VW to equip all MEB-based EVs with bidirectional charging capability starting next year
German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) has confirmed that it will switch to mass-producing all of its MEB-based electric vehicles (EVs) to support bidirectional charging from next year.
MEB, which stands for Modular Electrification Toolkit (German: Modularer Elektrobaukasten) is a modular system developed by VW Group for manufacturing EVs. It is part of a VW strategy to start production of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as the German manufacturer is gradually transitioning from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to BEVs across all of its brands.
In the early phase of the EV revolution, the entire industry was concerned about the use of batteries to power vehicles as longevity and range were big questions. However, now the automakers are getting more confident that well-managed batteries can last a long time, offering long ranges. But, availability of sufficient charging infrastructure remains a big issue. Amid the growing fleets of EVs, controlling when EVs can charge on the local electric grid can be of great importance when it comes to balancing the load, particularly at peak times. If those EVs become capable of putting any surplus power back into the grid, that would be of even greater importance.
But, the main problem is realizing this technology is that only a limited number of EVs come equipped with bidirectional charging capability.
Thus, Wolfsburg, Germany-headquartered automobile giant VW has decided to equip all of its MEB-based EVs with bidirectional charging capacity from next year.
Making the announcement, VW said, “The test vehicles are running, we are in the last pulls with the preparations. From 2022 onwards, every electric car from the Volkswagen Group that is developed on the basis of the MEB electrical platform can not only charge the electricity but also return it to the grid.”
This innovative technology is often referred to as vehicle-to-grid technology. With growing number of EVs, this technology could prove very beneficial to EV owners as thousands of EV owners would get compensated by electric utilities for the use of their surplus energy stored in the battery packs of their vehicles.
VW is not the only manufacturer that is thinking about equipping its next generation EVs with bidirectional charging capability. In fact, some automakers like Nissan and Hyundai have already started producing such EVs. The widely-popular Nissan Leaf and the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 are already equipped with the vehicle-to-grid technology.