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Use Case: V2L

What is V2L and how is it different?

The Vehicle to Load (V2L) use case is significantly different from the previous two we have looked at. The key difference is that the EV is not connected to the electricity network.

The EV will charge from the electricity network in the usual way. However, an EV that is V2L capable will be able to provide power from the vehicle as an auxiliary service without the need of a chargepoint. This transforms the EV into a mobile power supply, taking the place of a traditional diesel generator.

The Vehicle to Load Use Case - where the EV is not connected to the electricity networkThe Vehicle to Load Use Case

Target Customer or Site

This use case has a range of target customers including emergency services, campers, or outdoor event organisers. Being a portable solution, the site is less relevant.

Why is it useful?

This use case can be helpful in situations where electricity from the grid is not available. This could be due to the remoteness of the location, or a failure on the grid. By plugging in to the charge port of the vehicle or potentially an auxiliary port, V2L equipped emergency vehicles can provide valuable power to temporary facilities.

On smaller vehicles Vehicle-to-Load could be incorporated as a power source for use while camping or even to provide charge for another EV. Additionally, some EVs offer Vehicle-to-Load ports in the interior of the vehicle for use with laptops or small appliances. This is an expansion of the concept of the cigarette lighter socket already found on many vehicles.

How is it controlled?

In this use case the discharging from the vehicle needs little control. The vehicle itself will enable discharge if there is sufficient charge available. Power electronics on-board the vehicle will regulate the power to the appropriate voltage and frequency for the system that it is designed to power. The discharge port on the vehicle works rather like a plug socket, however the EV will cut the power once it reaches a minimum level ensuring there is sufficient charge left to drive the vehicle.

Project Example

Electrical power outlets on larger internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, such as fire engines, have been available as an optional extra for a few years now. The equivalent sort of electrical outlet on large electric vehicles are now being offered by manufacturers such as Cummins. PowerDrive for Electric Trucks – Cummins Inc

An example of Vehicle-to-Load incorporated in a car is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which offers both external and internal Vehicle-to-Load ports.

What do you think?
Can you think of another application where V2L could be useful?
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