sonnen connects thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) via a large-scale virtual power plant, enabling up to 15,000 km of free power per year for sonnenCommunity members
sonnen, a portfolio company of eCAPITAL, connects thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) via a large-scale virtual power plant, enabling up to 15,000 km of free power per year for sonnenCommunity members
The sonnenCharger makes energy from solar generation accessible for EVs and largely frees drivers from the costs of petrol and grid electricity. For the first time, it simultaneously connects EVs to a large-scale virtual power plant, integrating them as a flexible load in the power grid.
The sonnenCharger connects clean energy and EVs to an infrastructure that is the first of its kind.
The smart-charging wallbox allows EVs to be fuelled directly using solar power or from energy stored in the sonnenBatterie. There are two main settings: charging is either optimized for speed or it maximizes the amount of self-generated solar energy used. This can be conveniently controlled using the easy-to-use sonnenCharger app.
However, the truly new and unique feature is that the sonnenCharger connects vehicles to the sonnenCommunity. This makes EVs a part of sonnen’s virtual power plant, currently consisting of clean energy sources, sonnenBatteries and the network of sonnenCommunity members. For example, should a member not have sufficient solar power to charge their EV they can use excess energy from other sonnenCommunity members to cover their shortfall. This effectively merges e-mobility with clean energy generation.
“With our pool of sonnenBatteries, we are already connecting thousands of energy storage systems into the world's largest virtual power plant of its kind. With the sonnenCharger, we can now also bring electric vehicles into the system, offering benefits to both utilities and consumers alike” says Philipp Schröder, Sales and Marketing Director at sonnen.
As members of the sonnenCommunity, owners of EVs benefit from the sonnenFlat, one of sonnen’s flagship energy services. The sonnenFlat 8000 provides households with up to 8,000 kWh of free electricity per year. Based on an estimated consumption of 5,000 kWh, a household is left with 3,000 kWh for their electric car, corresponding to a driving distance of 15,000 – 17,000 km. This allows them to not only save money on fuel but also to remain largely unaffected by increasing energy prices.
Connecting vehicles via the sonnenCommunity also helps deal with another problem caused by increasing number of electric cars.
“E-mobility can only succeed if it becomes an active part of the energy system. Many local power grids are not set up to accommodate the increasing number of electric cars. Instead of spending millions for installing bigger and bigger cables, we are offering a sustainable solution that integrates electric cars into the grid to intelligently control their charging and reduce the strain on distribution grids” says Schröder.
As well as relieving pressure on local grids with a smart charging system, EVs will also become part of sonnen’s storage pool by acting as virtual batteries and absorbing excess wind energy, for example. This prevents needless regulation or curtailment of renewable energy generation, allowing their continued growth without overburdening power grids.
sonnen already connects thousands of residential energy storage systems via the world’s largest decentralised battery pool, increasing flexibility and stabilizing fluctuations due to intermittent energy generation from solar and wind.
The sonnenCharger can be ordered now and will be ready for shipping starting in Q2 2018. All current EVs can be charged with up to 22 kW using a Type 2 connector. The sonnenCharger is free for all new members of the sonnenCommunity alongside the sonnenFlat 8000, saving costs while moving towards the future of clean, independent mobility.
The sonnen group is the worldwide market leader for energy storage and operator of the largest energy sharing platform. As one of the fastest growing companies in Germany and Europe, sonnen has received numerous international awards for its technology. In a ranking of the “Top 50 Smartest Companies 2016” by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), sonnen was listed alongside Amazon, Facebook and Tesla. Investors in the Bavarian company include the US technology corporation General Electric. sonnen already supplies over 100,000 people globally with energy. The sonnenCommunity is an online network based on the blockchain idea for sharing self-generated energy.
eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG is a Münster-based alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) in accordance with EU-directive EuVECA. As a leading German venture capital firm, eCAPITAL has supported innovative entrepreneurs in future-oriented industries since 1999. The firm focuses on rapidly growing companies in the areas of Software / IT, Cleantech, Industry 4.0 and New Materials. Currently, eCAPITAL manages six funds with a total of 220 million euros under management. Find more information under www.ecapital.de/en
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