A crazy experiment that works

A crazy experiment that works
A crazy experiment that works

This is a crazy experiment: an electric Honda recharges the batteries of a Tesla and demonstrates that the electric cars can share their power, although this is not exactly the perfect method.

One of the great advantages of combustion cars, at least in theory, lies precisely in their universal fuel; for example, two gasoline cars can share the fuel, if you pass the liquid from one tank to another. In practice this is becoming increasingly difficult because of the anti-theft methods implemented by the manufacturers.

Some manufacturers believe that this should not only be possible with electric cars, but can even open the door to more possibilities such as recharging our house; like Nissan, which has opted for a system whereby its electric cars are able to ‘give back’ electricity to our homes.

A crazy experiment that works: An electric Honda connected to a Tesla

But what about sharing electricity between two cars? Again, in theory it would be possible, as long as you have the necessary hardware; specifically, the big problem is the absence of a power converter or a two-way charger or plug.

As it turns out, there is an electric car that already has that, although not for that function; this is what the youtuber Bjørn Nyland has discovered in the Honda e, the first completely electric model from the Japanese manufacturer. It was one of last year’s most interesting launches, thanks to its unique retro-inspired design and the fact that it doesn’t directly fight Tesla.

Conventional plug available on the Honda e
Conventional plug available on the Honda e

It turns out that the Honda e is a more practical car than we might think because of its size; for example, in addition to the usual USB connectors for recharging our devices, it has other more rare ones such as HDMI or even a conventional plug, like the one we have at home.

These plugs are more common in work or family vehicles, as they allow you to use tools or recharge devices such as laptops, but are rare in utilities and compact.

Is it possible to recharge an electric car using another one?

When he found out, Nyland knew he had to commit a ‘heresy’: plug the Honda e into a Tesla Model 3 using that socket and see if his batteries would recharge.

To do so, he used a charging cable limited to 6 amps, for 1.4 kW output; the plug theoretically provides 1.5 kW, but he didn’t want to stress it to the point that it would jump.

The Honda e had the batteries charged to 94%, while the Tesla had them charged to 20.6%; Nyland connected the cable to the Honda’s internal plug and the Tesla’s charger, and waited, but not long enough.

After two hours, the Model 3’s batteries now had 23.8% charge, while the Honda’s had dropped to 84%.

Therefore, to begin with this method is horribly slow, and with good reason; a conventional plug allows electric cars to be recharged, but if you don’t want to grow old waiting, the ideal is a fast charger or Tesla Superchargers.

But the worst thing is that this method is very inefficient. In those two hours, the Honda had lost 2.9 kWh of capacity, and the Tesla had gained only 2.2 kWh; therefore, there is power lost that makes this method unfeasible for regular use.

HoloLens 2 for everyone
HoloLens 2 for everyone

We only recommend using this method in an emergency, if a car has very little battery left but is within a short distance of a charger; in that case, another driver could help by providing some energy, enough to get there. Or you can use a ‘portable charger’.


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