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Hyundai Mobis develops Korea’s first bi-directional on-board charger

(Hyundai Mobis)
(Hyundai Mobis)

Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s biggest auto parts supplier, developed Korea’s first bi-directional on-board charger, or OBC, that can be installed in electric vehicles to heighten energy efficiency, the company said Wednesday.

The bi-directional charging device is essential for the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which connects EVs to the electrical grids.

“The highlight of the bi-directional OBC is that it sends surplus electricity back to the grid to maximize energy efficiency, acting as an energy storage system,” the spokesperson of Hyundai Mobis said.

“The cost of electricity changes upon demand. Bi-directional OBC charges the vehicle when the electricity cost is low, and sends the surplus electricity back to the grid when the electricity cost surges.”

The returned amount of power would be reimbursed to the car owner but the detailed methods need to be further figured out, the company explained.

As part of state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation’s project on V2G, Hyundai Mobis has been in charge of developing bi-directional OBC since 2015.

The amount of electricity saved up by some 100,000 units of V2G-applied EVs equates to about a unit of thermal power plant with 500 megawatts, the company projected.

The estimate figure is based on how most cars are used less than 20 percent of the time and remain parked the rest of the time.

When the number of V2G-applied EVs on roads reaches a certain point, massive power blackouts can be prevented, the spokesperson explained.

The cost of damage caused by blackouts in Korea annually is said to be about 650 billion won ($570.1 million).

Test runs of V2G technology is currently taking place in Japan, Denmark, the US and China. But most companies have not yet been able to mass produce the bi-directional OBC, according to Hyundai Mobis.

On the latest development, Hyundai Mobis will put in more efforts to gain a foothold in the global vehicle-to-everything market that is expected to grow to worth $26.7 billion by 2025, said business consulting firm Grand View Research. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (