EV Cars

The 2024 Chevy Blazer EV doesn’t yet offer home backup power, but it’s ready

GM plans to offer bi-directional charging for every single one of its Ultium electric vehicles, the company highlighted earlier this year.

This will soon include a toolkit with useful functions for connecting to the home – such as emergency power supply in the event of a power outage or natural disaster. And as GM recently confirmed, there’s no reason to wait until then to deliver an Ultium electric vehicle like the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV for compatibility reasons.

All of the physical hardware for bi-directional charging has been built into the Blazer EV from the start, GM Energy director Derek Sequeira confirmed to Green Car Reports at the Blazer EV’s recent launch, while the software for it will be rolled out next year.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV with GM Ultium Home Power System

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV with GM Ultium Home Power System

Getting the necessary hardware into vehicles first is a different approach than some other automakers. VW, for example, has been touting this option for several years, but it still hasn’t arrived in US versions of the VW ID.4 for 2024. Likewise those E-GMP platform which underpins many of the latest electric vehicles from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, was designed from the start for bi-directional charging readiness. Although it has a modest Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capability to power campsites and more, it is the first time it has been deployed on the platform in the US, with all US-required parts in place 2024 Kia ​​EV9.

The GM hardware set that the automaker recently unveiled at the Chevrolet Blazer EV launch event is, in many ways, the start of something big from GM.

GM Energy Home Package - Shown with Chevy Blazer EV

GM Energy Home Package – Shown with Chevy Blazer EV

Unveiled last June, it contains everything owners need to make their electric vehicles work as home backup power right from the start (if the software allows it) – and much more in the long run. The so-called Ultium Home V2H Bundle includes a PowerShift bi-directional charger – the first ever offered directly from GM – as well as an activation kit. The latter consists of three separate parts: an inverter, a mains disconnect switch and the 12-volt dark start battery required to move the contactors in the event of a power outage.

The PowerShift wallbox is suitable for charging with 19.2 kW AC, while the discharging power of the device is DC and is 9.6 kW.

Solar will be optional and at the time of unveiling GM mentioned PowerBank battery storage units with capacities of 10.6 kWh and 17.7 kWh.

GM Energy – Chevy Silverado EV Energy Management System

GM Energy – Chevy Silverado EV Energy Management System

Matched to its flagship electric pickup

Although GM is shipping Blazer electric vehicles before all the bi-directional parts are in place, GM wants to make sure this happens both The flagship hardware and software sets for its charging ecosystem have been included in the Silverado EV from the start. The V2H bundle will initially be tied to the Silverado EV RST – the top-of-the-line version of the Silverado EV, which is expected to have a sticker price of around $105,000.

GM announced in August that all of its Ultium electric vehicles would feature two-way charging capability Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) backup through the 2026 model year. It said the feature will first be introduced on the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV RST, then on the GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Equinox EV, Cadillac Lyriq and Cadillac Escalade IQ models.

Sequeira hints that the price of the package will be competitive. The equivalent Ford system, without solar power but including a charger and everything else owners need to keep their home safe, costs about $6,000 including installation.

SunPower is the preferred EV charging installer for home hardware, although Sequeira said GM is not yet announcing its hardware partner. It says the supplier is known in the industry for this type of equipment, including inverters, with “great reliability”.

GM Energy Home Package - Shown with Chevy Blazer EV

GM Energy Home Package – Shown with Chevy Blazer EV

“All of our products have passed UL testing,” Sequeira told Green Car Reports. “It’s just a matter of us getting the word out and starting to talk to customers about it.”

GM plans to announce more details about the system soon – perhaps as early as next month.

One of them could be related to the interface. GM had previously hinted that GM Energy might have its own app. But in this era of app overload, Sequeira assumes it could all be part of the same app owners are used to.

“The goal at launch is to integrate this all into the MyChevrolet app,” he said, so it would be part of the same interface you would use for unlocking, remote starting and more. “For us, that’s part of the seamless experience we want.”

GM Energy app

GM Energy app

Electric vehicles as grid-connected energy devices

The home backup feature is just the first of many technical aspects that bi-directional charging takes advantage of.

The company made this clear in October 2022 with the founding of GM Energy Electric vehicle-based energy services for private households as a major business opportunity – with GM perhaps even taking on the role of energy broker at some point. At the time, the company announced that the system would be used on the Chevy Silverado EV, and said it eventually wanted to engage in “coherent energy management for residential, commercial and electric vehicle customers, with solutions ranging from bi-directional charging across vehicle – to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications to stationary storage, solar products, software applications, cloud management tools, microgrid solutions, hydrogen fuel cells and more.”

To realize this big vision, GM is beginning to talk to public utilities and plans to incorporate the results of pilot projects in the works – including Pilot programs in California The aim is to smooth out the load on the network.

“We want to learn more about what we can do and make sure we work with them to develop these programs so that the hardware is suitable for them,” Sequeira said. “And at the same time, we remain hand in hand when it comes to what the programs will look like.”

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