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Stellantis Jumps on the Bidirectional Train

Sam Abuelsamid
Apr 07, 2023

Guidehouse Insights

Being able to use EV batteries for more than just propulsion energy storage has long been viewed as a significant benefit of the move away from internal combustion. In recent years we’ve increasingly seen vehicle-to-everything (V2X) charging gain in popularity, with Stellantis being the latest automaker to join the trend.

At the 2023 New York International Auto Show, Stellantis showed off a refreshed version of the Jeep Wrangler and provided the first live look at its upcoming Ram 1500 REV electric pickup, both of which will feature V2X capability. The 2024 Jeep Wrangler 4XE plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) is expected to be the first PHEV with vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability that allows it to provide power to other devices from its charging port.

While V2X testing and pilot programs have been ongoing for more than 15 years, the first commercialized systems at scale have been relatively more recent. The Japanese CHAdeMO charging standard included V2X capabilities beginning in 2014, and Nissan was among the first to incorporate this on the Leaf. Despite the second-generation Leaf having vehicle-to-home (V2H) capability since 2017, compatible charging systems were offered exclusively in Japan until 2022, when the first unit became available in North America. The Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are the only plug-in EVs (PEVs) offered in North America that use the CHAdeMO charging connector.

Except for Tesla, all other automakers in North America use either the SAE J1772 charging connector or the DC fast charging extension known as the Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 1. Standardized support for V2X through CCS is currently under development as part of the SAE J2847-2 standard, but that has yet to be ratified. Despite the absence of a finalized standard, some automakers have already begun to implement V2X capabilities.

While it might not be considered V2X, one of the first to come to market was the Pro Power Onboard system that debuted on the 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid. This system uses the hybrid battery to provide up to 7.2 kW of V2L power through five 120 V and 240 V outlets in the truck bed. When the battery is depleted, the system can continue to provide power with the engine driving the electric motor as a generator. An upgraded 9.6 kW version is included on the battery electric F-150 Lightning. The Lightning also added full bidirectional support through the CCS connector that can run a home during a power outage. General Motors’ new full-size electric trucks and Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz will also include similar V2H systems. Hyundai Motor Group offers an adapter that plugs into the CCS port on its newer EVs to provide up to 1.9 kW of V2L power through a 120 V AC outlet.

The refreshed 2024 Jeep Wrangler 4XE will be bundled with a PowerBox that is essentially a power strip that plugs into the J1772 port and provides four 120 V outlets to distribute up to 3.6 kW. Once the 17.3 kWh battery is depleted, the Wrangler can continue to provide power with the internal combustion engine driving the motor generator.

The battery electric Ram 1500 REV full-size pickup coming in late 2024 will include V2H capabilities similar to those on the Lightning, with support for J2847-2 as well as more than 10 kW of V2L power through outlets in the front trunk and bed. The Ram will also add vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) capability to allow it to charge another EV with an AC cable featuring J1772 connectors on both ends, an industry first. Within the next several years, it’s likely that most, if not all, PEVs will include at least V2L and probably other V2X elements as well.