We were impressed with Wallbox's Quasar bi-directional DC charger when we first saw it at CES in January. We now learn that we weren't the only people impressed with it, as the Quasar was named a winner in the 2020 Edison Awards for the Energy & Sustainability category.
"With the US market being so focused on home-charging, new technologies that cater to both the desire for bidirectional and home charging look poised to take off. For instance, Wallbox’s new bidirectional Quasar charger, launching in the US later this year, should cater to this new trend and contribute to expanding its appeal beyond commercial and research-led pilot projects to the domestic market." - Doug Alfaro, Wallbox General Manager for North America.
We reached out to Doug Alfaro, General Manager of Wallbox North America to find out more about the Quasar and Wallbox's other EV charging options. Alfaro said we could expect the Quasar to be available in the North American market in late 2020. Initially, it will only be available with a CHAdeMO connector because currently, only the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are capable of bi-directional power flow.
However, Alfaro sounded very optimistic that EVs that currently use the Combo connector (CCS) will soon offer the same bi-directional functionality as the CHAdeMO-equipped vehicles currently do. Although Alfaro wouldn't specify any particular OEM as one that is working on adding this to their vehicles, he was clear that he expects to see bi-directional EV power flow to be common in the industry in the not-to-distant future.
The Quasar can deliver 7.4 kW to the vehicle and also return that same power to the home. So while it's a "DC charger", it's not a DC "fast" charger. DC fast chargers typically deliver at least 20 kW to a car, and some of the ultra-high-speed units can deliver up to 350 kW in some units.
Quasar's Key Features and Benefits
- Two-way charging: Wallbox's Quasar is a global first—the first bidirectional charger exclusively for your home with this advanced technology. Previously this bidirectional technology was only available at three times the price in very large formats in pilot projects used in fleet depots. Wallbox's team of engineers found an innovative way to make this technology available for consumers in a sleek and compact size with high efficiency and at a significantly lower price.
- Sustainable consumption: Quasar is also compatible with solar and battery storage systems to bring the ultimate optimization between your home, vehicle, renewable energy generation, and the grid. It offers the unique possibility to store excess energy in your EV, and use it when you need it.
- Saves you money long-term: Quasar brings new technology to the home and is also the only charger to be able to provide a return on investment over time by optimizing when and how you use your energy or by providing energy services to the utility grid similar to how solar panels can generate a payback for the energy put back into the grid.
- Control with an app: Quasar works with a mobile app (iOS and Android) and energy management platform that helps you manage your bidirectional usage. It works in tandem with your utility grid and your energy management system in your home (thermostat, lights, etc.). As a Quasar owner, you can easily set parameters on how much you want your EV battery to be used so that you never have to worry about your car being completely drained.
- Easy to access with facial recognition, touchscreen and gesture recognition: Quasar also features optional advanced facial recognition and gesture control technology which is convenient for access, allowing you security and the flexibility to propagate accounts to friends and neighbors. In addition to facial recognition, Quasar can also authenticate using Bluetooth proximity, the Wallbox app, and RFID.
Wallbox's other offering will come first
While the Quasar might be the more exciting product we'll see from Wallbox, it won't be the only one. That's because Wallbox will be offering the Pulsar Plus, a 40-amp 240 V level 2 wall-mounted EVSE in a couple of months. The Pulsar plus is an extremely compact EVSE, measuring only 6.5" by 6'5", making it the smallest 40-amp wall connector that we know of.
The Pulsar Plus comes with a remote connector holster and the unit is slanted on top to allow the cable to coil up around the top of the device without falling off when not in use. InsideEVs will be getting a Pulsar Plus as soon as they become available for a comprehensive review.
As bidirectional charging offers us the possibility to store energy from renewable sources for later use, it will help us to move towards a more sustainable, renewably-powered future. Apart from the potential to save money by giving the user a choice of which energy to use and when, it can also have a return on investment for car owners who can actually sell excess energy or other grid services from their EV back to the grid. - Doug Alfaro, Wallbox General Manager for North America.
A portable Powerwall
We're also looking forward to getting our hands on a Quasar and hope to do so before year's end. Of course, we'll have to arrange for a loan of wither a Nissan LEAF or a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to test out how well the unit works. The Quasar basically turns your car into a huge Powerwall. There are advantages to having a permanently-fixed energy storage unit like the Powerwall, but the Quasar can be a viable option for those who's biggest concern is emergency power for their home during a crisis, and optimize the use of solar generation, for those that have solar arrays.
For comparison, Tesla's Powerwall 2 has a 14 kWh battery. A Nissan LEAF Plus has a 62 kWh battery, which has more than four times the amount of energy storage than a Powerwall. At a cost of $4,000, the Quasar isn't cheap. However, compared to the cost of a Powerwall, which costs around $10,000 with basic installation, and up to $15,000 with a more complicated install, the Quasar is much more affordable.
We'd like to know what do you think. Would you spring $4,000 for a home charger that would offer you the capability to power your home when needed? Let us know in the comment section below.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Wallbox, a smart charging company and leading manufacturer of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Europe, today announced that Quasar was named a winner in the Energy & Sustainability category for the 2020 Edison Awards. The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Alva Edison, recognizes and honors the world's best innovations and innovators.
Quasar is the world's first bidirectional EV charger for the home.
"At Wallbox we see a future in which our societies can rely on renewable energy instead of fossil fuel. We are committed to making charging as simple as possible so that more people can use electric vehicles. However, our vision expands beyond charging, because making this shift requires more intelligent and efficient energy management. Quasar allows users to connect their vehicles, home and grid to use energy more efficiently. That means it also allows you to feed energy stored in your EV batteries' back to your home or to the grid when it is needed," said Enric Asunción, CEO of Wallbox. "Our team worked incredibly hard to build a bidirectional charger like Quasar for the home, something the world has never seen before, and we are extremely honored that our innovation is now being recognized by the esteemed Edison Awards."
Quasar is the world's first bidirectional charger designed for the home. It not only charges EVs but can also send electricity back to the grid or even power a home. Previously, this bidirectional technology was only available at three times the price in very large formats in pilot projects used in fleet depots. Wallbox's team of engineers developed an innovative way to make this technology available for consumers in a sleek and compact size at a significantly lower price.
Quasar works with a mobile application (iOS and Android) and an energy management platform that makes it easy for the user to control the charger and all its functionalities. Quasar allows the user to easily set parameters of when they want the battery of their electric vehicle to be used to power their home.
Quasar also features advanced facial recognition and gesture control technology, allowing the security and flexibility to share accounts with friends and neighbors. In addition to facial recognition, Quasar can also authenticate using Bluetooth proximity, the Wallbox app, and RFID.
Among the nomination entries comprising the best products, services, and businesses in innovation for the year 2020, Quasar was chosen as a winner by a panel of over 3,000 leading business executives from around the world.
"After a thorough review, the Edison Awards Judges recognize Quasar as a game-changing innovation standing out among the best new products and services launched in their category," said Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of the Edison Awards.
Wallbox was founded in 2015 by Enric Asunción and Eduard Castañeda. Wallbox designs, develops and manufactures intelligent charging solutions for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids for both domestic and business use. Its customers include leading automobile manufacturers and major electricity utilities. Research, technical development, product testing and manufacturing are all carried out at the Barcelona headquarters, where Wallbox has a large engineering team and a production capacity of 100,000 chargers per year. Wallbox currently has subsidiaries in Europe (Spain), North America (California), and China.
More information can be found at https://wallbox.com.
About the Edison Awards
The Edison Awards is the world's most revered Innovation Award dedicated to recognizing and honoring the best in innovation and innovators since 1987. For more information about the Edison Awards complete program and a list of past winners, visit www.edisonawards.com.