Along with the rise of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and the like, there is also a need to introduce more infrastructure to support these more eco-friendly vehicles. Honda has recently furthered their development said infrastructures by investing in advanced bi-directional charging technology. The new charging system was first installed at their European R&D site in Offenbach, Germany, and will be used a test bed before being offered to private households in the future.

“With the installation of the latest bi-directional charging technology at our R&D site in Germany, we are adding the next technology to our Smart Company project, which will further enhance our research activity in the field of zero-emission society and future mobility,” said Jörg Böttcher, vice president of Honda R&D Europe.

Honda first introduced the bi-directional charging technology with the domestic Honda Power Manager Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The concept showed a new system which allows for the transfer of energy in both directions. An electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, which takes power from the grid, can also return energy stored from its batteries via a 'Vehicle-to-Grid' technology.

The Honda's Offenbach R&D site uses the same principles but applied to a larger scale hence the 'bi-directional' name. Electricity drawn from the grid or generated from solar panels charge the EVs. Meanwhile, the energy stored inside an EV's battery may be transferred back to help stabilize the grid in times of need.

Apart from bi-directional charging system, Honda is also testing the interaction and compatibility of specific electrical hardware to be used with the new technology. It also test the integration of EV batteries and renewable energy cells.