The Good And Bad Of Bi-Directional Charging

Auto OEMs are starting to offer bi-directional charging in EVs, allowing batteries to power homes during outages or wherever else it is needed, and to smooth out any hiccups in the grid. But this technology also can shorten the lifetime of batteries, and it can open the door to more cyberattacks…

But experts say bidirectional technology could also cause harm from bad actors if certain security precautions aren’t taken, particularly with regards to the charger itself.

“When you get to bi-directional, most states require IEEE 1547, and that comes with a lot of advanced functionality that’s required including reactive power support,” said Jay Johnson, principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. “Non-unity power factor that can provide reactive power is generally great because you can do voltage stability on the distribution system. But on the flip side, if that is compromised, you can manipulate the device and inject or absorb reactive power.”