As of now, charging plug-in electric or hybrid cars at home is no longer a problem. With the Easy Wallbox™, made by ENGIE Eps exclusively for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), you can immediately recharge the new car you have just driven out of a dealership, with no changes to your electrical system. The new ENGIE Eps charging device is plug-and-play – just like a household appliance – and is immediately functional, an essential requirement for the dissemination of home electrification.
To showcase the device to facilitate an understanding of its ease of installation and use, FCA and ENGIE Eps have taken a Jeep® Renegade 4xe and an Easy Wallbox™ to a location where an electrified car and its charging system would not be expected: the beautiful scenery of the Piana di Vigezzo (in the valley of the same name, high up in Verbano Cusio Ossola) at an altitude of almost 1,800 meters. This is the arrival station of Europe’s longest continuous cable car, 100% of which will soon be lit using ‘green electricity’, thanks to ENGIE Eps.
After an entirely safe and easy climb and descent of a steep slope in electric mode, the Jeep Renegade 4xe was connected to an Easy Wallbox™, installed next to the upper ski lift station, with a breathtaking panorama of the Alps.
Carlalberto Guglielminotti, CEO of ENGIE Eps, said during the press conference to present the device: “We want to demonstrate that no obstacle is too much for the Jeep and that it can be fully recharged using the Easy Wallbox™ technology, even at high altitude, in a mountain refuge and at sub-zero temperatures”.
Easy Wallbox™ can operate plug-and-play without modifications, via a simple Schuko socket (up to 2.2 kW). Also with a dedicated power line, the Easy Wallbox™ operates at up to 7.4 kW: to charge your car faster without having to buy another device.
Easy Wallbox™ is installed with two wall plugs, easily connects to the electricity grid and means you can recharge the car’s batteries without exceeding your power contract or regulatory limits. In addition, with an electrician only needing to perform a non-invasive intervention, the device uses only the power available in your home in real-time, avoiding any risk of blackouts.
“Easy Wallbox™ – continued Guglielminotti – has been patented by ENGIE Eps, exclusively for FCA. The product was designed and is manufactured entirely in Italy. It is the only wallbox operating at up to 2.2kW that does not need to be set up by an installer or electrician. It is the result of the work of around 100 engineers and researchers at ENGIE Eps, who, together with the Polytechnics of Turin and Milan, have for over 15 years been helping Italian technology achieve excellence that is renowned around the world.
Dating back to 2017, the partnership between ENGIE Eps and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – whose e-Mobility strategy has always been underway in the EMEA region for several months– is aimed at managing the changes in the best possible way and at coordinating all work related to electric mobility.
Roberto Di Stefano, Head of e-Mobility: “The journey we have embarked on does not consist only of vehicle electrification, but is a completely different way of looking at car use and mobility in general.”
A number of electric and hybrid models are coming soon: from the Fiat Panda and 500 Hybrid already on sale to the Jeep Renegade and Compass PHEV within the first half of the year, to the new 500 and the all-electric Ducato, which will come later. They are the first, fundamental move in a comprehensive, developed strategy, a new way of conceiving mobility that puts the environment at the center without losing sight of customers’ requirements.
“FCA is therefore starting – Di Stefano continued – to create a true “ecosystem” of products and services, to meet the expectations of those who will use electric and electrified cars, so that the use of these cars becomes a widespread and well-established habit.”
The partnership with ENGIE Eps – emblematic of this new way of operating – includes construction at the Mirafiori plant in Turin of both the largest experimental Vehicle to Grid (V2G) project in the world, as well as the “Solar Power Production Unit”, in collaboration with ENGIE Italy.
“Based on the V2G pilot project – Di Stefano concluded – we are developing an asset consisting of 700 electric vehicles, capable of producing 25 MW of energy power and providing stabilization services to the electric grid while the vehicles are not in use. Meanwhile, the photovoltaic panels of the latter project – installed over 120,000 m2 of roofing, and covering 1,750 parking spaces (30,000 m2) – will be able to produce 15 MW of energy. This will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 5,000 tons and will provide sustainable energy for charging the electrified models produced at Mirafiori.