Bidirectional Charging in Electric Vehicles: Definition, Types, and Benefits

With more efforts taken toward sustainability, countries are gearing up in all possible ways to ensure a greener planet. And as far as the transportation sector is concerned, the world is already forcing us to undergo a quick shift from conventional vehicles to e-vehicles. Accordingly, innovators are toiling toward inventing advanced charging technologies that are more green and beneficial to the planet.

How are e-vehicles boosting the global economy?

The e-vehicles that are already on the roads are mostly working on a uni-directional charging system. This means the charging occurs only in one direction, i.e., from the power source to the e-vehicle. With smart charging technologies being invented more frequently, EV charging systems have evolved a multitude. One such advancement is bidirectional charging!

What is bidirectional charging in e-vehicles?

Bidirectional (two-way) charging in electric vehicles is a two-way power system in which the vehicle’s battery can:

  • convert the AC power from its power source into DC power (for its utilization) and 
  • as well as convert the DC power again into AC power and transfer it to other devices or equipment.

By this means, a bidirectional charging e-vehicle can serve as a power source to energize our homes, shared electrical grid, appliances, or even other e-vehicles.  

These two-way charging systems have once again proved that e-vehicles are the future of transportation in most countries. 

Types of bidirectional charging

(i) V2G

This type involves two-way charging from the vehicle to the local electricity grid with the help of a converter. The charging system itself has an in-built converter that does the necessary conversion from AC to DC or vice versa.   

(ii) V2H

This type involves two-way charging from the vehicle to your home. This way, your electric vehicle with bidirectional charging can act as a power backup for lighting your home. 

(iii) V2L

This type means two-way charging from the vehicle to the load, i.e., your EV battery acts like a power source for appliances or tools that operate on 120 volts. This is the most widely adopted battery type in today’s e-vehicles. 

(iv) V2V

This type involves two-way charging from one vehicle to another. With this type, you can easily charge your other vehicle without the need for a new power source or a charging system.

(v) V2X

This type involves two-way charging from the vehicle to anything or everything (i.e., X). ‘X’ indicates future possibilities. 

Advantages of electric vehicles >>>

Benefits of two-way charging in electric vehicles

  1. Save on energy bills

When EV batteries can supply power to your homes, why not use them to power all your appliances, lights, and other electronic systems at home? In fact, you can use this as your power source when you’re short on renewable energy sources (ex., solar power).

  1. Earn with energy supply

By choosing a V2G-type bidirectional charging system, you can supply energy to the commercial electricity grid or other third-party power distribution units. According to a news article published by the University of Rochester, an electric vehicle owner with V2G can save $120-150 a year.

  1. Portable power backup 

Advanced two-way charging e-vehicle batteries are absolutely portable. And when sufficiently charged, they can serve as a power backup for your vehicle, home, etc. You neither need to worry about power shutdowns in conventional power supplies nor search for charging stations to power your vehicle.   

  1. Turn into a self-sufficient energy source

With a combination of commercial renewable energy sources and EV two-way batteries, you can become self-sufficient. Be it your home or office, you can use your energy from these sources and need not greatly depend on conventional, non-renewable energy sources.

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