Wallbox demonstrates next-gen bidirectional charging for first time using Kia EV9 [Video]

Weeks after announcing a collaboration with Kia America to bring bidirectional charging capabilities to EV9 drivers, Wallbox has demonstrated the potential of its technology first hand. Today, the energy management technology company posted a video you can see below that showcases its Quasar 2 home EV charger not only charging an EV9, but also using the SUV to power home devices the opposite direction as well as other intuitive features. Check it out.

Wallbox ($WBX) describes itself as a developer of “advanced electric vehicle charging and energy management systems that redefine the relationship between users and the network.” In less than a decade since being founded, Wallbox’s portfolio of commercial and public EV charging solutions has expanded to several EV chargers and accessories, now available in over 115 different countries.

Its current lineup includes a 400kW DC fast charger we saw during a visit to Wallbox’s newest facility in Texas last fall, which can deliver 100 miles of range in five minutes of charging. We also got a look at the Quasar 2, a new home 11.5 kW EV charger presented by Wallbox this past January that offers a CCS-combo DC charger with bi-directional charging that enables vehicle-to-home (V2H) capabilities.

Not many electric vehicles being built today support bidirectional charging just yet, but the 800V E-GMP platform designed by Hyundai Motor Group certainly does, one of its best selling points in our opinion. One vehicle that currently sits atop the E-GMP platform is the Kia EV9 SUV, which is just starting to begin deliveries in North America.

In late August, Wallbox announced it is working with Kia to give EV9 drivers access to its Quasar 2 home charger, offering the potential opportunity for bidirectional charging. It’s one thing to know the technology is available and another to see it in action. “Show don’t tell,” as we used to say in the Hollywood.

Today, Wallbox is showcasing its Quasar 2 charger connected to an EV9, and its capabilities are something special.

Wallbox charging
Credit: Wallbox

Watch Wallbox’s Quasar 2 demonstrate V2H charging

Following the initial announcement of its collaboration with Kia and the EV9, Wallbox’s chief business officer Douglas Alfaro visited Hyundai Motor Group’s proving grounds in California to plug the company’s Quasar 2 into the EV9 and truly demonstrate how it works. According to Wallbox, this is the first time it has live demonstrated its bidrectional charging technology in the US.

As you can see in the video below, Alfaro starts pretty standard, plugging the Quasar 2 into a Kia EV9, which automatically commences charging the SUV. On a table next to the charger, Wallbox set up several devices representing common energy users in a home – lights, air, appliances, etc.

Here’s where things get interesting. Alfaro cuts the grid power and you can see the Wallbox charger automatically recognize the shortage and switch direction of the charging – pulling from the EV9 to keep all the devices running.

As we’ve pointed out in the past, bidirectional charging like that in the Quasar 2 essentially empowers EV drivers with homes to turn their vehicle into a power bank. Another interesting fact to consider is that the Kia EV9 holds between 76-100 kWh of battery power depending on what configuration you buy – that’s a lot of backup power. Wallbox explains that the even the smaller pack in the Kia is more than 5-times the capacity of a standard home energy storage system (13.5 kWh), ensuring the lights can stay on longer during blackouts or inclement weather.

Grid power comes back, the Quasar 2 automatically switches back to charging the EV9, simple. The charger also recognizes peak energy demands on the grid and can automatically pause EV charging and wait for a later time in the evening when energy costs are down.

One last huge benefit is the Wallbox charger’s ability to deliver vehicle-to-grid capabilities as well, in which Kia EV9 owners could someday flush their excess vehicle energy directly into the local grid and potentially be paid for it.

As we pointed out in today’s other news about legacy automakers teaming up to bolster the grid in North America, there will be a lot of regulatory red tape to cut through before V2G becomes commonplace, but the technology already exists on both the EV and charging sides of the equations. Utility companies now need to optimize and allow for it.

Regardless, there are plenty of perks to bidirectional charging available to EV owners today, as demonstrated by Wallbox below. Have a look for yourself and let us know what you think.

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