BYD electric car powers child’s life-saving medical equipment during blackout – report

The vehicle-to-load (V2L) technology found in some electric cars can come in very useful in a blackout, and one Queensland mother has discovered it can potentially be life-saving.

The Guardian reports Kristy Holmes used her BYD Atto 3 as an emergency power system to power her 11-year-old son’s dialysis machine when her Gold Coast home lost power on Christmas Day.

She and her husband had first used the car to plug in fridges belonging to both the couple and neighbours in their apartment building, but then decided to see if it could be used to power the dialysis machine.

“We ran it off the car,” Ms Holmes told The Guardian.

“We only needed to use it for the one night. We could have run it for at least four nights and then have to go charge the car somewhere.”

Her son is about to go on a transplant list, and would have faced life-threatening health consequences had he not received treatment – necessitating a drive to Brisbane during the stormy weather.

Ms Holmes said she doesn’t think she’ll ever go back to a petrol car again after this episode. Prior to this, she had only used her Atto 3’s V2L functionality for considerably less urgent things, like slow-cooking mulled wine for a movie night.

Another Gold Coast resident, Matt McLaughlin, offered residents in the Hinterland locality of Bonogin the use of his Atto 3 as an emergency power source following the storms and power outages.

However, this came with a slight catch.

The Rural Fire Service member said on the Bonogin community Facebook group he would happily supply power, but added “I will require you to publicly acknowledge that EVs aren’t all bad.”

He said on Facebook he ended up helping numerous people with a variety of tasks, including pumping out their septic tanks and opening their electric gates.

The Guardian reports he was unaffected by the power outage as he has solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall home battery system. He owns two electric vehicles.

“We have been completely off-grid for six days, we’ve had air-con running and the pool pump running. I’ve been able to charge the car off the excess solar all day,” he said.

“People can be sceptical until they realise, ‘Hang on, this is going to be better’. If the power goes out for half an hour in the middle of the night, we don’t notice. We’re oblivious to it.”

The Atto 3 is far from the only vehicle to offer V2L technology.

This can also be found in BYD’s Dolphin and Seal, MG’s ZS EV and MG 4, plus a raft of Hyundai Motor Group products including but not limited to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

There are also a couple of non-EVs that offer the feature, with Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid Outlander and Eclipse Cross both able to be used as a power source.

MORE: V2L: What is it and what are the benefits?

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