Three-year old Spanish start-up Wallbox, a manufacturer of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment, which began operations in the UK in September 2018, is to introduce the first-ever DC EV charger for residential users.
The company is also unveiling speech recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) software, which it says will simplify the management of EV charging. And adding important upgrades across its range of domestic and public space charging systems, including online payment.
The new DC charger utilises energy created and stored in the home, directly to the EV through a CCS or ChaDeMo connector. It says as home generation (electricity) and storage now becoming much more cost effective considerations as EV range and battery size increase and reduce ROI (Return on Investment) timescales.
Wallbox says its 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 charger is lightweight and compact enough to fit within a domestic setting, with the first sales planned for mid-2019.
The start-up says it is making it easier to manage EV charging at home, and 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, it says, is a unique two-tier combination of software technologies means that the user can speak directly to the home charging system and it will interpret the requirements in the most energy efficient manner. For instance, the user 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.
At present Wallbox operates in 30 markets around Europe and overseas, which includes New Zealand and China. The company says it is nearing the 20,000 installation mark across all markets and sees the UK as one of its most important growth opportunities. The company has over 80 employees and growing, with over half of the workforce involved in software and hardware development.