How to use any EV electric car as backup power source?

Do you want to use your electric car battery as a backup power source, but don’t feel comfortable with complicated installations? How can you use that huge battery pack of your EV car as backup power, if there is a massive power outage blackout? Read on to find out how you can use the huge battery capacity of both old and new electric cars as a home battery. With the creative steps below, you can experience the benefits of bidirectional charging your electric car. Use your EV car everywhere as an electricity source. Use your EV as a bakup to power essential stuff the lighting, refrigerator, radio, television and internet connection during a blackout power outage.

Solution for electric car that cannot charge bidirectionally

Most electric cars can only charge their own battery pack. There are only a few models available that can charge bidirectionally as standard. This technology allows you to use the power from the main battery pack at home. The question that had been on my mind for some time was “How can I use the battery capacity of my electric car as a power supply? (Chevrolet Bolt EV / Opel Vauxhall Ampera-e)”. How can I use my electric car’s battery as a backup when there is a blackout and power outage?

I have found a creative working solution for this that everyone can use. Anyone can discharge and charge bidirectionally: It doesn’t matter what brand you drive and whether it’s an old or new electric car.

Connect 3 products to use your car as a power supply and home battery

I can now use my electric car at home and on holiday for bidirectional charging and as a mobile battery. It works ideally in secluded places in nature where there is no electricity. For example, during camping or in a remote holiday home. But it also works as a backup power source in emergency situations, during a blackout power outage. You only need a total of 3 easy products, to use your electric car’s battery as a power supply and start with bi-directional charging.

1. Portable jump starter auxiliary battery with built-in AC power outlet

A portable starter aid with a built-in large battery ensures that you can store power for later use. I use the AEG Portable Car Energy Station. This device serves as an intermediate station between your electric car and your home. With these types of devices you can also boost an empty 12V battery so that a car starts again. A 12V battery is also in every electric car and sometimes a chance of breaking down. That is why a starting aid is indispensable. With the built-in compressor, you can also immediately inflate every car tire to the pressure.

If you connect the portable starting aid to both the built-in 12V (cigarette) charger of your car and an extra long extension cord, you can suddenly use it as a live working battery between your car and your home. The battery pack of your electric car continuously charges the small 12v battery, if you leave the car in neutral or parking position and lock the doors. AEG’s built-in 220V outlet can be used to connect all kinds of devices, with a maximum power of up to 200W. It is a simple instant cost-effective do-it-yourself solution that work with every EV car. And it has a built in compressor to pump up your seasonal car tires when you take them out of storage.

2. Universal DC adapter for 12V (cigarette) socket in EV car

To constantly power the AEG portable starter aid with built-in battery, we use a DC adapter. You plug this into the 12V socket of your car. Then you start the electric car and leave it in neutral or parking position on the parking brake. Now the DC adapter ensures that the portable power bank is continuously powered. It prevents the large built-in battery of the portable starting aid from draining. The huge battery pack of your EV can therefore be used for a very long time as a home battery. The solution provides electricity for devices up to 200W continuous load and 400W instant short peak. That is more or less the same as bidirectional charging, but creative and slightly different. But accessible to everyone!

3. Extra long extension cord from EV car to home for bidirectional charging

The only thing we now have to use to be able to charge bidirectionally is an extra long extension cord. You will run it from your parking space to your home. For this I use an extra long, sturdy and reliable extension cord from German company Brennenstuhl. I put the portable AEG starting aid in the car behind the seats. Through the back window at a small gap, the extension cord goes outside from the parking lot and the garden into the house.

Because the car keeps running actively but the doors are closed, I can continue to use it without any interruption. Most electric cars have a battery pack of at least 25 kW or more often even much more, so that with 200W consumption the battery pack of the car does not drain quickly. Finally, connect the extension cord to a power strip with extension cord at home and you can start with creative bidirectional (de)charging!

10 Devices I connect to my car’s home battery

Because the maximum power of the built-in socket of the AEG device is up to 200W, you cannot connect all household appliances. A standard kettle quickly uses 1,500-2,000W and a microwave is also taboo. But there are a large number of devices that I can use. That makes this creative home battery solution ideal for a backup solution during a power outage, camping and off-grid vacation rentals. Here are 10 examples of devices I connect to my electric car’s home battery.

  1. Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops
  2. Some refrigerators and especially portable cool boxes
  3. Wireless routers for internet access
  4. Alarm system at home
  5. Rechargeable portable vacuum cleaners
  6. Do-it-yourself home and repair equipment
  7. Electric toothbrushes and shavers
  8. Some electric bikes
  9. Television and radio
  10. Small water boiler for hot coffee in the car (takes a long time but works!)

Conclusion: Use every electric car as a generator and home battery

As you can see, with a little creativity you can use any electric car as a temporary generator during a power outage. It is an ideal solution for camping or remote off-grid vacation homes. If you have solar panels and can charge your car with them. You can now use your EV as a small mobile home battery for energy storage!

Personally, the AEG is  the ideal solution for me and the best “value for money” for this type of application. But what if you still want to connect more power to the built-in socket? In that case, I recommend, for example, the Jackery Explorer 500. That is really considerably more expensive but is able to deliver 500W. Please note that the setup with a DC adapter for 12V charging in the car does not work optimally due to the higher power.

Do you have experience with using your electric car that is not suitable for bidirectional charging as a home battery? Have you used a similar backup solution during a power outage? Or do you know someone on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn who wants to try that? Write your comment below and share the post. So everyone can also try it and use their car as a home battery during power outages.

By Gerrit Jan

Hello my name is Gerrit Jan. I’m a freelance SEO copywriter, marketing communications and sales professional - Specializing in data center colocation, IoT and global connectivity.

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