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Knowledge hub

Frequently Asked Questions

    What is bidirectional charging?

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    Conventional EV charging systems only go one way - from the electric grid to an EV. A bidirectional charging system both charges and discharges an EV’s battery. This expands the value provided by EVs, turning EVs into “batteries on wheels” and enabling EVs to send energy stored in the onboard battery to the local utility grid or to a building.

    Fermata Energy’s bidirectional charging platform utilizes a bidirectional EV charger with proprietary software to optimize and manage EV charging and discharging, so the EV is ready for driving when you need it and is able to act as a storage resource when the grid needs it.

    Bidirectional charging is often referred to as V2X (vehicle-to-everything), which includes V2G (vehicle-to-grid) and V2B (vehicle-to-building) technology.

    How does bidirectional charging differ from “traditional” unidirectional (single directional) charging?

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    Unidirectional charging only sends energy one way - from the grid to the EV, making a single directional charger a constant cost center. A bidirectional charging system does more; it both charges an EV and discharges some of the energy stored in the battery to the grid or to a building. The decision whether to drive or discharge is always up to the EV fleet manager or driver.

    A commercial unidirectional charging system and the Fermata Energy V2G charging platform cost about the same. However, there is a financial upside to bidirectional charging: the V2X platform enables fleet owners/operators to earn revenue from their utility or to save money on their electricity bills – potentially enough to pay for the entire bidirectional charging system.

    Bidirectional charging is often referred to as V2X (vehicle-to-everything), which includes V2G (vehicle-to-grid) and V2B (vehicle-to-building) technology. 

    What is V2X?

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    Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) bidirectional charging systems allow for bidirectional (back and forth) power flow between an EV and other loads that need energy, such as the grid, a building, a home, or other connected devices.  V2X includes V2G (vehicle-to-grid), V2B (vehicle-to-building), and V2H (vehicle-to-home) systems.  

    V2X requires a bidirectionally-enabled EV, a bidirectional EV charger, and software to optimize and manage charging and discharging. Fermata Energy’s proprietary software leverages AI to analyze thousands of data points, such as driving patterns, weather, and utility rates, to intelligently identify the best times for an EV fleet owner to earn revenue or save money from their utility. 

    What is V2G?

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    Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems leverage a bidirectional EV charging platform to send (discharge) some of the energy stored in a parked EV’s battery to the grid when utilities need it most, for example, for a few hours in the late afternoon on a hot summer day. 

    EV fleet operators/owners using V2G bidirectional charging systems (software and hardware) can choose whether to participate and earn revenue from their local utility operator. The fleet operator’s local utility must have a program that allows vehicle grid services (sending energy stored in the EV battery to the grid, when it’s needed most).  

    What is V2B?

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    Vehicle-to-building (V2B) systems leverage bidirectional charging to send energy stored in an EV’s battery to a building. This enables commercial building owners, operators, and tenants to better manage their electricity usage and reduce electricity bill costs by avoiding costly peak demand charges.  

    In some instances, the energy stored in an EV’s battery can be used to provide back-up power to buildings during blackouts. 

    What is V2H?

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    Vehicle-to-home (V2H) systems leverage bidirectional charging to send energy stored in an EV’s battery to a user’s home. This allows an EV to power a home in case of a grid blackout. It can also enable the user to selectively reduce their load in response to their utility’s request for energy reduction. A V2H system requires a bidirectionally-capable EV, a V2H bidirectional charger, specifically designed for residential use, and software.   

    EV batteries have more energy storage capacity than many home energy wall units. 

    What is V1G (unidirectional smart, managed, or controlled charging) and how does this differ from V2X / V2G?

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    V1G, also known as “managed” or “smart” charging, uses unidirectional charging, which only goes one way - from grid to vehicle. 

    V1G ensures that EVs are charged when they need to be driven while avoiding excessive charging when electricity rates are high. V1G functions to avoid charging at potentially costly times (as much as possible), but never reverses the flow of energy back from the vehicle’s battery. This means that EVs are always a grid load and do not act as energy storage assets. 

    Fermata Energy’s V2X system is bidirectional and can do everything that single directional V1G does to manage and optimize charging of an EV battery, with one huge difference: EV fleet owners/operators with V2X bidirectional charging systems can earn revenue from their local utility or actively reduce their electricity bill by sending some of the energy stored in an EV battery back into the grid or building.

    Features V1G Other Chargers V2G Fermata Energy
    Fast-charge your vehicle
    One-way charging
    Optimize charging around periods of increased energy costs
    Two-way charging / discharging
    Optimize discharging around periods of increased energy value
    Access energy markets
    Generate revenue by dispatching energy from EV batteries
    Actively reduce electricity bill by reducing peak demand

    How much revenue can I earn with V2X?

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    Fermata Energy is the only V2X/ V2G platform with customers today who are earning thousands of dollars every year with a single EV paired with just one bidirectional charger. Two earning examples:  

    • Commercial customer A participates in a V2G program, using one 15kW bidirectional charging system and one bidirectionally-capable EV. The cost to charge for an hour is approximately $0.65. During the summer of 2021, the customer sold approximately 57 hours of electricity over 28 days at a rate of $300/kW for a net profit of over $4,280.    
    • Customer B participates in a V2B (vehicle-to–building) program, using two 15kW bidirectional chargers and two EVs. The customer saves $18 per kW and is able to avoid expensive peak demand charges. On average, the customer discharges the battery for just a few hours every month and saves $400 per month on their building’s electricity bill.  

    What is demand response?

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    Demand for electricity increases on hot summer days and cold winter days.  These periods of high demand can strain the grid, raising electricity costs, and potentially causing brownouts or black outs.  

    Utilities manage these high load periods with “demand response” (DR) programs that create incentives for their customers to reduce or shift their electricity use to periods of lower demand. 

    With Fermata Energy’s V2X software platform, customers can participate in demand response programs and earn money from their local utility by sending (discharging) energy stored in an EV battery to the grid during these peak times.  

    What is demand charge management (DCM)?

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    Demand charges are part of many commercial and industrial electricity bills and are based on the highest amount of power (kW) consumed over a 15-30 minute period during a customer’s monthly billing period. Some utilities charge customers very high costs per kW for these periods of highest use. 

    These customers can reduce the demand charges they pay to their utility by lowering the amount of electricity their building or site uses during these peak times. 

    Fermata Energy’s V2X software platform utilizes historic and real-time building load data to respond to a site’s peak power consumption, reducing these costly charges. By discharging electricity stored in an EV battery during the building’s peak usage periods, the customer uses fewer kWs from the utility when costly demand charges are incurred. 

    Is bidirectional charging in front of the meter or behind the meter?

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    Bidirectional charging can be either in front of the meter or behind the meter.  

    If a bidirectional charger is installed in front of the meter, there is a new service connection to the broader utility grid so electricity discharged from the EV battery can be fed back to the utility’s circuit directly to be consumed elsewhere.  

    If a charger is installed behind the meter, electricity discharged from the EV battery powers loads on-site, and reduces the amount of electricity consumed from the grid, but not off-site. 

    Which utilities have programs with which customers can earn money with V2X/V2G? 

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    Fermata Energy has installations across the United States and Canada. Utilities are quickly adding programs and rate structures that enable lucrative earnings with V2X/V2G. Contact us at to find out if your utility has a program that you might be able to participate in.  

    Some of the utilities that currently V2X/V2G earnings in their service territories, include:  

    • California: LADWP, PG&E, SCE, SMUD 
    • Colorado: Xcel Energy  
    • Connecticut: Eversource, Avangrid 
    • Massachusetts: Eversource, National Grid 
    • New York: Con Edison  
    • New Hampshire: NHEC 
    • Rhode Island: RI Energy  

    Each utility program is different and applies different rate structures. Fermata Energy can also partner with utilities to design new programs that support V2X bidirectional charging and its benefits.  

    How does Fermata Energy’s V2X software work?

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    Fermata Energy’s proprietary V2X software platform manages both the charging and discharging of EV batteries. Fermata Energy’s platform is technology agnostic, meaning that it is the only software specifically designed to be integrated with any V2G-capable charger or bidirectionally enabled EV. 

    The Fermata Energy software is a true machine-learning platform that makes it simple for EV fleet owners and operators to choose whether to drive or to park and earn revenue from their local utility. 

    The platform uses AI to forecast the best times when EV fleet operators can earn revenue from their local utility. The software analyzes thousands of rapidly changing data points - including utility rates, utility demand, weather, driver patterns, and more - to make it simple for EV owners and drivers to participate in V2X/V2G programs.

    The platform can provide real-time building load monitoring, as well as optimize and manage V1G smart charging, V2X bidirectional charging, and stationary battery storage.

    Does Fermata Energy have their own chargers?

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    Yes. Fermata Energy developed the FE-15, a 15 kW DC bidirectional charger. Heliox developed a 20 kW DC bidirectional charger for Fermata Energy, the FE-20. 

    Fermata Energy is the first company to earn UL-certification for bidirectional charging and the first to have a major OEM’s approval for battery warranty.  

    I already have EV chargers installed. Can I use Fermata Energy’s software with my charger?

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    Yes. Fermata Energy’s software solution is hardware agnostic - meaning that it can be used with any V2G-capable charger.  

    Our platform is the bridge to the grid and optimizes thousands of data points to identify the best times to earn revenue from a local utility for sending energy stored in an EV’s battery to the grid.  

    To learn whether you can add V2G capability to your charger with the Fermata Energy software, contact

    Does Fermata Energy’s solution work for trucks and buses? 

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    More electric trucks and electric school buses are hitting the roads every day. Fermata Energy is partnering with major auto manufacturers (OEMs) to help them quickly add V2X/V2G capabilities to their light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.   

    Fermata Energy is also working with leading charger manufacturers to add our V2X/V2G software to their chargers.  

    To find out if your electric truck or bus is V2G capable, contact  

    Where are Fermata Energy installations located? 

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    Fermata Energy has deployed V2X installations across the United States and Canada. We also have projects under development in Europe. 

    To learn more or to arrange a site visit in your area, contact

    What is the difference between Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast chargers?

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    The difference between the charging levels is the amount of power they provide and therefore the rate of charging they provide to an EV (how much driving range per hour). Level 1 (L1) chargers have the lowest power, provide the slowest charging experience, included with the purchase of an EV, and are mostly used in residential settings. Level 2 (L2) chargers have more power and provide faster charging than L1, and they can be found in homes, workplaces, and public locations. Direct current fast chargers (DCFCs) have the most power and the fastest charging experience and are mostly used at commercial and industrial locations. 

    How does bidirectional charging impact EV battery health and warranty?

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    The Fermata Energy V2X bidirectional charger is the first and only in the US to be approved by Nissan and does not void the battery warranty. Read Nissan’s release here.

    Studies demonstrate that bidirectional charging does not impact battery health when part of a managed system.

    Does V2X and bidirectional charging impact driving time or the utilization of EVs and EV fleets?

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    With Fermata Energy’s V2X bidirectional charging platform, you are always in control of your vehicles and can choose to drive whenever you want.   

    The platform optimizes thousands of data points to alert EV fleet operators about opportunities to earn money from their local utility. Fleet operators control whether to drive or park and earn.  

    We send EV fleet operators advanced notice via our platform, email, and/or text about when there are known, valuable V2X opportunities. EV fleet owners / operators can choose to park their EV, plug it in, and profit.  

    Which EVs are capable of V2X bidirectional charging?

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    There are already several bidirectional passenger vehicles, trucks and buses on the market – with more coming in the next few years.  

    The first bidirectionally-enabled EV in the US was the Nissan LEAF. The Mitsubishi Outlander and some Phoenix Motorcars vehicles are also bidirectionally enabled. Other bidirectionally-enabled EVs are being offered or are under development by BYD, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Lion Electric, Mitsubishi, Phoenix Motorcars, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Volvo.  

    Fermata Energy collaborates with many OEMs. For more information on whether your vehicle is bidirectionally-enabled, please email

    What is the state of charge?

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    An electric battery’s state of charge (SOC) is its level of charge (or amount of energy available) at any given time, relative to its capacity.


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