Is Tesla’s Model 3 Already V2G Capable?

According to Fred Lambert at Electrek:

Electrek has learned that Tesla has quietly made Model 3, and likely Model Y, ready for bidirectional charging, which should enable some game-changing features in the near future.

Since we were wildly speculating about such a thing only last month we did of course read further. After an explanation of the benefits of V2G technology Fred continued:

In a recent filing with the Texas electric utility commission in which Tesla was responding to questions about how electric utilities should approach electric vehicles, the automaker summarized its view of vehicle to grid technology:

“Vehicle to grid benefits can be recognized much more efficiently when EV deployment is at scale rather than in the early adopter phase. At the same time, any discussion regarding the capabilities of EV related technologies must recognize as a first principle that customer experience and willingness for participation is key. There certainly may be an opportunity for future projects and programs that focus on advanced technological integration, such as the eventual aggregation of EVs in the future to provide grid services in wholesale markets. In any setting, it is important to remember that EVs are modes of transportation first and foremost for customers. There is also an opportunity to evaluate stationary storage assets first to provide similar grid services capabilities from a wholesale electricity market perspective.”

While those comments are not too encouraging, they do note that there’s value in vehicle to grid once the EV fleet becomes large enough, which is starting to become the case…

Electrek has learned that Tesla has already prepared its onboard vehicle charger for bidirectional charging.

Marco Gaxiola, an electrical engineer who participated in a Model 3 teardown for a Tesla competitor, reverse engineered the electric car’s charger and found it to be ready for bidirectional charging.

He told Electrek:

“What I learned on reverse engineering the Model 3 charger, was that the design is fully bidirectional. This means power can be converted from AC to DC the same way as the previous example, but also power can flow in reverse direction, coming from the battery and ending up on the AC side. This is known as DC to AC inverter, and when this technology is present in a vehicle, it is known as V2G (Vehicle to Grid).”

The engineer added about the design of Tesla’s onboard charger:

“To complement this, the bidirectional design is replicated 3 times across the same PCB on the Model 3 charger. Another example of redundant design that assures a working process even if one of the circuits fails. Additionally, it is 3 phase design, so it can be used worldwide.”

Gaxiola believes that the vehicle to grid capacity in the Model 3 could be enabled through an over-the-air software update.

An intriguing “rumour”. How much store should we put in Marco’s reverse engineering efforts?

Time will tell, so please watch this space!

Meanwhile here’s a picture of a (sadly uni-directional) Tesla Model S connected to an AC V2G charging station in 2015:

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