The U.S. Department of Energy and a number of stakeholders have released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the integration of bidirectional charging for electric vehicles and infrastructure.
First discovered by focusing on the sun pv magazinethe MoU brings together multiple DOE offices, the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the City of Los Angeles and Lancaster (California), automakers Ford, General Motors, Lucid, Nissan and Lion Electric, utilities Pacific Gas and Electric and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 11 unions and more.
The goal of the collaboration, based on participants that appear to be primarily from California, is to bring stakeholders together and coordinate efforts for bidirectional charging, which enables electric vehicles to release electricity back into the grid. Automakers also use it as a way to back up power, tools or electronics at home, or even to charge other vehicles in a pinch.
2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV
“The purpose of this MoU is to collaboratively explore research, engineering and infrastructure investment opportunities to accelerate and enable two-way [plug-in vehicle] into the grid,” the document said, possibly including a demonstration two-way charging station.
Several demonstration projects have been launched to demonstrate how coordinated bidirectional charging of electric vehicle fleets can stabilize the grid. But it has become a point of contention due to the lack of production vehicles capable of bidirectional charging.
But now some automakers are hinting they want to make bidirectional charging widely available soon. A report earlier this month said Volkswagen plans to add bidirectional charging to electric vehicles based on its ubiquitous MEB platform later in 2022.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro
The Ford F-150 Lightning will be one of the first to offer corresponding home hardware backed by the automaker’s warranty.
Both the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Lucid Air are designed for two-way charging, but neither automaker has detailed the household hardware needed to send power back to the grid.
Some companies, including Ford and General Motors, are also continuing to study the role of electric vehicles in grid stabilization through pilot projects. General Motors and Pacific Gas & Electric announced such plans for California in March.