If you own an electric or hybrid vehicle, or are in the market for one, chances are you’ll have fitted (or will need to install) a charging point at home And just as the technology of batteries in electric vehicles is constantly improving, so is the technology to charge them.
Wallbox is probably one of the most well-known charging providers in the UK, and the company has upgraded both their Pulsar and Commander models with new functionalities, better safety and improved toughness. But why would you shell out for a specific charger when you can simply plug your EV into the mains to charge. For a start, charging is far quicker than with a conventional plug, and a Wallbox is compatible with all domestic installations and all plug-in electric vehicles, making it hassle-free and versatile.
Pulsar is Wallbox’s best-selling charger – it’s compact, economical, designed specifically for the home and works with both Type 1 and Type 2 cables. But Wallbox have given it a makeover and come up with the Pulsar Plus. This new model includes the extra protection offered by DC leakage detection (when the current streams from the equipment to the ground or elsewhere), which eliminates the risk of energy stored in the vehicle’s battery from entering the grid supply. This means it complies with the introduction of new installation standards. It’s available up to the maximum domestic charging power of 22kW, making it one of the quickest and smartest chargers available.
Where the Pulsar has Bluetooth connectivity, the Plus also boasts wi-fi connectivity too. This allows it to access the real time and dynamic Power Boost and Power Sharing functionalities available from the myWallbox charging management platform. What that means to the regular person is that Power Boost will charge you EV’s battery faster when more power is available, and Power Sharing allows a balance between vehicles charging in the same location so one person can’t hog all the power. Fair’s fair, we suppose…
The myWallbox platform is accessed via mobile app and PC. It is free for domestic users and allows charging to be managed remotely – increasing and decreasing charging rates, locking and unlocking the device, scheduling charging sessions and providing comprehensive user history and statistics. The Pulsar Plus starts from £1079 (Government grant discount included).
Next up is an upgrade for the Commander model, unimaginatively named Commander 2. The biggest difference here is the addition of a super-tough glass touchscreen made by Gorilla, as well as the DC leakage detection and Power Sharing functions found in the Pulsar Plus.
Commander 2 can be accessed with a simple user pin number or RFID (radio frequency identification) card and the charger can be managed remotely via ethernet, wi-fi or mobile communication. It has both Type 1 and Type 2 connectivity and is Wallbox’s most powerful charger, making it best for shared parking areas and commercial locations. Unlike the Pulsar and Pulsar Plus, the Commander 2 has full colour screen. There’s no specifics on price yet, but expect it to be more expensive than the first-generation Commander model, which starts at £1409.
We’ve saved the best for last, though – the world’s first commercially available bi-directional DC electric vehicle charger designed specifically for home. Essentially what this means is that there can now be seamless movement between home-energy production, storage and vehicle charging. Energy harnessed at home, such as that created with solar panels, can be used to charge your car thanks to the charger’s ability to reconcile the alternating (AC) and direct (DC) energy that flows between various energy sources. Wallbox expects to bring this to market in mid-2019, but prices are yet to be finalized.
For more information go to uk.wallbox.com or call 020 3808 7682.