USA: Wallbox and Kia partner on bidirectional charging
Barcelona-based Wallbox Chargers and Kia America are working together to enable bidirectional charging for customers driving a Kia EV9. Drivers could thus use the electric car to power their homes or feed energy into the grid – and reduce their electricity bill.
Wallbox will offer its second-generation bidirectional DC charger called Quasar 2 starting in the first half of 2024. In the case of a power outage, the charger’s ‘Power Recovery Mode’ switches on automatically, turning the EV into a power source. The Kia EV9 features a 76 to 100 kWh battery, while – according to Wllbox – a standard home storage system only holds 13.5 kWh. The Kia could thus “power a typical household energy consumption for up to four days, removing the need for expensive home energy storage systems.”
Moreover, Wallbox estimates that customers could save more than 1,000 dollars annually in energy costs if bidirectional charging is combined with time-of-use utility rates or Demand Response programs. The car could be charged when electricity is cheap and be used as an energy source when energy is expensive.
“We’re excited to work with Kia America toward our shared vision for accelerating electrification and transforming how we harness and interact with energy,” said Enric Asunción, CEO and co-founder of Wallbox. “Bidirectional charging can offer long-term benefits to users, grid operators, and utilities and will accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources. When combined with an EV capable of bidirectional charging, such as Kia’s advanced EV9, Quasar 2 offers one of the most functional and affordable home energy management solutions on the market.”
Wallbox is based in Barcelona, Spain. It was founded in 2015 and has offices in Europe, Asia and America. The company is also Fisker’s and Nissan’s home charging partner in the US. The Quasar, the predecessor of the Quasar 2, was first introduced at the CES in January 2020 in Las Vegas.