The Kia Niro EV GT-Line electric car which I tested recently has an interesting feature that you might not have heard of called V2L (which stands for Vehicle to Load).
Unlike some other electric cars there’s an external V2L adaptor as well as an internal 250V socket for added convenience.
What is V2L? In normal language this means you can run small electric appliances or charge batteries in 240V portable and fixed electrical devices big and small directly from your car, from as small a load as a travelling worker charging their laptop to as big a load as topping up the battery of another electric car.
Some other examples of how V2L can be used include:
- Using your electric car to power a camp site eg: running a kettle to make tea, hair dryer, lights, induction cooktop and more
- Powering key home appliances near your garage/car park during a power outage eg: fridge.
- Tradies recharging electric power tools used for gardening and home handyman type work
- Recharging another electric car whose battery is empty, enough so that driver can make it to a fast charging location
Anyway while I had the Kia Niro EV GT-Line on loan for review I tested the included V2L adaptor to see if it could do as promised.
Firstly I found the V2L adaptor stored tidily in the front trunk (frunk) inside a little zip case.
I opened the case and read the instructions which make some good points eg don’t use V2L while the car battery is mostly empty or if it might rain or snow soon.
I plugged the Kettle power cable into the V2L adaptor and the adaptor into the car charge port.
As you can see the kettle worked perfectly drawing 2kW from the car until the water was boiling.
In real life of course don’t put a kettle or anything else on your car hood/roof especially anything hot as the paint could get damaged.
I don’t have off street parking and the day I did V2L testing the car was parked down my street, so I didn’t have a little table to put the kettle on for demo purposes.
Then I tried the second V2L location in the Kia Niro EV GT-Line.
Yes there is a 2nd one and it’s easy to miss as it’s a power socket inside the car in the back passenger footwell. Many other electric cars that support V2L only have the one external adaptor option.
Having an internal V2L power socket is handy for field workers, salespeople etc who need to work on their laptop between driving around or anyone in a family car who needs to recharge/power a 240V device inside.
As you can see in the photo the power socket can supply 16 amps (up to 3.6kW) which is the same limit as the external V2L adaptor. To my understanding the 3.6kW limit is across the two V2L ports so you can’t draw 3.6kW from both of them simultaneously.
I plugged my laptop power supply into the power point at one end and my laptop at the other end so I could type on my laptop inside the car while recharging the laptop battery.
Kia Niro EV 2022 – promotional video about V2L
Note that in Australia the Kia Niro EV is sold in base S spec and top GT-line spec. GT-line has exterior V2L capability. S model doesn’t.
Both have the interior V2L power socket.