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I have a house with a solar array on top currently tied to the grid. I would love to be able to use an EV as a battery for my house, and after it charges up in the day be nice to use it for the little driving I do (less than 50 miles / 80 km a day).

My question: Is there a car that can be used as a battery legally in this way? If so, what parts do I need to buy and basic steps to do this?

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  • A BMW i3 mitigates vehicle weight with a carbon-fiber body and with a load of batteries for a moderate driving range. A U.S. 2018 i3 has a driving range of 114 miles under optimum conditions. So if the car owner drives 50 miles a day they would just be inclined to keep the car charged for its own use. A U.S. 2019 i3 has a driving range of 153 miles.
    – S Spring
    Apr 30 '20 at 0:20
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You would need an EV that supports bi-directional loading, so that means one that uses the CHAdeMO charging system of Nissan and Mitsubishi. The CCS charging system that's popular in Europe and the US will not support bi-directional charging until 2025.

According to this Wired article you also need:

  • a switch to temporarily switch your house off the grid
  • an inverter to convert DC current from the battery to AC
  • a control system/software to instruct the car when to discharge and when to load.

Whether it is legal, that depends on local regulations, but probably not without permission from the local authorities and/or power company.

In any case this is not something to DIY. If you really want this, either wait 5-10 years or see if you can join a pilot project.

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  • This is a great answer, I already have the inverter / switch b/c that was required to sell back energy to the utility company. Very annoying all the hoops we have to jump through, when we have solar readily available and a mobile battery. sigh
    – ronak
    May 4 '20 at 21:15

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