Wallbox and Bidirectional Energy selected by California Energy Commission for proposed awards to deploy V2X chargers across California
Wallbox announced a partnership with Bidirectional Energy, a bidirectional EV energy management software platform, that has culminated in both companies being selected to receive significant funding from the highly competitive California Energy Commission (CEC) REDWDS grant. The companies plan to offer Wallbox’s second-generation DC bidirectional charger, Quasar 2, with the Bidirectional Energy EV charger management platform, starting in the first half of 2024.
The California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Clean Transportation Program provides up to $100 million in annual funding to support innovation and accelerate the development and deployment of advanced transportation and fuel technologies throughout the state. The REDWDS (Responsive, Easy Charging Products with Dynamic Signals) grant accelerates the development and deployment of easy-to-use charging products, which helps customers manage electric vehicle (EV) charging and respond to dynamic grid signals.
Bidirectional Energy and Wallbox have been proposed for awards of $2.2 million in Phase 1 funding by the CEC Clean Transportation Program. When the awards are confirmed, the partnership between Bidirectional Energy and Wallbox will be able to deploy Quasar 2 bidirectional chargers in California residential homes, as well as offer installation solutions via COIL, a Wallbox company.
Through the Bidirectional Energy platform, EV owners can potentially save money on their monthly utility bill as well as benefit from various utilities’ vehicle-to-grid programs, all while their EV is parked at home. The V2X (vehicle-to-everything) system can also keep the lights on when the grid goes down, providing extra resilience to homeowners. If the project is successful, additional funding will be made available through a second phase to continue deploying bidirectional chargers across California for an additional three years.
In July this year, Wallbox was selected to join the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle-to-Everything (“V2X”) Memorandum of Understanding as part of its latest round of signatories. The collaboration brings together cutting-edge resources from the DOE, DOE national labs, state and local governments, utilities and private entities to evaluate and accelerate technical and economic feasibility of vehicle-grid integration (VGI), including bidirectional charging, into energy infrastructure.
Quasar 2 is a next-generation 11.5kW bidirectional charger that will enable EV owners to charge and discharge their electric vehicle to power their home, vehicle-to-home (“V2H”) or send energy back to the grid, vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”). The partnership between Bidirectional Energy and Wallbox unlocks access to the V2G programs, providing additional revenue streams to EV owners. On average EVs can hold between 76 and 100kWh of energy, more than 5x the amount of energy of a standard 13.5kWh home storage system, and power a typical household’s energy consumption for up to four days, removing the need for expensive home energy storage systems.
Quasar 2’s innovation extends to its Power Recovery feature, which was designed specifically for the acute need for backup power, allowing users to transform their EV into a powerful generator in the event of a power outage or blackout. With the use of the Power Recovery Unit Quasar 2 automatically switches the user’s power source from the grid to their vehicle, providing a critical load to a home during a potential emergency.
Last year, California alone witnessed 39 power outages and more than 414 hours of total outage time. Across the US, unforeseen power outages cost the U.S. economy $150 billion annually. This feature also illustrates that EV chargers can go beyond energy efficiency and grid services.
Wallbox estimates that Quasar 2 together with the Bidirectional Energy platform can potentially earn users yearly energy bill savings of more than $1,000 when combined with utility Demand Response programs and time-of-use utility rates. By taking advantage of time-of-use utility rates in the US, users can enhance the impact of V2X technology by scheduling charging sessions when energy prices are low and discharging their cars to power their homes when prices are high. Users with solar panel installations can also store excess solar energy in their EV during low usage periods and then harness this energy at another time, including peak periods, to reduce their reliance on the grid and accelerate the uptake of renewable energy.