With electric vehicles (EVs) containing huge, powerful batteries, many homeowners are wondering if they can use their cars to power their homes and eliminate their electric bills. The idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds and may only be a few years off coming to fruition.
So with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at powering your home via your EV charge point and detail how the concept works.
Why Power Your Home Using Your Car?
Many homeowners are mulling over how to make their homes more energy-efficient, especially considering energy bills will hit £3,000+ annually in October. Some are turning to solar panels, while others are exploring the option of using stored power in their car batteries to help power their home.
When you think about it, this idea makes perfect sense. Your car’s battery is designed to store a lot of energy. In fact, the Tesla Model S has a battery with a usable capacity of about 98 kWh of energy. With the average kWh usage per day in a UK household sitting between 8.5 to 10 kWh, that’s enough to power most homes for more than a week.
Moreover, as electric car batteries continue to get better and cheaper, it’s not hard to imagine a future where homeowners use them as a primary or backup power source.
How Does Powering Your Home from Your Car Work?
The concept is actually incredibly simple. You use the car to provide power to your electrical appliances when your car is not in use during peak times and charge your car at a time when energy is at its cheapest (usually overnight) – dramatically reducing what you spend each month on electricity. You could also sell any excess electricity stored in your car battery back to the grid at peak times, further reducing your bill or eliminating it entirely.
At present, there isn’t a way to have your car power appliances directly (that may come soon, though). So the immediate solution would be to use your car to sell electricity at peak prices while charging at the lowest prices available.
So in a typical month, you might spend £100 on charging your vehicle during off-peak hours and make £175 from selling the excess power you create back to the grid, meaning you end up with a £75 surplus which you can use to settle your electric bill, or perhaps even pay it off and have some left over.
Of course, this is just a rough estimate and will vary depending on your personal energy consumption etc., but it’s not hard to see how this concept could work in the future.
What Do I Need to Make Money from My Electric Vehicle/Charge Point?
The technology already exists to make this arrangement work today, and several pilot schemes are underway to test the idea. But, for the moment, it’s not widely available to the general public.
To make money from your car and charge point, you need to have a “smart” EV charge point that can be paired with an application that automatically detects the lowest (highest demand) for electricity from the grid. When demand hits rock bottom, it will instruct your charge point to begin charging. By contrast, when demand is high, it will take power from your car and feed it back into the grid for a profit.
The other element you need is a specially-designed charge point connection installed at your property (or whenever you keep your car) and a type of charger called CHAdeMO, which is currently only common on Japanese electric cars. With these elements in place, you’ll have the capacity to sell power back to the grid when they need it most when prices are at their highest.
As the technology becomes more widely available and these connections become standard on all EVs, it’s anticipated that installation costs will come down, making it a more viable option for homeowners.
Where Can I Get a “Smart” EV Charge Point?
At Applegarth Electrical, we already supply so-called “smart” EV charge points that can detect when it’s cheapest to charge your car and can be controlled remotely via an application. We also offer a full charge point installation service for domestic and commercial customers, so if you’re interested in switching to electric motoring, get in touch today.
While using your car to dramatically reduce your energy bill is still in the trial and testing phase, we are keeping a very close eye on its progress. We will then offer this solution to our customers as soon as it becomes available to the public. So, if you’re an early adopter of new technology and want to be one of the first in the UK to make money from your car, get in touch, and we’ll do our best to help you achieve that aim.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about making the switch to electric driving, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts will be happy to advise you on the best way to make the transition and can also offer guidance on the government’s charge point grant schemes and how to apply for them.