Car companies are integrating their products deeper into our lives, and the Honda Smart Home is built with future electric vehicles in mind. More than that though, the California-located smart home is designed to be energy positive, pumping energy back into the grid rather than just siphoning off power. Could we all live in such futuristic homes someday?
The Honda Smart Home project started last year, and is located on the University of California campus in the city of Davis. The Smart Home will be used for three years to host faculty and tenants, who will have their power usage monitored to get an idea of if this project would work for the Average America. With a combination of solar panels and energy efficient building methods, the 2,000 square-foot home includes a 10 kWh battery pack system that can store excess sunpower for cloudy days while needing very little energy for itself.
Inside the garage is both a Level 2 EV charger, and an in-demand but out-of-production Honda Fit EV. The solar battery pack is hooked to a Honda Home Energy Management System, which draws on the power during evening hours when the sun is gone, and powers the home directly by sunlight in the daytime. There is even a DC-to-DC charging system in the garage, which fills up the Honda Fit EV without the energy-wasting process of converting the DC to AC. At full capacity, the solar panels can recharge the Fit EV in just two hours with no emissions at all.
The Honda Smart Home achieves an annual CO2 reduction of some 11 tons compared to the typical home, and engineers are hoping to glean even more information from the temporary tenants. The passive design was chosen to take advantage of local weather patterns, with features like a metal roof, LED lights, and sustainably-sourced lumber contributing to the recycled content and low energy use of the home.
This could be the first look at the home of the future, and it looks like Honda wants to do more than just sell you a car.