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An Australian woman used her BYD electric car to power her son's dialysis machine during a blackout

Tom Carter   

An Australian woman used her BYD electric car to power her son's dialysis machine during a blackout
  • An Australian woman used her EV to power her son's dialysis machine after a storm caused a blackout.
  • Kristy Holmes told The Guardian that the Atto 3, made by Tesla rival BYD, helped "save her son."

An Australian woman used her BYD electric car to run her son's dialysis machine after a huge storm left her without power.

After flash flooding knocked out electricity across southeast Queensland on Christmas Day, Kristy Holmes used her Atto 3, which is made by Chinese EV giant and Tesla rival BYD, to power her 11-year-old son's dialysis machine, according to a Guardian report.

Holmes told The Guardian that her son Levi, who is waiting to receive a kidney transplant, could have faced life-threatening consequences were it not for the Atto 3's "vehicle to load" feature, which allows it to charge household appliances with excess power from the car's battery.

"We ran it [the dialysis machine] off the car," 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."

"It's the most amazing car I've ever owned. Now it's been able to save my son during a storm, I don't think I'll ever go back to a petrol car again," she added.

The family has also used the Atto's charging abilities for less critical purposes, including heating up mulled wine for a movie night.

The fact that some EVs are capable of acting as power generators on wheels makes them especially useful during major blackouts caused by extreme weather and natural disasters.

When Hurricane Ian hammered the Florida coast in 2022, Ford saw a 127% increase in the number of people using their F-150 lightning electric pickups as power sources. Ford CEO Jim Farley posted on X that hurricane-hit drivers were using their trucks to cook meals and power lights.

This "bidirectional charging" also allows EVs to charge each other, with both Ford and Tesla incorporating vehicle-to-vehicle charging in the electric F-150 and the Cybertruck.

GM, meanwhile, announced in August that all of its electric vehicles will have bidirectional capabilities by 2026.

In the long run, bidirectional charging could provide a valuable backup power source not just for homes but also for the wider energy grid, with power from stationary EVs supporting the electricity system during times of high demand or strain due to events like heatwaves and hurricanes.



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