Next year, Volkswagen will begin mass-developing electric vehicles that have bidirectional charging
Starting next year, Volkswagen has announced that all of its MEB-centered electric vehicles would allow bidirectional charging. It has the potential to offer vehicle-to-grid technologies a significant boost. At the early stages of the electric car era, the company was wary of using battery packs because their longevity was a major concern. However, as the sector as a whole gains trust in the long-term viability of well-managed battery packs, others see them as underutilized properties. Some EVs have large battery packs that allow for 200+ miles of range, however they only fly 40 miles further a day.
Controlling when electric cars can be able to charge on local electric grid has tremendous benefit for managing the load and preventing operating inefficient as well as polluting peaker power stations as the fleet of electric vehicles increases in certain markets. Perhaps more benefits will be added if such electric cars could also feed electricity back into the grid while they are not in use. “Vehicle-to-grid” is a term used to describe the technology. A bidirectional charging electric vehicle may send power to a home, the grid, or any other electric vehicle.
Any businesses and utilities have been looking at the possibility of utilizing a fleet of electric vehicles which has a bidirectional charging to support stabilize the grid as required. It will offer very useful grid resources by reclaiming certain electricity from thousands of automobiles that don’t require it if large enough fleets are used. In exchange, the electric company will pay certain EV owners for the usage of their battery pack.
The issue has been that the bidirectional charging technology is only available in a small number of electric cars. The Nissan Leaf is by far the most common electric vehicle with this capability, but that’s it. Even so, there is a slew of new EVs with the capability on the way. The system is available in the latest Hyundai Ioniq 5, as well as Tesla has confirmed that all upcoming automobiles would have bidirectional charging capability. Volkswagen is the latest company to join the chart.
After unveiling a wall charger that has a bidirectional charging capability last year, we learned the automaker was working on the technology. Still, they didn’t mention when the capacity would be included in automobiles. Starting next year, any new VW EV built on the MEB platform will be fitted with bidirectional charging capability, according to the German company (via Handelsblatt):
In discussion with the Handelsblatt, VW Development Board Member Thomas Ulbrich reveals, “The research vehicles are going, we are in the final pulls with the arrangements.” From 2022 onwards, any electric car built by the Volkswagen Group on the MEB (modular electrification kit) electrical platform would be able to charge and moreover return energy to the grid. The MEB is now used by sister brands Skoda, Audi, and Seat-Cupra, in addition to the VW.