Smart charging stations for the eFuture: ghostONE, the intelligent wallbox
The eFuture has already started
The world of mobility is undergoing a significant transformation due to the dynamic development of electric vehicles. Growing awareness of environmental responsibility and the promotion of sustainable energy solutions have made electric cars a permanent fixture in our society. A key component of this development is the wallbox – an indispensable device for any electric car owner and businesses with substantial on-site parking. The intelligent wallbox, which has evolved from the conventional charging station concept, now plays an increasingly important role in this dynamic sector.
But what exactly is an intelligent wallbox?
Intelligent wallboxes are small marvels of technology that use intelligent functions to optimise the charging process for electric cars. From adapting charging power to integration into smart home systems, they offer a wide range of options that go beyond simple charging. Unlike conventional charging stations, intelligent wallboxes can be connected to home Wi-Fi or LAN networks, enabling a variety of smart control and monitoring functions. While some might still think that a wallbox is just an electric car charger, it has in fact already become a central interface within the smart home. It connects photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, electric cars and the power grid in such a way that energy can be utilised and distributed efficiently. There is enormous potential. For OEMs, it’s a key product for positioning themselves in dynamic new markets relating to the energy transition, sector coupling and smart homes. But not every wallbox is suitable for this.
Key features of intelligent wallboxes
Advanced intelligent wallboxes have revolutionised the world of electric vehicle charging. They offer a core charging option but go far beyond this with a range of innovative features. These innovative devices differ from standard charging stations in a number of ways and are specifically designed to meet the needs of today’s electric car owners.
One of the intelligent wallbox’s key features is its dynamic charging power. The ability to adapt charging power to the capacity of the electric vehicle in question is crucial for efficient and safe charging. The wallbox automatically recognises how much power the vehicle can take and adjusts the charging speed accordingly. This is particularly important as different electric car models have different charging capacities. The intelligent wallbox also takes into account the availability of domestic power. When more energy becomes available (e.g. solar power from a photovoltaic system), the wallbox can charge faster, while at peak load times it reduces its charging speed to help relieve demand on the electricity grid.
Universal compatibility is another key feature. Intelligent wallboxes are designed to work with a broad spectrum of electric car models. This flexibility is a major advantage for electric vehicle owners as they’re not restricted to one make or model. Universal compatibility also means that they are ready for any future vehicle models, making them a long-term and sustainable investment.
Security is a further important aspect. Intelligent wallboxes are equipped with advanced cyber security features to prevent unauthorised access, e.g. by hackers. Personal data, which is collected during the billing process, is thereby protected. Potential restrictions on the wallbox’s functions as a result of a hacker attack can also be avoided. On top of this, many models offer functions such as remote monitoring and control, which provides users with an extra level of security and convenience.
ISO 15118, titled “Road vehicles – Vehicle to grid communication interface”, is a pioneering set of international standards. This set defines standards for bidirectional communication between electric vehicles and charging stations. A central aspect of this standard is its promotion of the innovative “Vehicle to Grid” concept, which enables seamless energy flow management between vehicles and the electricity grid. ISO 15118 also simplifies the charging process through the implementation of “Plug & Charge”. This function automates the authorisation and billing of charging processes by using vehicle-stored payment data, which results in a smooth and user-friendly charging process.
What’s inside an intelligent wallbox?
Energy efficiency and use of solar power
An impressive feature of intelligent wallboxes is their ability to maximise energy efficiency. The integration of solar power plays a particularly important part in this respect and has significant advantages. Intelligent wallboxes can be connected to photovoltaic (PV) systems to use solar power generated directly on rooftops. This means that electric cars can be charged with environmentally friendly, renewable electricity, which not only brings down electricity costs but also reduces the user’s environmental footprint.
Smart home integration
A further notable advantage of intelligent wallboxes is their seamless integration into smart home systems. This integration allows users to control their wallboxes as part of a connected and automated household. As users can control their wallbox via a smartphone app or even voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, they can start, stop or schedule the charging process without having to be physically present at a charging station. As well as offering maximum convenience, this type of connectivity also makes it possible to efficiently integrate the charging process into everyday life. Charging can, for example, be set to take place during hours when demand for electricity is at its lowest or when there is plenty of solar power available, thereby further reducing costs and maximising the use of renewable energy. Integration into smart home systems also offers advanced monitoring and reporting options. Users can get detailed insights into their energy consumption, which in turn helps to improve energy management and save costs in the long term. Users are empowered to make more mindful decisions about their energy use with access to real-time data on charging and energy usage patterns.
Adaptability and the eFuture
The world of electromobility is constantly evolving and smart wallboxes are designed to keep up with developments. Their adaptability is one of the key features that sets them apart from conventional charging stations. Intelligent wallboxes can be updated with the latest features and safety standards through regular software updates, which makes them a future-proof investment. Such upgrades typically include improved charging algorithms, enhanced compatibility with new vehicle models and improved home energy system integration. The ability to adapt to future technologies also means that smart wallboxes are able to keep up with new developments in the automotive and energy industry, such as advances in battery technologies and changes in charging standards. This provides users with the assurance that their investment will remain relevant and valuable for years to come.
Costs and cost-effectiveness
Incorporating an intelligent wallbox into the home or business environment offers the potential for significant operational cost savings above and beyond the initial purchase cost. These wallboxes allow end users to charge their electric vehicles more efficiently and cost-effectively, especially if used in conjunction with a photovoltaic system. Utilising solar power can substantially reduce the cost of charging an electric car compared to charging with conventional grid electricity. This is an environmentally friendly energy solution and offers financial savings at the same time.
Incorporating an intelligent wallbox into the home or business environment offers the potential for significant operational cost savings above and beyond the initial purchase cost.
These wallboxes allow end users to charge their electric vehicles more efficiently and cost-effectively, especially if used in conjunction with a photovoltaic system. Utilising solar power can substantially reduce the cost of charging an electric car compared to charging with conventional grid electricity. This is an environmentally friendly energy solution and offers financial savings at the same time.
Taking into account the overall lifespan of an intelligent wallbox and the savings it offers, it becomes clear that this is a worthwhile investment. The combination of lower operating costs, savings through the use of renewable energy and the contribution to carbon footprint reductions makes the decision to install a smart wallbox a sound one, both in financial and environmental terms.
Challenges and solutions
Grid load and energy management
One of the biggest challenges is the potential load on the grid caused by simultaneous charging of multiple electric vehicles. Intelligent wallboxes address this problem through integrated energy management systems. These systems enable the efficient distribution of energy by controlling the charging process based on the current grid load and the energy requirements of households. They also offer functions such as peak load capping and the option to prioritise the use of solar power, which help to lessen the load on electricity grids and promote the use of renewable energies.
User experience and usability
The user experience is also a key aspect. Intelligent wallboxes need to be user-friendly and intuitive to operate if they are to be widely accepted. Manufacturers are consequently focussing on developing clear, simple user interfaces and apps that facilitate easy interaction and monitoring of the charging process. Incorporating features such as remote control access, real-time feedback and customised settings significantly improves the user experience.
Outlook and developments
The future of intelligent wallboxes looks promising thanks to ongoing developments regarding technology and functionality. Research and development is focussing on the integration of AI algorithms for improved energy management, support for new vehicle technologies and further connectivity with smart home systems. These developments centre on making the charging process even more efficient, safe and user-friendly.
eFuture in one box: ghostONE
The ghostONE wallbox combines innovative technology with a user-friendly design.
It not only reflects the latest technological developments, but also the growing importance of OEM partnerships within the industry.
The ghostONE wallbox sets itself apart with a number of features that make it a top choice in the world of intelligent charging stations. It offers a user-friendly charging experience thanks to its advanced charging capacity and ability to integrate seamlessly into existing energy and smart home systems. Stand-out features include dynamic load distribution, which enables several vehicles to be charged efficiently at the same time, and an intuitive user interface that allows easy monitoring and control of the charging process. The integration of renewable energy sources such as solar energy is another notable feature that makes the ghostONE exceptionally appealing to environmentally conscious consumers. The intelligent wallbox can automatically adapt the charging process to maximise the use of renewable energy, thereby lowering operating costs and reducing environmental impact.
Competitive advantage for OEMs
Having an intelligent wallbox as part of your portfolio can be a significant competitive advantage. The fact is that more and more people are looking to charge their electric cars with solar power – as the recent surge in KfW Development Bank subsidies has shown. A study carried out by the consulting firm Deloitte revealed that Germans in particular (75%) are keen to charge their electric cars at home. One in three Germans would actually prefer to use electricity from renewable sources. The ghostONE wallbox therefore offers OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) an exceptional opportunity to expand their services in the field of electromobility. By offering this advanced wallbox under their own brand name, car manufacturers, energy companies and others can strengthen their brand image and create stronger customer loyalty. Businesses should keep the following criteria in mind when choosing a wallbox:
- All aspects of the important ISO 15118 standard have been implemented.
- The wallbox adapts to brand identity in its capacity as a white label product.
- The manufacturer has a presence in various sectors.
Comparison with other models
Compared to other wallboxes on the market, the ghostONE distinguishes itself through its combination of advanced technology, usability and design. While many wallbox models offer standard charging options, the ghostONE raises the bar in terms of smart technology integration, energy efficiency and adaptability. Its ability to adapt to different usage scenarios while offering maximum security and reliability makes it a preferred choice for both OEMs and their customers.
A look into the future
The future of electromobility is intrinsically linked to the development of intelligent wallboxes. These devices, like the ghostONE, represent a paradigm shift in the way we consume and manage electricity. They encapsulate the transition to smarter, more efficient and more sustainable electric vehicle charging and are an essential component in the smart city and home ecosystems of tomorrow. Their ongoing evolution will not only improve charging infrastructure, but also make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions.
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