Wallbox, the electric vehicle charging equipment manufacturer which began operations in the UK this summer, is to introduce the first ever DC electric vehicle charger for the home. The company is also unveiling speech recognition and artificial intelligence software, which simplifies the management of electric vehicle charging. And adding important upgrades across its range of domestic and public space charging systems, including online payment.
The new DC charger puts energy created and stored in the home, straight into the electric vehicle through a CCS or ChaDeMo connector. Home generation and storage are now becoming much more cost effective considerations as electric vehicle range and battery size increase and reduce ROI timescales.
The charger’s unique bi-directional power electronics reconcile the alternating (AC) and direct (DC) energy that flows between vehicle charging, rooftop PV generation or garden wind turbines, and home battery storage. The new Wallbox charger is light-weight and compact enough to fit within a domestic setting. And it has all the premium styling cues and brand language of the Wallbox design influence. First sales are planned for mid-2019.
Wallbox is also making it easier to manage electric vehicle charging at home. The company is introducing software that allows spoken commands, and cognitive intelligence that learns about an owner’s charging behaviour and preferences, in order to predict optimum energy balance with home and grid.
This unique two-tier combination of software technologies means that you can speak directly to your home charging system and it will interpret your requirements in the most energy efficient manner. For instance, you can simply say: ‘I need my car fully charged for the morning’ and Wallbox will take care of the rest, with consideration for all other home energy demands during the same period of charging.
The ability for Wallbox software to automatically manage charging in this way adds another smart layer to dynamic load balancing between between vehicle and the home, and vehicles parked in the same area.
The existing Wallbox range of chargers is to get important updates and improvements;
– Pulsar, the extremely compact charger at just 16cm square, is to become wi-fi enabled. It will retain its Bluetooth capability. The move adds significantly to the installation location versatility of Wallbox’s best-selling device.
– Commander, embracing touch screen functionality, is to get tougher still. It will be available with Gorilla glass, making it even more suitable for public and semipublic spaces.
– The Copper range will see a new derivative, Copper Business that incorporates a universal Type 2 socket and RFID card access.
– Commercial and public space chargers are to get payment systems.
All Wallbox chargers are rated up to 22 kW, suitable for domestic and commercial installation and connect to the myWallbox energy management platform. This enables scheduling to take advantage of time and use tariffs, energy balancing between vehicle and the home, and a host of other easily accessible features. Wallbox chargers have connectivity through WiFi, Ethernet or Bluetooth.
Wallbox operates in 30 markets around Europe and overseas as far as New Zealand and China. Wallbox is partner to major automotive OEMs and energy companies. The company is approaching 20,000 installations across all markets and sees the UK as one of its most important growth opportunities. The company is 80-strong and growing, with over half of the workforce involved in software and hardware development. Many employees have made the transition from IT to automotive, coming from the likes of Apple and Tesla, which in part accounts for the unique design quality.