E-car becomes mobile energy storage

New Volvo EX90 comes with bidirectional charging function

14. Oktober 2022, 10:32 Uhr | Irina Hübner
Konzept für bidirektionales Laden.
© Volvo

The Volvo EX90 is the first model from the Swedish premium car brand to feature bidirectional charging. The all-electric SUV is to be unveiled on November 9.

With bidirectional charging, electric cars are transformed into mobile energy storage units that can temporarily store electricity and release it again when needed. They supply the home with energy, while charging the e-bike or the music system on the road.

The all-electric Volvo EX90 is the first Volvo model designed for bidirectional charging. Initially offered in select markets, the capability helps make energy use more cost-effective, efficient and sustainable. Combined with the smart-charging function in the Volvo Cars smartphone app, the vehicle is charged when electricity demand is low and energy prices are correspondingly low - typically when there is plenty of renewable energy available in the electricity mix from wind and solar power, for example.

Versatile application possible

The energy stored in the high-voltage battery can not only be used for driving, but can also be released again. »With the Volvo EX90, we are powering everyday life,« says Olivier Loedel, Head of Electrification Ecosystem at Volvo Cars. »Drivers can use the battery in many ways: They can charge their e-bike when they're on the road, or plug in an outdoor cooking device during a weekend camping trip. During expensive peak hours, even the house can be powered with inexpensive electricity from the car.«

The flagship SUV can even become a charging station for other compatible Volvo electric vehicles in an emergency: If no charging station can be found on the road, the Volvo EX90 charges the electric vehicles - or charges itself at them.

If available, the entire charging process takes place automatically via the intelligent charging function of the Volvo Cars app. The underlying algorithm ensures that the battery can only be charged or discharged to a limited extent - this step extends the durability of the high-voltage batteries and ensures long-term driving pleasure.

Stabilization of the power grid

Depending on the regulations of the regional energy market, the Volvo EX90 supports the public power grid. While the vehicle is charged cheaply at times when there is a surplus of renewable energy, energy can be sold back at peak times when demand is higher. The more electric cars that have the bidirectional charging option, the better load peaks can be balanced in this way. This also improves the overall sustainability of the power grid: The regenerative energy stored in the vehicle is released, which reduces the need for fossil fuels when the load is high.

One possible scenario: If the Volvo EX90 is parked at home after work and still has a comparatively large amount of energy in the battery, which was previously charged with cheaper and cleaner electricity, this can be fed back into the grid at higher electricity prices. This can save money.

In addition to the Volvo EX90 with bidirectional charging function, the Swedish premium automaker plans to offer other hardware such as an advanced wallbox and an energy management system for the home. Other accessories such as adapter plugs for devices and cables for charging other cars will also be offered.

 


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