Powering a home with an EV or Vehicle to Home (V2H) technology is a big feature that a few EVs on the market now offer. Tesla hasn’t offered it to date, but while it says it may do so within two years, company boss Elon Musk repeated his belief that it’s a feature in EVs that’s unlikely to catch on.
At Tesla’s 2023 Investors Day hosted at the Tesla Giga Factory, a question was put to the Tesla leadership team on what they think about bi-directional charging and for vehicles to power homes.
To this, Elon Musk stated his thoughts on the technology and whether its a feature that will be used by Tesla customers to power their homes:
“I don’t think many people will use bi-directional charging unless you have a Powerwall because if you unplug your car, your house goes dark and this is extremely inconvenient.”
That may be a surprising view, given that many grid operators are looking to EVs and their batteries on wheels as a key component of managing grids that are heading towards 100 per cent renewables. But perhaps Musk is more interested in deploying more stationary storage, such as the company’s MegaPack and Powerwall battery products.
Bi-directional charging is a feature that Tesla doesn’t yet offer on its vehicles even though other manufacturers like Hyundai, Kia and BYD are offering it in vehicles sold in Australia.
Musk then went on to say how bi-directional charging could work, but insisted it would require a battery storage backup like the PowerWall:
“If you have a Powerwall, that can take the house load then use your car as a supplementary energy source to the Powerwall”
Although bi-directional charging hasn’t been at the forefront of Tesla’s EV line-up, it may be coming as a feature, as noted by another member of Tesla’s leadership team on stage:
“We are in the middle of a power electronics retool, I’d say, that will bring that functionally to all of our vehicles in the next, you know, two years let’s say,” said the head of powertrain and energy technology Drew Baglino.
Given Powerwall’s success in Australia, Tesla owners do tend to install a Powerwall at home as backup storage. Some of the key functions have been outlined by Tom from Ludicrous Feed on YouTube after getting one installed in Sydney, Australia.
With more people buying Tesla EVs in Australia than ever before, it’d be welcomed by many future owners to have such a feature. If not to power the home then possibly to power a campsite when local EV owners road trip without.
Editor’s note: Not sure I agree with Musk on this one. We’d be happy to have a V2H option just to be able to provide power to our home when the grid goes down, rather than day to day grid exchange.
Riz is the founder of carloop based in Melbourne, specialising in Australian EV data, insight reports and trends. He is a mechanical engineer who spent the first 7 years of his career building transport infrastructure before starting carloop. He has a passion for cars, particularly EVs and wants to help reduce transport emissions in Australia. He currently drives a red Tesla Model 3.