What is Bidirectional Charging or V2G Technology?

July 20, 2021

What is Bidirectional Charging or “V2G" Technology?

The Nis­san LEAF is able to sup­port the grid by stor­ing ener­gy for lat­er use and absorb­ing demand fluctuation.

What is “V2G" and how does it work? What is bidi­rec­tion­al charg­ing? What cars enable bidi­rec­tion­al charging?

"V2G" stands for “vehi­cle-to-grid", a charg­ing tech­nol­o­gy that allows ener­gy in an elec­tric car bat­tery to be pushed back into the elec­tri­cal grid. It can also be referred to as bidi­rec­tion­al charg­ing because of the two-way flow of elec­tri­cal ener­gy. The idea is sim­i­lar to smart charg­ing where charg­ing pow­er is increased or decreased as nec­es­sary, but V2G goes one step fur­ther and allows the charged pow­er to be pushed back to the pow­er grid to bal­ance ener­gy con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion vari­a­tions when necessary.

When plugged into a V2G charg­er, EV dri­vers can choose to either charge up their cars from the grid or sell back stored ener­gy from their car to the grid. V2G charg­ing allows EV bat­ter­ies to be used much more effi­cient­ly than tra­di­tion­al uni­di­rec­tion­al charg­ing and is impor­tant for fight­ing cli­mate change and mov­ing away from fos­sil fuels. Renew­able ener­gy like wind and solar can’t be pro­duced on demand and needs to be either used imme­di­ate­ly when it becomes avail­able or stored some­where for lat­er use. EV bat­ter­ies pro­vide a per­fect place to store this ener­gy, and once stored, it can be pushed back into the grid dur­ing peak demand times and to help avoid black­outs or pow­er surges with­out the use of fos­sil fuels.

The most impor­tant aspect of V2G charg­ing is mak­ing sure that the bat­tery is charged enough when the car needs to be dri­ven, some­thing eas­i­ly solved using phone apps that allow you to choose what charge you need at any giv­en time. That way, when the car is help­ing bal­ance the grid, it only uses some of the ener­gy from the vehi­cle and keeps the charge with­in a set tol­er­ance. Since cars are plugged in 90% of the time, it makes sense to use the bat­ter­ies to bal­ance the grid when they’re not in use.

The only vehi­cles out right now that have V2G capa­bil­i­ties are the Nis­san Leaf and the Nis­san e‑NV200, but oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers aren’t far behind. Ford has made vehi­cle-to-home (V2H) capa­bil­i­ties for the F‑150 Light­ning elec­tric pick­up and may add V2G charg­ing in the future. Volk­swa­gen has announced that all their ID. brand­ed vehi­cles will have V2G capa­bil­i­ties start­ing in 2022 and EV Con­nect, lead­ing provider of EV charg­ing solu­tions, is already run­ning tri­als on V2G tech­nol­o­gy in the U.S.

The Ford F‑150 Light­ning has V2H "vehi­cle to home" capa­bil­i­ties allow­ing it to be used as a pow­er source in the case of black­outs or dis­as­ters, and is expect­ed to have V2G tech in the future.






Recent Posts

Earth Month 2024 Event Recap

Earth Month 2024 Event Recap

We believe every month is Earth Month, and April is no different! Throughout April, many cities and organizations hosted a variety of Earth Day celebrations across the state of Colorado. Drive Electric Colorado attended 13 events throughout the month, serving as a...

How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

Electric vehicles have been using electrons across highways for over a decade now. For most, it’s an alternative fuel source to do the same job: transport people from point A to point B. But as EV’s begin taking more market share, many EV’s are starting to take shape...


Take the pledge to make your next car electric!