Kia EV9 will power your home – and the electricity grid
The 2023 Kia EV9 looks set to become the first EV available in Australia with the more common CCS combo plug designed for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging capability as part of a high-tech onslaught for the most advanced and expensive model ever to come from the Korean brand.
It marks the imminent introduction of more EVs with V2G and V2H (vehicle-to-home) capability following the 2022 development of a bidirectional charging standard for the CCS plugs.
But there’s a catch. The ability to feed electricity back to the grid or power your house with your car will not initially be enabled on EV9s sold in Australia, where three versions of the big new EV will be available from October this year.
Blame it on the glacial pace of infrastructure, regulatory approvals and additional external hardware required to enable V2G capability in Australia.
“We standardised all the V2G functions to all EV9s but we’re not going to offer the service [at launch]… not because we are not ready for that but because we need a third party to operate that V2G service,” a senior Kia product manager told carsales in Seoul this week.
But Kia says anyone buying the EV9 will eventually be able to utilise one of the biggest batteries fitted to any EV – up to 99.8kWh – to send power elsewhere.
“The hardware for V2G is already standardised on all EV9s,” said the product manager. “When the service is ready all the customers will have it.”
Hyundai blames “market-side challenges” – namely the lack of external hardware required to act as an interface between an EV and the grid – as the reason for slow progress.
In Australia the Wallbox Quasar is the first wallbox-style device that can act as that interface to enable V2G. It costs about $10,000 and is yet to be approved in most parts of the country due to the lack of regulatory sign-off.
However, there are other advanced technologies arriving in the EV9 from launch.
They include a digital key that uses the mobile phone network to allow smartphones to act as a key. That functionality also allows owners to send a digital key remotely to friends and family.
Australia will miss out on some EV9 tech, though.