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Storm Eunice/Franklin: Could EVs prevent future power cuts?

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Power Cut Electric Vehicle

Once again the UK has been battered by storms leaving thousands of homes without power, but could our transition to electric vehicles help prevent this in the future?

This is a question being posed by Ginny Buckley, the Founder and CEO of Electrifying.com, who posits that electric vehicles could keep the kettle running in the event of a power cut. That’s because some of the latest models are capable of sending power in both directions, either from the home to the car’s battery, or from the car’s battery to the home. 

For those of you who are regular listeners to the Powered On podcast, Vehicle to Grid technology has been discussed at length. After all, these cars have large batteries that are often sitting there for hours or even days without use – so why not put them to use? 

Well, there’s a reason V2G has yet to take off on a large scale – one that is likely to be even more important in the event of a power cut. After all, you could deplete your electric vehicle battery to run your household, but when the battery is fully depleted – you are stuck. You can’t charge your vehicle which means you can’t go anywhere. It’s likely people are to put a high priority on the ability to travel at a whim. 

However, there are of course ways to avoid depleting the battery completely. Martin Roemheld, Head of Charging at Volkswagen, noted that VW’s newest models could power a six-person household for six days on a single charge. In all likelihood, power should be restored within that time, and if not, there are likely to be public chargers nearby where you could go for a quick top-up. 

Despite the benefits of running a home off an electric vehicle’s battery, there are better solutions available, although they tend to be more expensive. Those options include creating a microgrid at home by pairing solar panels with stationary energy storage. This ensures that a household can not only generate its own electricity, but also store excess electricity in case of a power cut. 

With this solution, homeowners can still use their vehicle for transportation, while also still being able to power their homes. In fact, in some cases, energy storage solutions come with technologies that will automatically charge the battery in case of inclement weather, just to ensure that the homeowner isn’t caught off guard in the event of a grid-based power cut.

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