That effectively means that when you plug it in at home it can be charged overnight when demand on the national energy grid is low and prices are cheapest – and then the energy stored in your car battery can be fed back to power your home when demand is higher.
Or, if you have solar panels, you can store excess capacity in your car, then use it on your home later at night when the sun has gone in.
Volvo believe that with bi-directional charging, electric cars can have the potential to contribute to an easing of this strain while plugged in - together with many other electric cars forming a virtual powerplant. It can also help power your own home energy needs and, when unplugged, become a battery on wheels powering your life on the go – for your cookout, power tools or music system.“With the Volvo EX90 you can power your life,” says Head of Electrification Ecosystem Olivier Loedel. “You could use its battery in many ways, from topping up your electric bike when you’re out and about, to hooking up an outdoor cooking appliance for your weekend camping trip. It could even power your house during the expensive peak hours of the day.”
Where available, the entire charging process will be automatic and managed entirely by the smart charging functionality in the Volvo Cars app. The underlying algorithm also makes sure that you charge and discharge the battery in a limited way, reducing the risk of avoidable battery degradation.
Volvo plan to offer the hardware you need to start using bi-directional charging features, including an advanced wall box and home energy management system. Other accessories such as adapter plugs for appliances and cables for charging other cars will also be available.