Sono Motors says it is working on a bidirectional AC wall box and is currently running a survey for customers to vote for their favourite design. The German company expects the home charger launch to coincide with Sono Motors’ Sion solar car coming to market in 2023.
In terms of power, the Sono wall box will feature an integrated Type 2 charging cable capable of delivering (or supply) 11 kW AC to the car (and grid). Being bidirectional, i.e. vehicle-to-grid ready, the wall box will turn the Sion EV into a mobile power source able to feedback electricity into the grid or house.
With the product, Sono Motors says it was “fulfilling the community’s desire for an affordable wall charging station that is suitable for charging at home as well as for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H)”. While Sono does not set a price yet, being AC rather than DC like most bidirectional charging devices on the market, it should be cheaper, the Munich-based startup reports. As a benchmark, Sono mentions that comparable wall-mounted charging stations can cost up to €6,000 plus installation cost. However, in the case of the Sion wall box, the cost saving is in the alternating current, meaning Sono does not need an inverter in the wall box and can, therefore, “massively save costs here,” as the company points out. “This is expected to make our model up to 70% more affordable than DC devices,” Sono adds, meaning in the “lower four-digit range”.
For charging the electric car, Sono claims a full charge in five hours at home.
Wall box ready for V2X
The company also looks at the reverse functionality that will focus on vehicle-to-home (V2H) before V2G, mostly due to legislative constraints. The company is developing a home energy management system (HEMS) which Sono says takes control of when the Sion is charged and discharged. “The HEMS monitors the grid connection point to the house, and if, for example, you have a rooftop PV system and produce more electricity than you need, the Sion is charged using that excess,” explains the company. The communication works via ethernet or wifi (WLAN).
In terms of the electric car supplying the house, Sono estimates the car’s battery to hold enough energy to cover an average household consumption of 10 kWh per day for four people for up to five days. The battery has a capacity of 54 kWh. For comparison, a stationary home storage unit usually has a 5-15 kWh capacity. But, of course, it all depends on the actual individual power consumption.
Talking about individuation, Sono Motors is currently running a survey where users can opt for one of three designs and two cable options online. The Sono Wallbox was developed together with German manufacturer Kostal. Like with the Sion solar car, the charging device can be reserved free of charge, with deliveries set for 2023. The company is currently holding about 14,000 reservations for the upcoming electric car.
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