Smart EV charger uses surplus solar power to charge your car for free
13For those people with both an electric car and solar panels (or a wind turbine), sunny (or windy) days can be frustrating because surplus power is being fed back into the grid rather than charging their car.
New British company MyEnergi has the solution with the Zappi Eco-Smart EV charger.
While Fast mode enables you to charge your car at 7kW* like any other domestic charger, Zappi can also work in either of two eco modes. Both vary the amount of power going to the car as the output of the solar panels changes, but while the first, Eco mode, continues to charge the car using some grid energy, the second, Eco+ mode, pauses charging when there isn’t enough surplus power.
So if you want to charge your car for free, you plug the car in, choose Eco+ mode and hope the sun comes out.
There is also a boost feature which allows you to set the times at which your car will charge in fast mode. With this, you can take advantage of an Economy tariff if you have one (like Economy 7) to charge when the electricity is cheaper.
Zappi is the only EV charger on the market which saves money in this way and thus pays for itself over time.
Available now with either a type 1 or 2 connector, Zappi costs a reasonable £495. Installation has to be organised by the home owner, but buyers can apply for an OLEV grant to bring the costs down. (OLEV - Office for Low Emmission Vehicles).
AVForums founder Stuart Wright recently purchased Zappi and companion product Eddi (which powers his immersion heater) and made this video about the installation, which was the first of both products together.
*7kW is the maximum on a single phase electricity supply. Some cars are limited to charging with a lower wattage.
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