While legislation is a minefield, the only piece of the legislation that electric vehicle (EV) drivers need to know about is smart charging and, more importantly, why it benefits them.
As the public charging network grows, consumers still find it cheaper to charge their cars at home, but imagine if everyone owned an EV and decided to do that?
As it stands, currently legacy infrastructure wouldn’t keep up with the high demand of at-home charging, especially when charging a car battery from the seemingly old school 13A plug socket. Although this was once the case for some EV drivers, dedicated charging points are worthwhile for saving energy and money.
Not only is it worthwhile understanding how the grid is affected by EV charging, but consumers can also receive benefits from such solutions, which can be more convenient, allow them to track their usage, and ensure their cars are ready to drive at any moment.
Optimising EV charging to suit a lifestyle
One of the biggest points to make is that electrification is changing how people live and interact with their cars. Moving from the convenience and petrol and diesel cars to the recently coined ‘range anxiety’ provoked by EV charging times and short range in comparison to fossil-fuel vehicles fills many with a new-found uncertainty.
But, you don’t have to be a risk taker to enjoy an EV. Consumers are already leveraging smart charging capabilities to manage their charging times and get the most power for their money. Smart charging points are able to gather data on the driver’s usage and determine the more suitable charging schedule, allowing them to charge up during the most lucrative periods of the day.
Not only does it save consumers money, but provides a convenient service that, once the car is plugged in, shows the status of the car without having to leave the house. The scheduling function is perhaps the most important as any passenger car is parked for roughly 96% of its life.
Creating a digital ecosystem that includes EVs
The digital capabilities of EVs really enhance the way that they connect with one's home or surrounding infrastructure. The ability to connect digitally allows smart chargers to balance the energy from car to home.
This is enabled by bidirectional charging, which basically means that energy you put into the car can be returned to the microgrid if not in use. Bidirectional charging is used by smart chargers to manage the grid, but can also be leveraged by the cars themselves to charge other electrified items. Organisations like Amazon are able to leverage smart grid technologies to prioritise the charging of vehicles based on when they are scheduled for departure from a depot.
Dynamic load balancing is often something that allows consumers to improve how their energy is distributed at home. Vehicle-to-home charging capabilities allow energy to be transferred from the car to the house, which means that energy can be used as the least expensive time of day to charge your car, and redistributed during the day if it is not used.
Save money and the environment when charging an EV
The overarching benefit to any EV is sustainability. Allowing consumers to connect their cars to their homes and leverage the energy from the grid, but also reap the benefits for renewable energy sources like solar panels, can create a more responsible ‘micro grid’ at home.
The second major benefit is cost. As the grid is managed constantly, the only thing consumers need to take care of in times of energy crisis are to switch off their lights when they are not in use, as well as appliances around the house. Smart charging takes care of where the energy is stored or used and can ensure that your EV is operated as cheap as possible.