GM launches a 200kWh EV battery and V2H capabilities
The supersized Escalade IQ could chime with greater domestic power flexibility
The Escalade IQ e-SUV unveiled this week by the luxury Cadillac brand of US automaker GM is not a small vehicle by any means. It measures 5.7m long, 2.2m wide even with the mirrors folded and 1.9mn high. And it contains a 200kWh battery.
To a European eye, some of those dimensions might seem a little over-the-top. But luxury is an EV first mover, Rory Harvey, who ran Cadillac until earlier this year, told EVinFocus back in June.
And the large battery size could play into another GM announcement this week, namely that it will add vehicle to home (V2H) capabilities to all EVs on its Ultium platform from 2026.
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V2H allows energy transfer back and forth between vehicles and a home charging port, enabling not just domestic charging, but also the use of charge in an EV’s battery to power the home. GM’s Ultium Home energy management system also promises to allow transfer between home, vehicle and grid (V2G) “soon”.
According to GM, the first cars to be compatible will be the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST, followed by the 2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, and the 2024 Cadillacs Lyriq and Escalade IQ.
“It is important to understand the unrealised potential of V2H, V2G, vehicle to load, especially if vehicles have batteries of th[e] size” of an Escalade IQ, says Jeremie Bernardin, director of electric vehicle training and innovation at marketing agency Integrated Automotive Experience.
“As our electrical grid decarbonises, that means more intermittent renewable energy — wind, solar etc. Having these large energy storages put to use will play an important role in this transition,” he predicts.
“Individuals can take advantage of time-of-use energy costs — cheap electricity at night and power their home with their vehicle when electricity prices are higher,” Bernardin continues. “The advantages of [V2H] are that you are able to draw energy from your car at peak times, to avoid paying high prices for energy, otherwise coming from the grid,” agrees Cian O’Mahony, an electrification and energy storage expert.
Bu there could also be an environmental benefit while fossil fuel generation remains a material part of any grid. “Peak times are also when the most fossil fuels are consumed by the grid to produce large amounts of energy,” O’Mahony points out, so meeting that load from EV batteries could lower the carbon footprint.
The immediate issue, though — leaving aside that GM is still working on making V2G possible — is price. Estimates are that the hardware only carries a four-figure dollar price tag, while installation and other upgrading likely pushes that well into five digits.