sees bidirectional charging as a business opportunity—one that effectively aggregates the power available at any given time from EVs and functions as a broker of energy, or a utility on its own.
Several automakers have discussed bidirectional charging—which allows cars to discharge power from their battery packs—for several years, usually in the context of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems that integrate EVs with the power grid, or as backup power sources for homes during power outages. However, commercialization of the technology has been slow.
Now the German group has confirmed that every new VW EV based on the MEB platform is going to be equipped with bidirectional charging capacity starting next year.
“The test vehicles are running, we are in the last pulls with the preparations,” confirms VW Development Board Member Thomas Ulbrich in an interview with the Handelsblatt. From 2022 onwards, every electric car from the Volkswagen Group that is developed on the basis of the MEB (“modular electrification kit”) electrical platform can not only charge the electricity but also return it to the grid. In addition to VW, the MEB is also used by the sister brands Audi , Skoda and Seat-Cupra.
There are many new EVs coming with the capacity. The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 is equipped with the technology, and Tesla has commented that all future vehicles will be equipped with bidirectional charging capacity.
How does Vehicle to Grid (V2G) work?
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