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Welcome to Hotel Hyundai, Where Power Comes Entirely From Electric Vehicles

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Welcome to Hotel Hyundai, Where Power Comes Entirely From Electric Vehicles appeared on by Emily Dreibelbis.

Hyundai today opened a sweepstakes for a one-night stay at the “world’s first car-powered hotel,” located off-the-grid on “200 acres of ancient farmland” an hour outside of London.

The pop-up facility will rely on power stored in the batteries of a fleet of all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 cars. It will be open from Oct. 19 to Nov. 5, and adventurous travelers and experience-seekers can enter to win(Opens in a new window) a one-night stay for two people before Oct. 18.

Computer rendering of the proposed design for the Hyundai Hotel.
(Credit: Hyundai)

Hyundai designed the experience to be a “remarkable leap in sustainability” and fully off-the-grid luxury facility. Guests will enjoy a three-course menu curated by Grace Dent of MasterChef UK and made with local, Essex-sourced ingredients. Guests can watch an outdoor movie while wrapped in a recycled plastic blanket, and indulge in the mixology of an on-site pub.

After waking up to “birdsong and breakfast on your sun-dappled deck” and sipping a flat white at the Hyundai coffee lounge, day trips are encouraged to explore nearby trails on an electric bike and visit the Greensted Church(Opens in a new window), the oldest wooden church in the world dating back to 998AD.

The Ioniq 5, which is largely sold out for 2022 ahead of a 2023 model(Opens in a new window), “is able to power the hotel and its experiences using its V2L feature that supplies AC power (230V/50Hz) up to a maximum of 3.6kW (or 15 Amps) power consumption,” Hyundai says(Opens in a new window). “An adapter from the car provides a socket into which standard domestic appliances can be plugged into.”

Graphic showing power coming into an EV and back out through an outlet.

Bi-directional vehicles can take in power from a charger, and use that power for non-driving purposes.

This is called bi-directional charging, or using energy stored in an electric vehicle as a backup generator. The battery can receive energy it will use to drive, but also dish the energy back out for other purposes.

The potential for reverse-power flow is considered one of the biggest opportunities for electric vehicles to change the way we power homes, apartment buildings, and even cities by connecting them to the electrical grid. Another name for it is “vehicle to grid,” or V2G.

Lowering Energy Costs for Everyone

The UK and the rest of Europe are currently experiencing an energy crisis(Opens in a new window) as it weans off of Russian power sources in support of Ukraine. The need for intelligent energy distribution systems is greater than ever.

“Just today, the UK National Grid warned of rolling blackouts this winter(Opens in a new window) so that the UK is facing a very clear and present danger unless creative energy management solutions are deployed immediately, ” says Joseph Vellone, head of North America at UK-based EV charging software company in a new window). “I commend Hyundai on piloting this kind of hotel and this kind of proof of concept.”

grassy field with trees

The setting of the Hyundai Hotel.
(Credit: Kip Hideaways)

Optimizing energy distribution can lower costs for consumers who may experience premium prices during peak consumption hours. One study(Opens in a new window) even found that bi-directional EVs could save billions over time.

“At the end of the day, vehicle to grid and bi-directional charging will lower energy costs for everyone,” says Vellone. “It allows EV drivers and power grid operators to store electricity when it’s cheapest. And then export it when it would otherwise be very expensive.”

Theoretically, he says, the Hyundai Hotel’s energy costs could be lower than a typical hotel, which could lower room prices. The hotel is currently offering free stays as a promotion, but this could prove true for longer-term, off-the-grid hotel concepts in the future.

Car powering a grill and game machine.

Ford F-150 Lightning used as a generator to power a tailgate.
(Credit: Ford)

Few EVs have bi-directional capabilities today, but the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks both offer it as an added benefit to owners. For the average consumer, the use for bi-directional power largely mimics what a generator can do.

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“Bi-directional power flow harnesses your truck’s battery to help keep the lights on,” according to the Ford website(Opens in a new window). Early recipients of the new pickup truck were also surprised to see it came with an adapter to charge stranded Teslas using bi-directional power.

But commercial EV fleets using bi-directional power will have a bigger impact than consumer-owned vehicles. For example, during hurricanes and heatwaves that stress the grid, a network of EVs could “aid in reducing brownouts throughout a utility’s service area during peak loads,” according(Opens in a new window) to the US Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Four pictures showing uses for bi-directional vehicles and the electrical grid

Uses for bi-directional charging
(Credit: US Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy)

On a regular basis, most of the potential lies in distributing power from predictable and coordinated fleets of EVs, like electric school buses. Buses pick up and drop off from school at scheduled times while holding a large amount of excess battery power.

Sophisticated local governments and organizations can use software to move power in and out of the battery to optimize for efficiency rather having it fixed inside the school bus, Vellone explains. Mobile applications, websites, and software inside both chargers and the batteries can direct much of this activity, making it easier to manage.

Online dashboard of many chargers. offers smart charging software to help manage power flow and reduce costs.

The Hyundai Hotel is a uniquely leisure-focused take on these lofty goals, offering a new way to think about the uses for bi-directional power and travel. Interested guests can explore the Hyundai Hotel through this interactive graphic(Opens in a new window), and on the website for Kip Hideaways,(Opens in a new window) a vacation rental company that appears to be providing the hotel. (Hyundai did not provide further details on the actual facilities when contacted for comment.)

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