While the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has received a lot of attention for its ability to function as a mobile generator, it’s not the only new EV that can pull that trick. The 2022 Kia EV6, for instance, also has a vehicle-to-load function, in which owners can use its battery pack (77.4 kWh in the extended-range model) to power household items. Or, as we demonstrated, lend a charge to another electric car. It wouldn’t be as quick as splashing a few gallons of unleaded down a filler neck, but the EV6 could theoretically rescue a fellow traveler by sharing enough juice to get to a proper charger.
There are two ways to extract 115-volt power from the EV6. The easiest is to simply plug into the 16-amp outlet positioned beneath the rear seat—which has a locking cover, distinguishing it from the light-duty 115-volt outlets you often see in passenger cars. This one would run your refrigerator, so you don’t want anyone inadvertently jamming their McFlurry spoon into it. Unlocking the cover requires extracting the thin metal key hidden in the electronic fob.
The other avenue is to use the V2L adapter that Kia provides with the EV6, which resides in the rear under-floor storage compartment where you might expect to find the charging cable that they don’t provide. The adapter plugs into the charge port and has a flip-down cover that reveals a 115-volt outlet. With that and the interior outlet in use, you’ve basically got a small generator at your disposal. The EV6’s 1900-watt output is close to the total of a Honda EU2200i generator, and is enough to run the mission-critical appliances in your house (fridge, some lights, TVs) with the proper extension cords. It had no trouble at all powering up our tasteful “World’s Greatest Dad, 1978” lamp from the interior outlet, and charging a 2023 Genesis GV60 from the exterior outlet. (The Genesis, a corporate cousin of the EV6, also offers a V2L mode.) Via the “charge transfer settings” menu, you can select a predetermined point when the charge-sharing will stop, down to 20 percent of the EV6’s battery capacity .
Besides its potential as a backup household generator or campsite hero, the EV6’s interior outlet means that you can plug in a regular vacuum cleaner without needing for an extension cord—and that would be useful on a regular basis, regardless of power outages. That plug also works while the car is in motion, which means you could potentially power something like an XBox back there for road trips. Or a mini-fridge. Or your Sharper Image foot massager. The possibilities are endless.
The charge port outlet, though, only works when the car is parked. We used that one to share some charge with the Genesis, which it did at a 1.1 kW rate—a slow rate that amounts to about 3 miles of range per hour, but that’s what you’d get from a regular household outlet, too. It’s surely better than nothing, especially if your EV almost made it home and just needs a little pick-me-up for the final couple miles.
Kia hasn’t made a big deal about the EV6’s talents as a mobile generator, but we’re betting owners will take advantage more often than they’d think. An EU2200i is mighty quiet, but not as quiet as this.
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