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Will bidirectional EV charging kill generators? Generac downgraded by stock analysts

In the wake of the recent hurricanes in Florida, we saw the usual flood of anti-EV articles claiming that it’s better to have a gas vehicle in a natural disaster. Your favorite correspondent also got an article out of the situation, and concluded that on balance, you’re better off in an EV (although a lifted truck does come in mighty handy when streets are flooded).

However, once the emerging technology of bidirectional charging comes into widespread use, EVs will blow legacy vehicles out of the water (so to speak) in power outages. They may also make emergency generators, if not obsolete, at least far less useful. Once you can power your house from your EV’s battery, why would you want a noisy, stinky generator?

Some investors are beginning to make that connection. Analysts at investment bank Jefferies recently downgraded Generac Holdings (NYSE: GNRC), one of the best-known providers of backup generators, to an Underperform rating, citing a variety of risks including competition from bidirectional charging technology.

SEE ASLO: The technical challenges of bidirectional chargers

“Electric vehicles are now being equipped with bidirectional charging, which allows power to flow both in and out of the batteries,” wrote Jefferies Analyst Saree Boroditsky in a recent report. “Vehicles will now be able to provide backup power and can also be used to optimize energy use by supplying power to homes during peak hours.”

In its report, Jefferies mentioned new EV models such as the Ford F-150 Lightning that are capable of bidirectional charging. Most EV pundits expect pretty much all new models to offer the feature within a couple of years.

To be fair, competition from cars isn’t the only cause of Generac’s woes (the stock has declined over 70% year-to-date at this writing, compared with a 17% drop for the S&P 500). Jefferies also pointed out that demand for backup generators is weak, as power outages in the US are rare, and tend to be brief. Another analyst, Argus Research, downgraded GNRC to a Hold rating, citing supply-chain problems.

Source: Seeking Alpha

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