Answered: Can Your Electric Vehicle Help When Your Home Loses Power?

"Losing power can cause a major disruption to our daily routines," shares Shawn McLaughlin, CEO of Emporia. "Sadly, we live in an era where the grid is strained by aging infrastructure and extreme weather, making power outages more commonplace." However, the emergence of electric vehicles and their related technology puts us on a path to navigate those challenges with less disruption.

"There have been major advances in alternative energy and we envision [Emporia's] product suite helping consumers to act as their own personal microgrids," adds McLaughlin. "Our chargers pair perfectly with solar panels and Emporia’s modular PowerStation home batteries to provide energy backup and EV charging during outages."

"These batteries play a dual role as a backup power source," he points out. "The battery capacity is filled by the grid and can be used when utility rates are highest, but they can also be employed during inclement weather and a loss of power. For households that rely on solar energy, these batteries can integrate as an additional safeguard with their solar batteries, further lessening the dependence on local utility companies."

Level up to Level 2 so you can enjoy longer-range charging in a shorter amount of time.<p>Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash</p>
Level up to Level 2 so you can enjoy longer-range charging in a shorter amount of time.

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

A Plan for Power Outages: Bidirectional Charging

Bidirectional charging is still widely in development, but it will fundamentally allow you to reverse the charge of your electric vehicle back into other sources during a power outage.

“Electric vehicles are unlocking entirely new features and value streams for our customers never before possible with gas-powered engines," said Bill Crider, senior director, global charging and energy services, Ford Motor Company. "Ford's Intelligent Backup Power system has the capability to power your home or workplace for up to ten days in case of an outage, drawing energy directly from an F-150 Lightning's massive battery pack. In the near future, Ford Intelligent Power will provide further vehicle-to-grid capabilities by utilizing our EVs to power homes or businesses during high-cost, peak-energy hours while charging during low-cost overnight rates, helping save our customers money and increasing grid resiliency.”

As more auto manufacturers incorporate bidirectional charging, consumers continue to reimagine how their EV could be used as a backup power system for seasonal cabins or traditionally "off-grid" structures.

Current U.S. EV Models with Bidirectional Charging:

(Updated 2/28/2024)

  • Cadillac LYRIQ

  • Cadillac ESCALADE IQ

  • Chevrolet Silverado EV RST

  • Chevrolet Blazer EV

  • Chevrolet Equinox EV

  • Fisker Ocean

  • Ford F-150 Lightning

  • Genesis GV60

  • GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5, Hyundai Ioniq 6, and (surprise) Hyundai Ioniq 7

  • Kia EV6 and Kia EV 9

  • Kia Niro

  • Kia Soul EV

  • Lucid Air

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

  • Nissan Leaf

  • Polestar 3 and Polestar 4

  • Stellantis RAM 1500 REV

  • Tesla Cybertruck

  • VW ID.4

Furthermore, Emporia is hard at work designing and developing a new electric vehicle charger–a bidirectional charger—and it comes out this year. "Imagine a scenario where your electricity rate spikes while everyone’s at home – these spikes in the electricity prices can cost you a pretty penny," comments McLaughlin. "With bi-directional charging, you can automatically pull power from your EV battery and avoid paying for electricity when it costs the most. By not relying on the grid when it’s most expensive homeowners can achieve 50% savings on electric bills which adds up considerably over time."

There are many benefits to <a href="" data-ylk="slk:upgrading your home to a Level 2 EV charger;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">upgrading your home to a Level 2 EV charger</a>.<p>Emily Fazio</p>


Can you drive your EV during a power outage?

Yes, if your electric vehicle's battery has a charge, it will be able to drive you places during a power outage while you wait for the power companies to fix the issue. You might even be able to get to a public charging station or a gas station with charging areas to recharge with clean energy while waiting for the utility company to do its thing.

Can you charge your EV off a generator?

Yes, home standby generators can be used to recharge an electric vehicle. Common backup power generators run off gas or propane, so they will not be affected by an electrical grid outage.

Can you use your EV as an electrical source for your home?

The dream! With the expanding availability of bidirectional charging, you will be able to charge your home or building using your electric vehicle. This will make it easier to run your home's electrical system without a generator, or, in essence, make it possible to use your EV as an alternative energy generator. A gas vehicle can't do that!

Another good rule of thumb: even without bidirectional charging, it's safe to use your EV as a source for heating during a power outage. Just sit in the car, turn it on, and use it to keep warm if your home's heating system is compromised.