Advocates Say EV Batteries Have Many Uses

The electric vehicle battery segment is poised to grow significantly as the demand for EVs increases and automakers electrify their vehicle lineups. Experts predict that the market for EV batteries will see a compound annual growth rate of 26% and achieve a $175.11 billion valuation by 2028. Thanks to the versatility of EV technology, EV owners could soon be using their car batteries in a lot of ways.

Back in 2019, winemaker James Tolroy watched his Adelaide Hills vineyard burn down thanks to the Cudlee Creek Bushfire. He tried to fight the fire with water from his dam, but since the power had been cut off, he could not pump water from his dam all the way to the vineyard. Tilbrook firmly believes that if he had access to one of the advanced EV models on the road right now, he’d have been able to save his vineyard even after the power was cut.

Thanks to novel technology called bidirectional charging, an increasing number of electric cars have the ability to share the energy in their batteries. With such an EV by his side, Tilbrook could have driven the car to the pump, hooked it up, and used the electricity stored in the vehicle battery pack to pump water from his dam. He reckons that an electric vehicle with bidirectional charging could have allowed him to pump around 35,000 liters of water per hour around his Adelaide Hills vineyard.

There are two types of bidirectional charging; vehicle-to-grid (V2G), which allows EVs to discharge power back into the grid, and vehicle-to-home (V2H), which makes it possible to plug your EV into your house and use it to power the home. Tilbrook rebuilt his winery in the two and a half years since it burned down, and he installed solar cells to provide power for the cellar-door facility. He is also considering getting a battery to power the cellar doors even when the power goes out.

Mark Borlace, an automotive policy senior manager at RAA, says automakers are now trialing EVs with V2H technology to see if it’s viable. Since an average EV battery is around 3-5 times bigger than a house battery, he says that the two can function as a combined unit.

A recent survey of drivers in South Australia found that one in two drivers was considering an electric vehicle as their next car, Borlace says. However, he notes that the high up-front costs associated with purchasing an EV is a major barrier to adoption.

As electric vehicle technology evolves and more applications of EV batteries emerge, we can expect to see people harness the batteries of EV offerings from companies such as ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. (NASDAQ: SOLO) in myriad ways, thereby cementing the place of these vehicles in people’s lives.

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