10 Electric Vehicles Available With Bidirectional Charging Capabilities
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10 Electric Vehicles Available With Bidirectional Charging Capabilities

Apr 20, 2023

Some EVs on the market give you the option to power gadgets and appliances straight from their big battery packs.

Electric vehicles with bidirectional charging can receive power from the grid to charge their batteries as well as discharge power from the battery to an external load. Bidirectional charging opens up many exciting possibilities for EV owners, such as storing excess solar energy in your vehicle's battery and then using that stored energy to power your home.

Manufacturers are well aware of this technology's advantages and the importance of including bidirectional charging capabilities with their EVs, but only a handful offer vehicles with this feature.

Let's explore some EVs with bidirectional charging capabilities!

The Ford F-150 Lightning is an extremely capable electric vehicle, and it offers a lot of features that its internal combustion counterparts cannot compete with. One of the coolest features available on the F-150 Lightning is the bidirectional charging capability, which allows the F-150 to discharge power from its battery to power an external source. You can even use an F-150 Lightning to power your house if the truck is configured correctly and your home has been properly set up to receive backup power from the F-150 Lightning's battery pack.

In order to use the Lightning as a backup power source, you'll need to select the option called Intelligent Backup Power, which will be used in conjunction with Ford's Charge Station Pro, and your home must also be professionally prepared to interface with your F-150 Lightning. Once everything has been properly installed by a professional electrician, you can use the F-150 Lightning as your main power source for your home during a blackout.

This is a feature that will probably convince many potential owners to purchase an F-150 Lightning, especially if you live in an area with an unreliable electrical grid. The Lightning also includes an assortment of electrical outlets (in the front trunk and in the bed) to power a variety of your equipment; it even has an optional 240V outlet.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 includes bidirectional charging, which allows you to power external devices using its battery. Hyundai calls this functionality in the Ioniq 5 vehicle-to-load (V2L), and it's a feature that adds to an already practical EV that's among the best electric SUVs.

Hyundai allows you to power your devices using an integrated outlet located in the bottom of the rear seats or through the V2L adapter, which connects straight to the vehicle's charging port and allows you to connect external loads to the battery.

The great thing is that Hyundai allows you to use up to 80% of the battery's capacity to power whatever you want, and the amount of power that's being supplied from the battery shows up on the car's display.

The EV6 is equipped with the same V2L functionality as the Ioniq 5, which isn't surprising because both of these vehicles belong to the Hyundai Motor Group and are built on the same platform. The EV6 offers up to 3.6 kW of power, and just like in the Ioniq 5, you can set a discharge limit for the battery.

There's also an outlet located at the bottom of the rear seats, which is very practical if you need to charge your laptop while inside the vehicle. Once again, this is very similar to the Ioniq 5 setup.

The Nissan Leaf has been equipped with bidirectional functionality for quite some time now. Nissan Leaf vehicles from model years 2013 and up are compatible with the Fermata Energy FE-15 bidirectional EV charger, which allows the Nissan Leaf to be used in a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capacity.

V2G allows the vehicle to communicate with the electrical grid through the bidirectional charger and feed energy back to the grid from the vehicle's battery. This is especially convenient for businesses with large fleets of vehicles. It's possible to charge your EV fleet during off-peak (cheaper) hours and then sell the energy from your fleet back to the utility company whenever demand is high during peak hours, netting a profit in the process.

The 2023 Kia Niro EV is another vehicle in the Kia family that includes bidirectional charging capabilities. Thanks to its built-in Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU), the Niro can use up to 3 kW from its battery to power external devices. You can use an adapter to connect an extension cable to the vehicle's charging port, or you can simply use the built-in power outlet located between the rear seats.

These are some of the features that make the Niro EV one of the best electric compact crossovers.

The Genesis GV60 is another Hyundai group product with bidirectional charging functionality. Genesis calls this feature vehicle-to-load (V2L), and it allows the GV60 to use its battery to power your devices.

You can use the onboard outlet (located between the rear seats) or connect to the battery using an adapter that connects directly to the charge port.

Hyundai has done a great job implementing bidirectional charging capabilities throughout its EV lineup, and the Ioniq 6 is yet another model to have it. If you need to charge your portable electronics, the Ioniq 6 is equipped with a power outlet between the rear seats, and you can also power your devices through the vehicle's exterior charge port using a special adapter.

The Ioniq 6 is definitely a vehicle worth considering if you're planning an EV road trip due to its many useful features, including the ability to power exterior devices while on the road.

The MG ZS is an electric SUV that offers up to 273 miles of range along with the ability to power your electrical appliances with vehicle-to-load functionality. Using V2L on your MG ZS is very easy; all you need is an adapter that plugs into your EV's charging port, which you can use to connect your appliances. It even allows you to charge another electric vehicle, as demonstrated in the video above uploaded by My Electric Earth.

You can control basic V2L functions such as setting discharge limits for the battery from the car's infotainment screen.

The MG4 EV is equipped with vehicle-to-load functionality, which means you can power your electronic devices using the vehicle's optional 64 kWh battery. The MG's long-range battery delivers up to 281 miles of range, so you can drive wherever you want and also cook something up when you get there using the V2L functionality.

The MG4 EV is also one of the most attractive EVs you can purchase; too bad it isn't for sale in the US.

Volkswagen's electric vehicle lineup includes some awesome models, but the star of the show is undoubtedly the ID Buzz. It's the electrified reincarnation of the original VW van and it's a showstopper. The ID Buzz also features bidirectional charging, specifically vehicle-to-home capability.

The VW ID Buzz's 77 kWh battery can be used to power your home via a special wall-mounted charger with bidirectional properties, meaning it can receive power from the grid as well as discharge it back to run your home's appliances.

Other members of the VW lineup, like the ID.4 and ID.5, should be getting this functionality as well via an over-the-air update.

Bidirectional charging is massively useful, and it's definitely something that EV buyers should be aware of when shopping for their next electric vehicle. Functionality like this is especially useful if you're planning on purchasing an electric pickup truck.

Alex is a Computer Science graduate with an intense passion for anything automotive. He's been writing about cars for the better part of 10 years, and is currently a writer for the Electric Vehicles section at MUO. Whether it's keeping up to date with the latest car news, or test-driving a new EV, Alex is always working relentlessly to stay on top of the latest trends in the auto industry.