When the Kenricks embarked on their electrification journey, they originally intended to buy an electric Volkswagen ID.4 or a Skoda Enyaq IV.

But with the delay in the arrival of these vehicles in Australia, it was ultimately the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that caught their attention.

The generous space, 800-volt architecture allowing super-fast DC charging and a suite of safety features add up to a vehicle suitable for their growing family.

But it was the addition of charging vehicle technology (known as V2L) that intrigued them the most and led them to take a “proving camp” trip recently to try it out before a longer planned trip.

Brody Kenrick shares his experience and learnings.

What prompted you to buy an electric vehicle?

My wife and I have taken our household (with two little boys) on a journey to become carbon negative and have as little absolute emission as possible, over the past two years.

We do this from the selfish aspect of our nuclear family to not be part of the problem of the climate crisis and hope that our experiences can be used to show what is possible and also what makes sense for others who are not unable to do what We have.

To achieve this carbon negative goal, we have switched to electricity in our lives (EV, home heating, water heating, stove and the luxury of a heat pump pool heater, a home battery and a rather oversized PV installation – all of which have excessive consumption monitoring and automation).

We also minimize our daily emissions as best we can by buying from carbon-neutral and low-emission companies as often as possible.

Then we track all of our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and stay negative (we bought shares in the Grong Grong Solar Farm to help as well).

Why did you buy an Ioniq 5, if not for its ability to provide energy?

We were looking to increase the size of a small hatch (Ford Focus) after our second child. It was supposed to be an electric vehicle, but we were just waiting for the right one to hit the market.

Our main concern was size, for our family. We wanted something big enough to throw scooters/bikes on the back and to take short car trips as my wife’s parents and mine live in the countryside. Two boys and two small dogs and some luggage.

We were expecting the VW ID.4 or the Skoda Enyaq iV as they were ahead of the market in the rest of the world but never landed here in Australia. We didn’t want to stretch out to Model X for a car – which we consider a mere expense. So we waited and waited. Eventually the Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 both seemed to be coming to the Australian market.

We looked at the range/features of both and they seemed to fit the bill:

  • Range to Sydney to Bathurst return and Wauchope one way.
  • Fast DC charging.
  • Lots of safety devices for our precious cargo.

Then it moved on to “nice to have” features – very fast charging, V2G and V2L support, very good performance and some fancy technologies.

Then finally the looks intrigued us and finally, we decided to try our luck in one of the online auctions. Oh, and not having to deal with dealerships was nice too.

What interests you in V2L?

I was primarily interested in V2G, originally thinking we could use the car as an internal battery and help with distributed storage for the network. As V2G standards are lagging here in Australia we eventually put this on hold and bought a somewhat standard home charger and powerwall battery and accepted V2G -ready.

With V2L in the car, the different possibilities started to come to mind. Using a pressure washer away from a power outlet, having a 240v kettle in the car for a good tea or coffee on demand, and of course camping.

You recently did a tryout. What did you want to test and why?

We are driving to rural Queensland over the next school holidays to visit friends near Moonie near Goondiwindi. We decided to drive up (to avoid flying – which would be around 1.4t CO2eq) and also camp on the way for a more fun family experience. We also want to show what is possible for others to see (and take a very low emission trip).

We wanted to test our new V2L for camping (kettle, fridge, cooker) and other new equipment to fit our family size and get familiar with camping after not having been there since our arrival. first born.

In particular, making sure things cook/heat well enough and don’t drain more battery than expected.

When we go to QLD, we’ll often be lucky with NRMA’s DC chargers (only 50 or 75; not 350 kW yet), but there will be quite a few loads at some Showgrounds on 3-phase outlets (at 11 kW; the Ioniq 5 is limited on AC) so we don’t want to go over our power budget and run around on the road or have to charge too long at these relatively slow charging points.

We also wanted to test just fitting things into the car – it has a ridiculous amount of space due to the lack of a transmission tunnel and the very long wheelbase, but that only increases the risk of overload.

How was the test? Surprises and disappointments?

Everything went surprisingly well. It took a while to figure out how to just turn on the V2L. The button on the V2L adapter needs to be pressed further than intended.

My wife was very surprised at the low battery drain. The fridge was 70W most of the time. The 2200W induction cooker. Sound/light machine on all night. Still only used a few percent over the 3 nights.

We also took a double adapter. We will take a quadruple card next time. There was the slightest annoyance of wanting better cable management from the 25m extension cord that normally lives in our frunk as it was just too long for a small campsite.

I was surprised at how many people at our campground came in asking about our setup and wanting to get EVs and fossil fuels as soon as they can. Most were already aware of the options in the United States and the phenomenal towing power they would get – they were just waiting for our government to give clear guidance to automakers to bring these vehicles here.

How will you handle disappointments?

All of them are pretty easy to fix for luckily. A power board, a shorter extension cord and we’ll get a bigger pot (we thought it was too small).

What do you expect from camping with V2L?

On the real trip it will be simplicity. We camp at various places for two nights but always on a long drive (2,400 km).

We want an easy setup to start dinner for two hungry boys and pack our bags to hit the road quickly. Having the campfire just for fun (and roasting marshmallows and bananas).

However, by taking our own power, we can achieve these niceties, but in a corner completely away from someone’s paddock/campsite (we stay in beautiful properties overlooking the rivers with great serenity).

My wife looks forward to the almost instant aeropress coffee anytime while camping or driving and the easy option to have a hot dinner wherever we can pull up.

Finally for fun: where is your favorite campsite. And why!

My favorite camping spot is in the United States. King’s Canyon in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Camping there in early summer with snow in the ground, jagged peaks and right next to the tallest trees in the world was an annual ritual when I lived in San Francisco.

Here in Australia, it’s Green Patch on Jervis Bay in Booderee National Park. The scenic lagoon and beautiful beach and bay and amazing bird life make it unforgettable.