Award-Winning Wallbox Quasar Home DC Charger Coming To U.S. This Year
It will charge your EV and power your home.
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.