Outsmarting Outages: GM Energy’s Bi-Directional Charging

Power outages are not just an inconvenience; they can cost American businesses approximately $150 billion annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This staggering figure underscores the critical need for reliable solutions when the grid fails.


One innovative solution comes from GM Energy, a subsidiary of General Motors, which has developed new hardware that allows customers to not only charge their electric Chevy or Cadillac vehicles but also power their homes during outages or when energy costs spike. This bi-directional charging capability is a game-changer in the realm of home energy solutions.


GM Energy offers a comprehensive solution through its Ultium Home V2H Bundle. This bundle includes a bi-directional charger, an inverter, a home hub, and a dark start battery. This setup can dispense 9.6kW of power and can safely disconnect your home from the grid, ensuring your safety during outages.


Additionally, GM Energy offers a PowerBank that can store energy from solar panels or off-peak grid power, providing an extra layer of preparedness for unforeseen circumstances.


One of the most appealing aspects of GM Energy’s offering is its simplicity. Customers can initiate the process through the GM Energy website or a GM dealer, purchase the hardware, and rely on Qmerit, a third-party company, for installation assistance. Qmerit can also handle electrical panel upgrades if necessary, ensuring a smooth transition to the new system.


The cost of the GM Energy V2H bundle (excluding the PowerBank) is $7,500, not including installation. While this price point may seem high, it should be viewed as a long-term investment that could potentially increase the value of your home.


Comparatively, a similar setup from Ford and Sunrun for a Ford F-150 Lightning was estimated to cost $17,340 for installation and electrical upgrades. Prices for GM Energy’s installations vary depending on the home’s needs, but the company assures that costs are decreasing as more people adopt this technology.


One significant advantage of GM Energy’s solution is the potential for cost savings. By using your electric vehicle to power your home while it’s parked, you can save on electricity costs and even sell excess power back to the grid. This effectively turns your vehicle into a large battery pack that benefits you even when there’s no outage.


During a demonstration in Beverly Hills, California, GM Energy’s technology seamlessly powered a home using a Chevy Silverado EV within seconds of a power outage. While currently only compatible with GM vehicles, the company is exploring options to expand this technology to other vehicles in the future.


In conclusion, GM Energy’s bi-directional charging solution offers a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective way to power your home during outages. It’s a forward-thinking investment that not only provides peace of mind but also contributes to a more sustainable future.

May 15, 2024
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