The California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Clean Transportation Program provides up to $100 million in annual funding to support 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.
EV charging company Wallbox recently 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 CEC REDWDS grant.
The proposed awards of $2.2M in Phase 1 funding by the CEC Clean Transportation Program will support the companies’ plan to offer Wallbox’s bidirectional Quasar 2 with the Bidirectional Energy EV charger management platform, starting in the first half of 2024.
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.
“We’re excited to work with Bidirectional Energy and the CEC to accelerate the development and deployment of bidirectional charging to quickly respond to dynamic grid signals. Bidirectional charging can offer long-term benefits to users, grid operators, and utilities and will accelerate the transition to California renewable energy sources,” said Brett Graessle, Wallbox VP of Global Partnerships and Business Development.
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.
“Bidirectional EVs are critical to solving the massive scalability challenges facing the US electric grid. We are excited to partner with Wallbox to get bidirectional chargers installed in people’s homes, and help EV owners earn passive income by selling energy from their idle EV batteries. Together, we’ll leverage EVs to make our power grid more reliable and reduce total carbon emissions on the grid,” said Angela Zhang, CEO of Bidirectional Energy.
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 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, over 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.
Wallbox estimates that Quasar 2 together with the Bidirectional Energy platform can potentially earn users yearly energy bill savings of over $1,000 when combined with utility Demand Response programs and time-of-use utility rates.
A cool Quasar 2 function is 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.
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