German battery and solar start-up sonnen to give away home EV chargers in a bid to encourage adoption of home energy systems
Although a massive build-out of public charging infrastructure will be essential to realising the growth of EVs, consumers will also be able to take advantage of more flexible options for charging at home.
Seeing an opportunity, German battery start-up sonnen is now giving away free electric car plugs to customers, allowing them to power up their EV or PHEV based on electricity they generate from their rooftop and/or store in a home battery system.
The 22-kilowatt sonnenCharger works in tandem with sonnen’s modular sonnenBatterie systems, which are available in sizes from 2-16 kWh (expanded in steps of 2 kWh). The charger can also be set to charge at fast or slow rates, or at specific times. With a large enough user base, this could help to manage peak loads in the grid, ensuring that demand for power does not exceed local generation and infrastructure – one of the overriding concerns about widespread uncoordinated home charging.
The charger is then linked to a mobile data app and the internet, creating a community of sonnen customers who are able to share power production, consumption and storage.
Sonnen even aims to market unused electricity from customers’ solar panels to the grid, and to market the EV battery capacity to absorb extra renewable energy such as wind power. “Access to car batteries would give us additional storage capacity,” sonnen’s Philipp Schroeder told Reuters.
This allows customers to buy power at a guaranteed volume and price. The news agency reported that a flat 8,000 kWh per year tariff could supply 5,000 kWh to power the average four-person home, and a further 3,000 kWh for EV charging.
First deliveries of the sonnenCharger are expected by the end of June.