Can an electric car power a house?

Answer: Technically yes, but you should not try it at home.

by / October 11, 2019

When some 500,000 customers of California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Co. found out that the company was cutting their power this week to reduce fire risk, some of them had an interesting question: Could they hook their house up their Tesla to keep the lights on?

The short answer is no, you can’t do that. While it is technically possible, it would require quite a few significant modifications to both the house and the car, none of which sound like they could be made very easily. First, you would need specialized hardware in order to disconnect your house from the grid. Otherwise, the power wouldn't know to stop at your house and might end up in the grid (you know, where there’s supposed to be no power). 

You would also need an inverter to convert the power coming from the car battery from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Last, you would need to find a way to combat degradation of the battery, because such an increased demand would decrease its overall lifespan.

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