One of the most interesting features found in Hyundai and Kia's new generation of electric vehicles is Vehicle-To-Load or V2L. This technology transforms the standard power input used to charge the battery of the Kia EV6 or the Hyundai Ioniq 5 into a power outlet that can be used to run electronics, camping and outdoor gear and home appliances and can even, in a pinch, trickle-charge another stranded EV. We go hands-on in the video below.
V2L is enabled via an adapter that's available with dedicated Hyundai, Kia and soon Genesis vehicles built on the new Electric Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP, and equipped with the larger 77.4-kWh battery pack. The V2L adapter looks like a bulkier version of the standard SAE J1772 plug used to charge the vehicle but, rather than a cord or power brick coming out of the back, there's a NEMA 5 15 type AC outlet like the one in your home or office.
After connecting your device to the adapter, plug the adapter into the car and press the small black power button to start the juice flowing. The adapter can be closed to protect the outlet from the elements with a rubber grommet or left open for bulky plugs. Interestingly, the V2L's business end features two ground pin holes, allowing big or awkward power bricks to plug in upside-down, if necessary.
The system is rated at 3.6 kilowatts, which is split between the 15-amp, 120-volt V2L adapter and a second 16-amp, 120-volt AC outlet beneath the rear seats. That's more than enough to power a tailgating party with a projector, loudspeakers and even a popcorn machine or mini fridge. In an emergency, you could even plug in appliances. Kia tells me that a fully charged EV6 has enough energy reserve to run a refrigerator/freezer for around 300 hours -- that's almost two weeks.
To make sure you don't drain your entire battery charging other junk, a V2L menu in the infotainment system allows you to set a reserve limit from 20% to 80%. Once the battery dips below the chosen level, V2L deactivates automatically and you can head home confident that you've got enough range to get where you're going.
The coolest party trick, which I wasn't able to test, is trickle-charging another electric car or bike with an AC adapter. It would take forever and you'd only add a few miles of range per hour charged, but that could make enough difference to get someone to a charging station or home for a faster, more complete charge.
Ford's upcoming F-150 Lightning, which arrives later this year, would probably make a better EV roadside assistance platform -- its Intelligent Backup Power System will be rocking 9.6 kW and outputting 240 volts. Still, V2L in Hyundai Motor Group vehicles is a mighty impressive feather in the cap of the 2022 Kia EV6, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and, soon, the Genesis GV60 and other future E-GMP vehicles.