Charge your Car like your Phone in Emergencies
I live in Florida so every year or two, we are faced with a major Hurricane coming into town and threatening to leave us without electricity. Since I have a Smart Home full of IOT gadgets, power is super important to me. I have written before about some of the lessons I’ve learned from prior hurricane experiences like Irma but this time, we will have not only a Tesla PowerWall capable of holding 13KWs but also a Chevy Bolt Electric Car capable of holding 60KWs in the event of an emergency. This changes the power strategy a bit in our household. We can leverage these units along with Solar panels and hopefully get by indefinitely in an emergency without the grid. This is just on paper of course and hopefully I won’t get a chance to test extensively but that’s my working theory at least.
One of the things I noticed earlier today was my car was set to Hilltop Reserve. This setting tells the car to only charge up to 80% of the maximum capacity. This is primarily so that when you drive out in the morning, you are able to immediately take advantage of regenerative savings where as the car brakes, it puts energy back into the battery. If the battery was at 100%, this on the road regeneration would be lost until you used a percentage of the battery power.
With the Hilltop Reserve setting temporarily disabled, the car will charge the battery to the 100% maximum which is what you would want if you were anticipating a power outage and wanted to maximize driving or even use the car as an energy source for AC, Charging phones, etc. Since the car is 100% electric with no emissions, you can safely turn it on in the garage and charge up your phones without danger of carbon monoxide buildups.
I made a quick video explaining and showing the settings on the Bolt (you will find them in different places on the Tesla Car but the principles are the same). During an emergency, just like a cell phone, you will want your car to charge up to 100% in anticipation of an emergency or power outage.
Enjoy the video!