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Date: September 26, 2023
Francisco Quatrin
By Francisco Quatrin
Spain
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Smart Wallboxes: “Those who install a charging point are considering having a photovoltaic panel”

Elis Álvarez González, CEO of Smart Wallboxes, comments on the trend that has emerged in Spain in 2023, where users have opted for the installation of panels in their homes to achieve better costs for charging their electric vehicles.
Smart Wallboxes promotes photovoltaic installations because it ultimately leads to creating self-sufficient homes.
Smart Wallboxes promotes photovoltaic installations because it ultimately leads to creating self-sufficient homes.

The increase in photovoltaic installations in Spain is an unstoppable reality. In 2023, there are already more than 200,000 homes generating their own energy.

This is happening in relation to the number of charging points installed in households across the country. Smart Wallboxes has noticed this phenomenon since they are involved in both areas.

“The person who installs a charging point, if they don’t have solar panels, is considering the installation of photovoltaics,” analyzes Elis Álvarez González, CEO of the company.

Elis Álvarez González, CEO of Smart Wallboxes.

In their view, what users achieve by making this decision is access to an extremely low cost of charging their electric car, combined with tariff benefits.

Once the cost of the panels is paid off, the car charging becomes essentially free.

Smart Wallboxes promotes this addition because it ultimately leads to creating self-sufficient homes, in addition to the benefits in charging.

We are talking about around 35% energy independence, and if batteries are added, it can reach almost 96%,” Álvarez emphasizes.

And if you only evaluate the cost of charging an urban-use electric vehicle (between 60 and 80 kilometers per day), it ends up being completely free.

This electric vehicle will be powered by the energy stored in the batteries, and it will be charged at night, as the user is typically at work during the day.

During the weekend, it can be charged during the day for a full charge.

Then it can be used for the rest of the week without needing to charge it, in fact, this is something that is being used “a lot,” and Smart Wallboxes has noticed it because it is becoming increasingly common to see solar panels on homes.

Furthermore, there is a preference for installing charging points that can connect directly to the inverter via WiFi or Bluetooth.

Smart Wallboxes’ Work with Solar Panels

“We integrate everything, from design and planning to development, installation, and the legalization of panels, batteries, and charging points,” explains the CEO of the company.

Now, with the arrival of new storage batteries, the company has managed to create microgrids, allowing a home to become self-sufficient even during a power outage or electrical supply disruption.

“Many times you sell a product (charger) and end up selling the whole package (photovoltaic panel) because one thing is linked to the other,” says Álvarez.

However, he explains that in 2023, the topic of photovoltaics “has experienced a slowdown.”

Analysts had predicted that 2023 would be a “boom” for this type of alternative energy, but the numbers have not met expectations.

According to the CEO of Smart Wallboxes, this could be due to the Iberian exception declared in 2022.

This exception will end this coming December, and the industry hopes it will give a boost to photovoltaic energy and deliver the numbers that were anticipated for this year.

“Obviously, electricity prices will rise again; gasoline is very expensive here in Spain, and we are already talking about a liter of gasoline costing around two euros,” comments Alvarez.

Expectations for 2024

For Smart Wallboxes, a regulation that would provide momentum and eventually integrate the range of products the company offers is bidirectional regulation.

Similarly, the CEO of the company expects this regulation to be implemented between 2024 and 2025.

“Having cars that can contribute energy will alleviate the burden on the public grid,” he comments.

Therefore, there will be users who no longer need a separate battery because they will use the vehicle’s battery as a reserve of energy.

This year, the company has experienced 300% growth, which represents significant expansion.

Looking ahead, Smart Wallboxes will seek to refine the work they have undertaken in recent times, thereby ensuring the satisfaction of their current customers.

Furthermore, in the coming year, the focus will be on continuing the development of their own charger, from which they expect to have updates soon.

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