In an effort that addresses both of those trends, General Motors recently announced that it’s going to equip all of its EVs with the ability to act as backup generators during power outages, as The New York Times reported.
Now, not only are EVs helping to decrease our reliance on dirty energy sources like gas and oil, but they are also helping people deal with the consequences of them.
GM said it will begin rolling out the feature this year. The company plans to have all of its EVs equipped with “vehicle-to-home technology” by the 2026 model year.
GM joins Ford in offering the backup power feature (although Ford currently offers it only in its F-150 Lightning pickup truck). However, as the technology is fairly new and just being rolled out, it’s not as simple as just plugging your car into the wall. In order to use it, customers will often need to shell out extra for integration hardware, as The New York Times noted.
On Reddit, some customers saw this added cost as a reason to criticize car companies.
“[My] brother bought a Ford Lightning only to be told it would cost him an extra 25k to have his house upgraded to charge and be able to power his house from the truck,” wrote one commenter in a Reddit thread about the new technology.
So far, GM and Ford have not yet set a standardized price for installing necessary integration systems, although the average price is likely much less than $25,000.
For example, Tesla sells backup power technology through its Powerwall systems, which start at $8,700, per The New York Times (though prices vary). But the Powerwalls are charged via solar panels (also sold separately by Tesla) or the grid. They can charge Tesla’s EVs but can’t yet be charged by them.
“It makes so much sense, instead of buying those stupid large portable batteries for thousands, you should be able to use the gigantic battery in your car,” another commenter wrote in the Reddit thread.
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