At the Investor Day conference on March 1, 2023, Elon Musk’s teams announced the upcoming arrival of two-way charging in Tesla electric cars. But the head of the company does not really believe in the usefulness of this feature. We explain why you are wrong
The Investor Day conference on March 1, 2023 has been highly anticipated. Tesla was going to make big announcements, including the third part of the Master Plan. We thought it would be the Model 2 and the redesigned Model 3, but it wasn’t.
Instead, Elon Musk’s teams have spent a lot of time detailing the technologies that will help save humanity. On the agenda: the goal of completely dispensing with fossil fuels and halving global energy consumption. To achieve this, several pathways have been announced, including the transition to 100% electric cars.
Two-way charging is coming to Tesla
In discussing this topic during the Q&A session, Drew Baglino, a Tesla motor and power engineer, made reference to bi-directional charging. Also known as V2L or V2G, bidirectional charging allows you to reverse charge. It is about using the energy contained in the battery of the electric car to power the house, or reinjecting the energy into the neighborhood electrical network.
Drew Baglino clarified that two-way charging is currently not a priority for Tesla. While he added that his teams managed to find a way to reduce the cost of in-car charger while equipping it with this feature. He even indicated that this feature could be found in the cars of the brand. within two years.
But Elon Musk doesn’t buy it.
But, just after this intervention, Elon Musk took the floor to qualify the words of the engineer. The Tesla boss was direct in announcing “ I don’t think many people use two-way charging unless you have a powerwall because otherwise when you unplug your car it cuts power to your house.« .
Elon Musk’s words are very strange. Is this a way to minimize the absence of this feature in the brand’s electric cars? It is possible, while the competition begins to offer this functionality more and more, either in V2L format in Kia, Hyundai or even MG, to power small devices. Or directly in V2G format at Volkswagen or Nissan, to re-inject electricity into the local grid or power a home.
Bidirectional charging, indispensable for the future
It is true that in the short term, two-way charging is not a must-have feature. But in the medium and long term, it will come to be. Two-way charging will go a long way in decarbonizing transportation and residential heating, as a study in the scientific journal recently claimed. Nature.
We had seen it in our dedicated file, after studies by RTE, the manager of the French electricity grid. Bidirectional charging is one of the elements that will ensure that the electricity grid does not jump when everyone plugs in their electric car to recharge it in winter.
The two-way charge will then be used to re-inject power into the electrical grid, locally, if necessary. This feature is not only useful for powering a computer for work in the car or powering a whole house. But effectively to take the path of 100% electric.
Tesla looks beyond two-way charging
So it is strange that Elon Musk does not believe in this technology so much and reduces it to only the functionality of powering a house. At this point, he is correct in invoking the Powerwall, which is a stationary battery connected to solar panels. Then it allows to supply a house, thanks to the energy recovered by the photovoltaic panels.
Thanks to all of Tesla’s customers who have solar roofs and Powerwalls, Tesla has even managed to create what’s called a virtual power plant. And even to become an electricity provider in Texas. Going by the name Tesla Electric, the provider plans to market an offer that allows unlimited car charging overnight.
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