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California Legislature Considering New Rules Mandating EV Bidirectional Charging Capabilities

California Legislature Considering New Rules Mandating EV Bidirectional Charging Capabilities

Bureaucrats and politicians are counting their wattage eggs before they hatch.

We have been chronicling California’s conversion to a green energy theocracy, where the legislature imposes rules on fuel limitations that cannot currently be met by today’s technology.

Not content with just denying the sales of new fossil-fuel-powered vehicles by 2035, the legislature is now considering a measure that would mandate that electric vehicles offer bidirectional charging capabilities.

The California legislature has introduced a bill that would mandate bidirectional charging capability for all new EVs sold in the state beginning in 2027.

First spotted by Charged EVs, SB 233 has passed the California Senate Energy Committee and now heads to the Senate Transportation Committee April 25 for further consideration. If enacted, the bill would ensure all new EVs sold in California after 2027 would have the ability to discharge power from their battery packs to assist the power grid, or provide a backup power source for homes.

“SB 233 will make EVs more attractive to consumers by enabling them to use their car batteries to power their homes,” State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement.

Bidirectional charging is:

Bidirectional charging, on the other hand, turns charging into a two-way street: Electricity can flow from the grid to charge the vehicle, or it can flow from the EV back into the grid or into a home, office building or appliance. With bidirectional charging, DC power must be converted back to AC through a dedicated charger or an inverter within the vehicle itself.

Pacific Gas and Electric has been piloting multi-directional EV charging since 2022.

Bidirectional charging got its first big boost after the 2011 Tōhoku-Oki earthquake, and in 2017, Nissan told Ars that several thousand EV-to-grid installations had already been completed in Japan. But at the time, the company had no immediate plans to enable the function here in the US. Since then, Nissan has conducted other vehicle-to-grid experiments, such as powering a convenience store.

Ford has made more noise about the forthcoming F-150 Lightning’s vehicle-to-home ability. When Ford President and CEO Jim Farley first revealed the name of Ford’s electric pickup, he also mentioned that the truck could “power your home in an outage.” This functionality will require Ford’s 80-amp charging station, which can supply a home with up to 9.6 kW of electricity. (For context, the F-150 Lightning will come with either 98 kWh or 131 kWh useable-capacity battery packs.)

Currently, only a few EV models have bidirectional capacity.

Only a handful of EVs are currently capable of bi-directional charging: the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Ford F-150 Lightning to name a few. California has already experimented with the technology. In the summer of 2022, GM partnered with Northern California energy company PG&E to deploy a fleet of EVs to bolster the power grid there.

Small-scale experiments are one thing. Mandating technology that has not been fully developed, or the consequences of its production and use fully realized, is likely to be a failure at best…and a society-level disaster at worst.

However, to be fair, California is desperate for anything that can help its increasingly challenged power infrastructure and support its green energy beliefs.

The state’s grid is powered, in part, by renewable energy, including solar power and hydropower.

The solar supply decreases toward the end of the day, prompting the calls to reduce energy use after 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. There can also be uncertainty with solar supply due to factors such as cloud cover and smoke from wildfires, as the state battles several blazes.

“We’ve seen situations where smoke and cloud cover can have an effect. If it’s over a populated area, it could have more effect of reducing demand, where if the smoke and cloud cover is over the solar fields, it can have an effect on the availability of supply,” Mark Rothleder, the ISO’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, told reporters during a press briefing Thursday.

The scariest part of this report? The bureaucrats are already counting their wattage eggs before they hatch.

As the state moves into an all-electric future, “bidirectional vehicles can play a huge role to get to where we need to go, faster,” she said.

California’s cars will have 60,000 megawatts of stored energy in batteries by 2030, according to Siva Gunda of the California Energy Commission. If only 10% of that could be returned to the grid, “we can get through what we went through last year without turning on the backup generators,” said Gunda.


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Simply absurd.

    guyjones in reply to lc. | April 28, 2023 at 7:29 am

    Which farcical and chimeric status make it a perfectly normal policy conceit, from the vile Dumb-o-crats’ perspective.

    Idonttweet in reply to lc. | April 28, 2023 at 8:50 am

    If this was such a good idea, why does the State need to mandate it? The logical explanation is to further exercise control over the people.

    One of the reasons “renewables” are impractical today as a replacement for fossil fuels is the lack of storage capacity to pick up the slack for calm winds and cloudy days.

    Along come EVs that they mandate people buy instead of cars they want. Now they want to essentially make the EV batteries part of their anemic power grid by mandating that power can be taken from them when the State needs it with this bidirectional charging requirement.

    Once they’ve made the vehicles de facto parts of the power grid, the owners will lose much of their control over how the vehicles are used. (Research private property wetlands usage if you doubt that.)

    How long till they further mandate that EVs be fully charged when not in use and regulate the times of day when they can be used? And, of course, men with guns will be empowered to enforce those rules.

    All of this to avoid the heresy of modernizing their power grid and using reliable power sources.

    TrickyRicky in reply to lc. | April 28, 2023 at 10:20 am

    I guess the California legislature is going to have to repeal the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

      countryboy1947 in reply to TrickyRicky. | April 28, 2023 at 9:52 pm

      Just simply insanity. I doubt any politician in CA could tell you how a flashlight works. My college education was in mechanical engineering. California politician’s college background must have been in “idiocy”.

California’s legislature is unaware that people like to preserve their ability to travel when a blackout is possible?

    UnCivilServant in reply to ecreegan. | April 28, 2023 at 7:20 am

    I doubt they care.

    Suburban Farm Guy in reply to ecreegan. | April 28, 2023 at 7:22 am

    Sure they are, but what the peasants want is irrelevant. They. Don’t. Care.

      People want to keep their EVs charged. Therefore, EVs will not be kept in condition to be discharged by the power grid. Therefore, 10% of the EV battery power being available to the grid is an absurd overestimate.

      All this will do is discourage people from buying EVs.

        randian in reply to ecreegan. | April 28, 2023 at 5:54 pm

        All this will do is discourage people from buying EVs.

        That’s ok with our overlords, since EVs will be the only thing you can buy. If you don’t have one you will have to use public transportation, which is their real goal. You shall have no mobility and like it.

    MattMusson in reply to ecreegan. | April 28, 2023 at 8:28 am

    You drive during the day and charge at night. So you charge after the sun sets and the winds go calm.

    As a business case, EVs and Green Energy do not mesh.

      MattMusson in reply to MattMusson. | April 28, 2023 at 8:32 am

      Note – when the Utility drains and recharges your battery, that causes your battery to wear out faster. Instead of lasting 10 years, your battery pack may wear out much sooner.

    diver64 in reply to ecreegan. | April 29, 2023 at 5:09 am

    Ha! How else is Cali going to stop people from leaving the state?

So will your homeowner’s insurance cover the damages when your EV’s battery goes up in flames because it was charging/discharging/charging/discharging overnight when the grid was going crazy? Charging and discharging a lithium battery is a finite resource, so the battery wear will double in this case shortening the life span of the battery. A/C charging is also slower than DC charging, so if your EV is used to help the grid, then you are SOL when it is allowed to charge and it looks like you are walking to work the next morning.
Can someone explain when the world was allowed to be run by idiots?

    jb4 in reply to Mt. Fuji. | April 28, 2023 at 9:13 am

    Re: So will your homeowner’s insurance cover the damages when your EV’s battery goes up in flames ….

    Correction: when your home goes up in flames because of EV battery fire that can’t readily be put out. Reference: Early 2022 ocean freighter that sank from EV fire that could not be put out with $400M of VW cars.

    paracelsus in reply to Mt. Fuji. | May 2, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    when we began voting for them to run our lives
    and the ones we didn’t vote for got jobs in the various agencies and bureaucracies

They think car batteries will power their grid? Where do the cars get their charge if the grid isn’t running? This has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve read in an hour.

E Howard Hunt | April 28, 2023 at 8:33 am

Next it will mandated that bicycles be outfitted with batteries charged by the cyclists’ pedaling action. These batteries will then be employed later to power green household appliances that don’t work very well, but which must, after their short useful life, be recycled for a hefty climate fee.

Will NEVER own an EV, period.

    randian in reply to MAJack. | April 28, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    If you live in California you will eventually have no choice. Not only will there be no new gasoline vehicles to buy, if the gas stations don’t go out of business for a lack of business the legislature will eventually outlaw them too, to “encourage” EV transition.

There’s no need to restrict it to electric vehicles. Your gas-powered car can turn a generator. It would be much more convenient than buying a separate motor-generator for outages as people do today.

    NotCoach in reply to rhhardin. | April 28, 2023 at 11:10 am

    Whole house natural gas generators are nice. Oh wait, Cali likely will ban natural gas… Never mind.

    diver64 in reply to rhhardin. | April 29, 2023 at 5:12 am

    PTO generators are quite common for tractors on farms. We used to connect our tractor to the barn to run the bulk tank and lines for milking during the winter when snow knocked out power.

2nd Ammendment Mother | April 28, 2023 at 9:25 am

This is the same place where people are already having difficulties getting their vehicles charged in the first place?

And the State promises to never drain your battery while it’s connected in order to help their power grid. Nope. Will definitely not happen. In California. Nope.

    NotCoach in reply to jepcop. | April 28, 2023 at 11:09 am

    They can’t magically drain your battery. In fact the last thing you want to do is backfeed the grid. That is why if you’re running a generator you should have your generator power isolated from the incoming utility lines. Would be the same setup here if using car instead of generator.

Megawatts don’t tell you thing. Need to know the Megawatt hour usable capacity of the batteries to know how long they can supply a given number of Megawatts.

As an electrician and a controls engineer let me clarify some things for you. “Bidirectional charging” just means converting your DC voltage to phase to phase 240 AC. This can be done using any battery, and the right equipment. Ultimately what this mandate does is increase the cost of EVs for consumers because they are mandating that sellers of EVs provide said equipment, not invent anything new. You could hire certain electrical contractors to set this up for you right now without purchasing the EV manufacturers equipment.

    DSHornet in reply to NotCoach. | April 29, 2023 at 11:53 am

    With 23 years as a building controls tech, I understand but don’t try to explain inverter or generator synchronization to a politician or anyone else lacking the background. The glazed look in their eyes will illustrate why. If you really want them to zone out, talk about the difference between megawatt instantaneous demand and megawatthour capacity as BobL mentioned.

How do all these state wide mandates not run afoul of the constitution’s interstate commerce clause? CA is basically dictating what other states must do to sell into their market; isn’t this something the interstate commerce clause was put in place to prevent?

    #FJB <-- Disco Stu_ in reply to slagothar. | April 29, 2023 at 8:06 am

    The rest of us (okay, most other states) can tell those tyrannical idiot California jerks to SOD OFF.

    (And, I guess, the horses they’ll need to ride in on, too.)

The Gentle Grizzly | April 28, 2023 at 1:27 pm

California does a lot of this mandating stuff. Will there come a time that one or another appliance maker, trucking company, vehicle manufacturer or livestock producer simply walks away from the California market?

As big as that market is, there has to be a point where the nonsense outweighs the bother.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | April 28, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    Down-ticks don’t bother me at all. I’m trying, however, to understand what in my comment brought one on in this case.

      #FJB <-- Disco Stu_ in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | April 29, 2023 at 8:25 am

      On rare occasion a fat-finger & tiny-keyboard mistake with me. (Not me this time.) And when aware, it seems most of us here apologize for the error right away.

      Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to allow for a cancel & correct process, though, friends at L-I?

      paracelsus in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | May 2, 2023 at 12:58 pm

      they’re called trolls (or people whom you’ve ticked off in the past who just want to be nasty)
      I should know; I’ve ticked off quite a few, most of whom hate diehard conservatives who point out fallacious arguments and outright mistatements of facts.
      Does not apply to you.

    henrybowman in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | April 28, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    Well, yes, it’s happened. Most recently, California passed feel-good legislation that pork, veal, and eggs destined for the table must be from animals raised in unreasonably cushy circumstances — not just by farmers within California, but for meat and eggs sold anywhere into California by any farmers anywhere. A lot of pork producers said, “Sayonara, granolaheads, enjoy your bug and tofu casseroles.” A case in complaint has been raised to SCOTUS, who seen to be slow-walking it.

CA has to do this because they’re banning new gas-powered generators as of Jan 1, 2028. Considering that CA always has rolling blackouts and brownouts, people have used generators to keep their frozen food from thawing and to warm their houses when it’s cold. So if CA is going to ban generators, they have to come up with another emergency power supply.

I wouldn’t want to be a lineman in CA once thousands of EV’s are hooked up to the grid. When they shut off the power to work on the lines, all it takes is one EV to fail to disconnect, and its inverter will run 240V up to the transformer, which will then run 11KV into the lines that are being repaired.

BierceAmbrose | April 28, 2023 at 3:58 pm

And here you thought if you bought it, it was your car.

Have fun with that California.
So it’s either drive to grocery store or run your refrigerator
Hard to do both at once.

Charging in this direction, charging in that direction.

Californians won’t be able to charge in ANY direction if there isn’t enough electricity to charge with in the first place.

    henrybowman in reply to ChrisPeters. | April 28, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    Just one more example of Paul Harvey’s wise observation that, “It was self-serving politicians who convinced recent generations of Americans that we could all stand in a circle with our hands in each other’s pockets and somehow get rich.”

“a green energy theocracy, where the legislature imposes rules on fuel limitations that cannot currently be met by today’s technology.”

And why not? The courts have already told them that this is acceptable. California mandated “microstamping” some years ago — a technology where a gun must stamp a unique ID on each bullet fired — despite the fact that the technology is physically impossible… and the courts ruled, “This is fine.” So now they can ban anything they want by requiring it to defy physics, and they know they can get away with it.

Hmmm, Next, all incoming freight trains will be required to enter a minimalization chamber and be transformed into Lionel “O” Guage models.

Hahahahahahaha……When I brought up that Cali stop your movements by just shutting off power so you couldn’t charge your cars I was called a nut and conspiracy theorists. Now they are just going to drain your power out. Too bad if there is a wildfire, riots or whatever. You ain’t going anywhere.

I wonder when people out there are going to have had enough?

    paracelsus in reply to diver64. | May 2, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    as people leave, the CA “government” will fill the empty residences with others who are not citizens of the US (that is, until the current resident of the White House issues a proclamation/Executive Order automatically making them citizens)

There’s an easy way to keep the guv’mint from draining the battery in your EV. Unplug it. If you want to power your own home without pushing watts into the grid, plug it in and turn off the main breaker.

paracelsus | May 2, 2023 at 1:08 pm

what is the amount of power required to transform battery DC into household AC?
in other words, for all those who are electrically-disadvantaged, how much power is lost in this transformation?