Although Honda is a company that is best known for their cars and motorcycles, the company has started to venture into other, non-vehicle based projects. That’s what the Japanese car maker is trying to do with its latest project, dubbed Honda Smart Home. It’s a smart home concept, that the company claims is one of the most eco-friendly homes ever built, and can produce more energy than it consumes. At first glance, it seems that this house doesn’t have anything to do with manufacturing vehicles, but it’s actually part of Honda’s efforts to promote electric vehicles and help make them more viable.
Charging Electric Vehicles in the Smart Home
In addition to the fact that the Honda Smart Home is a zero-carbon house, that employs various innovative solutions to produce, store and consume energy in the most efficient way possible, it also has an excellent electric vehicle charging infrastructure. There is a garage that is attached to the house, fitted with a standard 240-Volt Level 2 charging station, along with a DC charger, which can recharge an electric car in only two hours. Since there is no need to convert AC to DC power, and vice versa, thanks to the DC fast charger, the recharging process is much faster than what it usually takes to recharge an electric vehicle.
Environmental Impact of Honda Smart Home
There are numerous energy-saving technologies implemented into the house. There is a 9.5-kilowatt solar array on the rooftop, which produces the energy that is needed to power the whole house, including all the appliances, heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and recharge the Honda Fit EV, which is included in the home, and will be at the disposal of the tenants. The house is located in Davis, California, and it will be used by University of California, Davis- staff, who will also use the Fit EV for transportation.
A regular home consumes about 13.3 megawatt hours of electricity over a year, and Honda’s Smart Home’s solar panels can generate 15.9 megawatt-hours of electricity. The excess electricity that will be produced, which is 2.6 megawatt hours, will be stored in a 10-kWh battery pack, so that it can be used in cloudy days, but it can also be sent back to the grid. Honda says that the home achieves over 11 tons of CO2 reduction more than a conventional home and vehicle per year.
With this project, Honda is boosting its efforts to enhance the integration of electric vehicles into homes, in order to help make electric car charging more practical, convenient, faster, environmentally-friendly, and less expensive. Since most electric car owners charge their cars at home overnight, living in a house that can generate its own electricity will definitely help them reduce the total costs of owning an electric vehicle, which are quite high, compared to the costs of owning a conventional car. Honda’s Smart Home is also in line with California’s zero net energy initiative, which mandates all new homes to be able to generate as much energy as they consume by 2020.
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