Wallbox is working with Kia America to bring its bidirectional charger, Quasar 2, to Kia’s EV9 customers starting in the first half of 2024.
The Quasar 2 charger allows EV owners to both charge their vehicles and discharge energy to power their homes or send energy back into the grid. A Kia EV9 can store more than five times the energy of a standard 13.5 kilowatt-hour home storage system, and it can power a typical household for up to four days. Wallbox estimates that this ability, combined with utility Demand Response programs and time-of-use utility rates, can save users over $1,000 per year.
“We’re excited to work with Kia America toward our shared vision for accelerating electrification and transforming how we harness and interact with energy,” said Enric Asunción, CEO and co-founder of Wallbox. “Bidirectional charging can offer long-term benefits to users, grid operators, utilities and will accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources. When combined with an EV capable of bidirectional charging, such as Kia’s advanced EV9, Quasar 2 offers one of the most functional and affordable home energy management solutions on the market.”
Bidirectional Charging Saves Money, Helps During Power Outages
Bidirectional charging allows for EVs to act as backup generators during power outages. The Quasar 2 charger has a power recovery mode that automatically switches a home’s power source from the grid to their vehicle, using the EV’s battery to power the home.
Power outages in the U.S. have become increasingly prevalent due to increases in extreme weather events and other climate change-related factors, costing the country about $150 billion annually according to the DOE. This power backup ability has therefore become increasingly necessary and can help improve grid resilience.
Bidirectional charging users may also benefit from time-of-use utility rates in the U.S. By scheduling charging sessions at times when energy prices are low and discharging the vehicle to power one’s home when prices are high, users can further enhance the economic and energy-saving impact of vehicle-to-home technology.
The partnership between Kia and Wallbox follows a bidirectional charging expansion from GM that will make available vehicle-to-home bidirectional charging for all Ultium-based electric vehicles by model year 2026. Innovative EV infrastructure like bidirectional charging and a widely accessible EV charging grid are crucial as the EV market continues to grow.