sonnen, a Germany-based home battery pack manufacturer, is expanding its lineup of products today with the unveiling of a new smart home charge point that can always charge your electric car from cheap solar power using the company’s community of energy storage devices.

Here’s how it works.

The charger, called sonnenCharger, is connected to the internet and Sonnen’s mobile app, which enables homeowners to link charging your electric vehicle to your own solar energy production in order to maximize your self-generated energy use. 

That’s cool, but it’s nothing we have never seen before.

Where sonnen is innovating with the charger is through a connection to its sonnenCommunity feature that links other households with Sonnen home battery packs.

It means that if a member of the sonnenCommunity with an electric vehicle need to charge but don’t have sufficient solar power, they can use excess energy from other sonnenCommunity members to cover their shortfall and still power their EV with clean energy.

Philipp Schröder, a former Tesla exec now Sales and Marketing Director at sonnen, commented on the system:

“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”

sonnen is giving away the new sonnenChargers to new buyers of its home battery pack who sign up for sonnenCommunity.

The company says that it comes with up to 8,000 kWh of free electricity per year, which can potentially both power your home and a driving distance of 15,000 – 17,000 km in an electric car, according to the company. 

Here’s a look at the management app for the service:

The wall connector itself is fairly standard for the European market with a Type 2 connector and a charge rate up to 22 kW:

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