For Autoblog staffers without access to at-home charging, knocking out the odd task at a public charging station while our 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line tops off is par for the course. But this week, I got to spend a little extra quality time with our long-term tester thanks to a line of strong storms that blew through the Detroit metro in August, knocking off power to my little corner of the world for the better part of 24 hours. With the host of like-minded work-from-homers crowding coffee shops and diners, our rolling box of electricity started to look mighty tempting.
So that’s where I cranked out some copy and took meetings — with one eye going between DTE’s outage reports and the EV6’s state of charge. Fortunately it was essentially full when I parked it (the benefits of an at-home level 2 charging system), so my “range” anxiety was entirely unnecessary. The EV6’s front-seat USB port provides enough juice for a 2015-era MacBook pro to at least leach off of, obviating the need to daisy-chain various cords. Nice bonus.
Technically, virtually any new car with adequate 110V or 12V power ports can do this, but an electric vehicle can do it quietly and without producing any local emissions. Anti-idling ordinances? Irrelevant. Car in the garage? No problem. And of course, this just scratches the surface of what electrification has to offer in a pinch, as Ford’s new Intelligent Backup Power system demonstrates. Even the (by today’s standards, anyway) old-school F-150 Hybrid has some serious chops in this department, but even that is just a gas-burning generator with a truck body wrapped around it, so you certainly don’t want its tailpipe next to the open window through which you’re routing the extension cord for your beer fridge. The flip side of course is that you can top it off without needing electricity.
The Kia does it cleanly, but simply. There’s no equivalent of Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power here, so you won’t be plugging your entire house into it. The EV6 is really nothing more than a travel charger on wheels that happens to come with air conditioning. Not a bad deal during a power outage in a sweaty southeastern Michigan summer.