Charging

Vehicle-To-Load (V2L): How Does It Work?

May 31, 2022

Powering Your Life With Your Car

It’s hard to understate how much we need electricity to make our lives “go.” From powering the necessities of our work to keeping us cozy, safe, and entertained at home, electricity is at the core of our lives. And when the power shuts off, or a battery dies, it can be incredibly disruptive, or even dangerous. Interestingly, one of the best side-benefits of owning an electric car is its ability to serve as a mobile power source in times of need – whether it’s just your laptop that needs charging, or whether you even need to power your house for a few hours.

Your electric car is carrying around a big battery, after all – bigger than any battery used by any of your devices. When needed, it can therefore serve as a substantial energy store for a surprising amount of time. It’s called “vehicle-to-load,” or V2L.

Keeping The Lights On

Probably the most impressive implementation of V2L announced so far is in the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck, which will start deliveries in 2022. Called Ford Intelligent Backup Power, this optional feature turns the truck into a power source for your home. With the ability to offload 9.6 kilowatts of power, it can keep the lights on during an outage while providing powering home appliances, security systems and more.

Intelligent Backup Power is enabled by the available 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system. When an F-150 Lightning is plugged into the Charge Station Pro, it can automatically kick power back to your house during an outage; once power is restored, the truck automatically reverts to charging its battery. Based on an average of 30 kWh of use per day, the F-150 Lightning with an extended-range battery can provide full-home power for up to three days, or as long as 10 days if power is rationed.

Ford has also teaming up with Sunrun, one of the U.S.’s leading solar companies, to facilitate installation of Ford Charge Station Pro and home integration system. During the process, customers can also install solar energy on their home, enabling them to power their household  – and charge their pickup.

Powering a home for several days is an extreme situation, but how about more mundane uses?

Buyers using the Lightning as a work truck can power tools directly from the truck by taking advantage of built-in electrical outlets to directly power a variety of tools, electronics and appliances away from home. Standard on base trims is 2.4 kilowatts of power with the option for more, while higher models series come standard with 9.6 kilowatts of power – a combination of up to 2.4 kilowatts available through the front trunk and up to 7.2 kilowatts through outlets in the cab and bed.

A Charger On Wheels

A vehicle with V2L can serve as a charger on wheels for all kinds of electric devices – from personal electronics to active-lifestyle paraphernalia like electric bicycles, scooters, and even camping equipment.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5’s V2L function can supply up to 3.6 kW of power. One port is located under the second-row seats, and it can be activated when the vehicle is on – great for charging or running electronic devices. Another V2L port is located at the charging port on the vehicle exterior. Using a simple converter, customers can charge higher-power electric equipment. The outside port provides power even when the vehicle is turned off. In a pinch, it can even provide enough power to slow-charge another electric vehicle!

V2L is just another feature that makes electric vehicles so appealing and versatile – no matter what your lifestyle.