Tesla voids warranty if EV’s battery pack is used to power home
American electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors will void the warranty if any Tesla car owner attempts to power his/her home with the EV’s battery pack as the manufacturer doesn’t allow its EV battery packs to be used as an external power source.
Tesla EVs aren’t equipped with bidirectional charging systems that enable vehicle-to-grid or vehicle-to-home features, but some Tesla EV owners have found a way to power some devices using the vehicle’s battery packs. A Tesla owner claimed that it is as simple as plugging a 2,000-watt inverter to the EV’s 12-volt battery.
Describing such a setup in a Portland Facebook post on the Tesla Owners Club, Bob Schatz explained that one can use a Tesla EV’s battery pack to power parts of their homes in case they are out of power due to a storm or some other problem. He stated that he used a 2,000-watt Harbour Freight inverter to connect his EV’s battery and power his blower and furnace. He further stated that the blower and furnace drew about 1,100 watts, but left enough behind to be used to power refrigerator and a few bulbs.
However, the hack reportedly damaged the car, and Tesla declined to fix it under warranty. The fiasco was spotted by Tesla critic Greentheonly, who took to social networking site Twitter to warn that the hack was a warranty voiding activity. Tesla’s warranty policy states that the company’s EV can’t be uses as a stationary power source.
Green@greentheonly wrote on Twitter, “It pains me to post this, but if you used awesome battery of your Tesla car to keep lights on in time of need, DO NOT brag about it on social media! It's a warranty voiding activity. Like whole-car-warranty voiding Also don't connect to 12V battery directly, connect to penthouse.”
The Tesla car owner who conducted and shared the hack connected the inverter directly to the EV’s 12 volt battery, which is recharged by the EV’s main high-voltage battery pack that powers the motors. Thus, the system allowed the inverter to draw power from the EV’s main power pack through the 12 volt system, which is simply not recommended by the manufacturer.
Nevertheless, the hack revealed that EVs can actually be very useful in times of natural disaster or massive power outages. A fully charged Tesla EV is capable enough to power an average American home for around a couple of days under normal use, which in case of an emergency could be very critical in keeping people safe until power is restored.