A new bill in California could require electric vehicles and EV charging stations to be compatible with bi-directional charging. Bi-directional charging is a charging station that not only charges an EV but can take the electricity from an electric vehicle and give it back to where it came from. The goal of bi-directional charging is to use an electric vehicle as a backup power source in areas that are prone to power outages and blackouts. Not all EVs and EV charging stations are compatible with this new idea yet. Only a handful of electric vehicles on the market can be used for bi-directional charging, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Ford F-150 Lightning.
According to the bill proposed by State Senator Nancy Skinner, EVs sold in California would have to be compatible with bi-directional charging by 2027. The bill would also establish funds to dedicate towards the EV infrastructure. The bill has yet to be passed by the house, and if it does automakers will have to begin making that shift to include bi-directional charging by July 2024.
This isn’t the first bill or program California has proposed to expand EV charging networks and access for their state. California has a goal to only sell electric vehicles by 2035. There are also projects to expand electric fleets within companies through the California Public Utilities Commission. This year, the same commission partnered with the Charge Ahead Partnership to start the Transportation Electrification Program, which is set to begin in 2025, to help EV charging stations be more profitable for businesses who install them on their properties.