I’ve test driven and reviewed a lot of electric cars this year and while doing that I noticed that the only electric car brands sold in Australia at present which support V2L (Vehicle to Load) are Hyundai, Genesis, Kia, MG and BYD.
What is V2L?
Fossil fuel powered cars usually have low power cigarette lighter sockets which can supply 12V power. Even if they do have an in-built 240V socket it’s only small eg ~200 watts.
One way electric cars are superior to fossil fuel cars is they can have the cool feature of one or more V2L (vehicle to load) reverse charging sockets.
In normal language this means you can plug in 240V devices or charge the battery of electrical gadgets 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 running a kettle or induction cooktop.
Some 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
Read on to find out why I think:
- Gold standard V2L winners are Hyundai, Kia and Genesis
- Silver standard winner is BYD
- Bronze standard winner is MG
All other electric car brands sold in Australia at the moment from Tesla, Volvo, Polestar, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, VW etc are a Fail for V2L because they don’t offer it as a feature in any of their electric cars.
I think it’s legitimately a Fail not to have V2L especially for the premium priced electric cars that cost 60,000 plus. There’s no excuse to leave it out when EV’s priced at about $40,000 like the MG4 and BYD Dolphin have V2L.
Those owners miss out on V2L camping, easy charging of portable office gadgets for field/sales work, emergency extension cord to your fridge during a blackout etc
Gold V2L – Hyundai, Kia and Genesis
These 3 brands are all part of the Hyundai Motor Group and that means they share core technology between them like V2L.
I’m giving them the top Gold V2L rating because if you buy a new electric car model from any of these brands they all support V2L via an adaptor plugged into the external socket that you also use to charge the car with at a public charger or at home.
The example photos below are from my testing of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 whose V2L adaptor can usually be found stored in the frunk storage space under the bonnet.
What puts Hyundai, Kia and Genesis a step above BYD and MG for superior V2L is two extra aspects
The first is that some Hyundai Motor Group electric cars also have an extra internal V2L socket that can be used without any adaptor as you can see in the photos below of my laptop being charged by a Kia Niro EV.
The second is a higher maximum continuous output capability of 250V / 15A, or 3.6 kW in total across the internal and external sockets if used together or 3.6 kW per socket if used by itself.
Silver V2L – BYD
As you can see below a BYD electric car like the Atto 3, Dolphin or Seal can be used to power 240V appliances like a kettle.
BYD V2L supports continuous output of 2.2kW via the official V2L adaptor that is included as a standard item with all their Australian electric cars.
Bronze V2L – MG
You might be wondering why MG is rated Bronze and BYD Silver when MG V2L capable cars are also able to output 2.2kW continuously?
It’s because while the MG ZS EV 2022/2023 and MG4 support V2L via an adaptor plugged into the external power socket, this V2L adaptor is not included as a standard item. I recently tested the official MG V2L adaptor on an MG4 Essence 64 as pictured below.
You can buy the official adaptor from an MG dealer for $249 or from a 3rd party site for less money eg EVchargers.
Reader Chris sent in a tip:
“I have the EV Chargers V2L cable for the MG and can confirm they work fine and are cheaper than the official MG ones”.
“They’ll also make them up to specs you require. I got one with a 15 amp socket and 5m of quality cable for $155”.
Reader Alex made a video which you can watch below of him testing V2L to power a heater, using the new MG4 he purchased recently.