Why V2V Electric Vehicle Charging is the Future of EVs

Author: Kevin Stillerman

Electric Vehicle Content Writer

V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) electric vehicle charging allows vehicles to charge each other and is likely the future of EVs based on all it’s benefits!

What is V2V Charging?

V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) Charging is simply the ability for one electric vehicle to charge another. The energy level of Vehicle B is increased by drawing power from a connected Vehicle A.

Vehicle A is delivering charge to Vehicle B

This power transfer between vehicles is made possible by power electronic units in both cars and a charging cable that connects the two vehicles together.

V2V Charging has a very high level of utility in that it creates the ability for one EV owner to help out a stranded EV owner who ran out of charge on the side of the road and needs a “jump-start”.

An Ideal Future for V2V Charging Systems…

The idea of giving your friend or family member a “boost” when they are stranded somewhere without any charge sounds great. But how ideally would this system work?

To start, you need two vehicles each with their own on-board power electronics system that allows the car to both accept and give power via standard charging ports.

Most electric vehicles on the market today are only capable to receiving electric charge, not distributing it.

In order for this bi-directional power transfer to exist, future electric vehicles will need to have on-board power electronics to manage the power flow in both directions.

Bi-Directional Power Transfer

Another requirement for V2V charging to occur is some sort of standard communication method between the vehicles.

This will allow Vehicle A to communicate with Vehicle B regardless of make, model, year, etc.

Ideally all vehicles would use the same charging port, yet currently there are several competing charging standards including Tesla who seems firm on being “different” from every other automaker.

It would be nice if a single port could be used for both receiving and giving charge, although this is not a necessity for the technology to exist.

The best-case scenario is a highly portable, low-cost, lightweight cable that is used to connect the vehicles during energy transfer.

Possible Applications of V2V Charging

Roadside Assistance EV Charging Service for Stranded Vehicles

Services such as AAA or Geico can deliver charge to stranded electric vehicle owners via a car or sprinter van.

Charging and Friend or Family Member's Stranded Vehicles

When you get stranded you can just call your friend or family member and they can come give you a boost.

Autonomous Vehicle Fleet Power Management

Autonomous vehicles can charge other vehicles in/out of the fleet.

Using your Electric Vehicle as a Backup Power Generator

Use your vehicle battery as backup power in the case of an outage or emergency. 

Why Doesn’t V2V Charging Already Commonly Exist?

With so many potential applications of V2V you are probably asking “…so aren’t there any V2V capable cars on the road yet?

Three reasons why V2V is not currently available for EVs:

1. Cost – Who would of thought…one of the top reasons is related to money! It is relatively expensive to add this new technology to a car, and electric vehicle manufacturers are continuing to drive down the cost of EVs.

2. Communication – There is currently no common communication method to allow vehicles to communicate with one another. This is a necessary software protocol for the technology to exist.

3. Autonomous Vehicle Fleets – Autonomous fleets will likely create a larger need or desire for V2V charging, and although Telsa is quickly working towards this dream, they currently do not exist.

While there are many barriers of entry for this new technology ad-on, one electric vehicle automaker has already stated that their future vehicles will be capable of vehicle to vehicle charging.

As reported by John Beltz Snyder of Autoblog, CEO R.J. Scaringe of EV automaker Rivian was quoted in June of 2019 saying

“You're starting to get into the long tail of use cases, but even there we've designed the vehicle so you can have auxiliary battery packs. You can also charge Rivian-to-Rivian, which is a neat thing. You connect the two vehicles and then I could hand you some electrons. That takes us to the limit, and of course you can always find a corner of the world where it won't work, just like you can't find a gas station in Antarctica. You won't be able to find a plug in Antarctica, so there are natural limitations.”

Rivian plans to release their R1T all electric pickup truck sometime in 2021.

EV Unite's Take on V2V Charging

V2V Charging just makes sense. The ability for one vehicle to charge another opens the door for many technology applications.

You might argue that the need for V2V charging will become eliminated as more and more electric vehicle charging stations are built.

While this is true, think of how many often people run out of gasoline and are stranded (regardless of countless gas stations on virtually every corner of the street).

It is likely not a question of whether or not V2V charging will happen but more a question of when. 

As EVs become ubiquitous V2V charging seems more and more logical as the future of electric vehicles!

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