V2L (Vehicle to Load)

V2L technology allows the electric car to provide AC power to external appliances such as lights, laptops, electric scooters, electric saws, grills and refrigerators. In short, when the power grid is unavailable, the user can use his electric car as a mobile source of electricity.

V2L is a collective term for technology that allows the use of energy stored in the electric vehicle’s battery for external appliances. The name of the V2L (Vehicle-to-load) function can be translated as vehicle-to-load. The V2L function simply allows using the energy from the traction battery of the electric vehicle to power external devices. This is a technology possessed only by some modern electric vehicles because it requires a so-called bidirectional voltage inverter to function. However, this is not yet a standard feature in electric vehicles.

Hyundai introduced the V2L function first in 2021 with the IONIQ 5 model. This concept of bidirectional charging quickly gained popularity, prompting other manufacturers to respond to avoid losing a competitive advantage. Today, the V2L technology can be found in models such as KIA EV6, KIA EV9, BYD Atto, Ford F-150, MG ZS EV, MG4.

The ability to use the electric energy stored in the battery of a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) significantly expands the ways electric vehicles can be used. The vehicle practically becomes a giant mobile power bank that can be used as an electric source during work or relaxation away from the regular electric grid.

With V2L, you can power, for example, from the car:

  • camping equipment in nature (fridge, cooker, lights)
  • electric tools for work (hedge trimmer, saw)
  • home appliances (in case of power outage)
  • or other electric vehicles (help with a drained battery)


Principle of V2L function:

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) are equipped with a traction high-voltage battery, typically with a capacity equal to several days’ consumption of a family home (e.g., Škoda Enyaq iV 80: 82 kWh, Volkswagen ID.3 Pro: 58 kWh, Hyundai Kona electric: 64 kWh, Tesla Model 3 Long Range: 82 kWh). The main problem is that this energy is stored in the battery in the form of direct current voltage, usually 400 V or in newer electric vehicles 800 V. However, common household appliances operate on alternating current voltage of 230 V (120 V).

principle of V2L concept (Vehicle-to-load)

The V2L function is based on the principle of using a bidirectional voltage inverter, which allows the vehicle not only to receive alternating current from the socket and convert it into direct current for charging the battery but also vice versa. This means that the inverter inside the vehicle can transform direct current from the battery into alternating current with the desired voltage of 230 V (or 110 V), enabling its further use in common appliances.

The use of energy obtained from the electric vehicle’s battery is limited by the so-called rated power of the system, which is essentially its maximum or peak power. Most manufacturers of electric vehicles equipped with V2L technology therefore provide the size of the total rated power available through one or more sockets of alternating current. Typically, rated power values are around 3 kW. For comparison, a standard household socket with 230 V and a 10 A circuit breaker has a rated power of 2.3 kW (230 V x 10 A). Therefore, any appliance used in a standard household socket should function in an electric vehicle with V2L.

Connecting appliances to an electric vehicle with V2L:

You may be thinking that many cars already have a socket as standard equipment today. Even combustion-engine cars have them. However, this interior socket is usually powered by the onboard 12 V system and eventually goes to sleep along with the control unit after a period of inactivity. This means that the socket does not have such power, and the car turns it off after a certain period of inactivity.

V2L behaves a bit differently. A special adapter is used to connect appliances, which is plugged into the standard charging connector of the electric vehicle. The electric vehicle itself monitors to ensure that the battery discharge level does not drop below the minimum allowed threshold. The limit of allowed discharge can be easily set in the vehicle’s infotainment system.

Did you know there are other uses for BEVs:

V2H (Vehicle-to-Home)

The possibilities of using bidirectional inverter technology bring many additional benefits in the future. V2L can be considered the first stage. Another stage in utilizing the potential of battery electric vehicles is V2H (Vehicle-to-Home). In this concept, the battery electric vehicle supplies electricity to the connected household (house, cottage, …). This allows homeowners to use electric vehicles as temporary storage units, using the electric energy from their electric vehicles for their own needs.

V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid)

In the case of the V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) concept, the electric vehicle is even connected to the local power grid. Its accumulated energy can either be transferred to the grid or, conversely, the capacity of the empty electric vehicle battery can be used as an energy storage. The possibilities of use are broad. However, this technology still faces different technical and legislative requirements in different countries.

V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything)

The V2X (Vehicle-to-everything) system is the most comprehensive and offers a range of usage possibilities because it enables communication between vehicles and any connected device. It includes the V2G and V2H concepts.