Smart charging enhances the user experience by providing insights into charging behavior and energy consumption. This empowers drivers to manage the charging process better, while also optimizing costs. How does smart charging achieve this? In this article, we explore the top five benefits of smart EV charging and how they improve efficiency, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. We also provide examples of how smart charging is being implemented in the real world.
EV chargers are generally expensive.
Are you wondering if the extra cost of smart charging functionality is worth it? Generally, EV chargers with smart charging features are on the more expensive side. However, the benefits of smart charging make it a worthwhile investment. With a smart charger connected to the internet, you can manage and control your car’s charging process, ensuring it adapts to your needs. Additionally, smart charging can help you reduce your electricity bill.
A smart charger allows for better control and understanding, as well as automatic energy balancing and potentially electricity storage. Let’s delve into each benefit further.
Smart chargers have revolutionized the way we charge our electric vehicles. They enable a wireless connection between the vehicle and the charging station, allowing for remote control through a mobile app and many opportunities for optimizing the charging process.
One of the most significant benefits of this connectivity is the data insights it unlocks. Smart chargers can collect data on your charging session, giving you valuable information on your electricity consumption and charging habits. With this information, you can make informed decisions about when and how to charge your electric vehicle.
For instance, you can see how often you charge your vehicle, how much energy you consume, and at which times. This enables you to schedule your charging sessions effectively. Scheduled charging is an excellent feature of smart chargers, especially considering that on average, a car is parked 96 percent of the time.
Instead of leaving your EV charging whenever you’re at home, you can schedule charging during off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower. This saves you money in the long run. By setting a start time and maximum charge level, smart charging can ensure your EV is charged cost-effectively and in a way that maximizes its battery lifespan.
Smart chargers can also be updated remotely, thanks to their built-in internet connection. This means that you can receive new features or improvements to existing ones after purchasing the charger. Moreover, the latest security patches will ensure your privacy and data protection.
In case something goes wrong, smart chargers’ connectivity allows for remote troubleshooting. In the event of a charging issue, drivers can receive immediate notifications and take steps to correct it remotely. Furthermore, the manufacturer or installer can remotely diagnose the problem and come prepared with the relevant parts and tools, saving both time and money. This feature is particularly beneficial if the installer is not based in the same city as the EV driver.
Charging your electric vehicle at home can add a substantial load to your electrical circuit. Without proper management, it can overload the circuit and trip your breakers.
Fortunately, smart chargers have a feature called dynamic load balancing that can help. It constantly monitors the power load on the circuit and intelligently distributes the available capacity to avoid overloads. This means that even if many other power-intensive appliances are turned on, such as during the evenings or mornings, your EV can charge without tripping the circuit breakers.
In these cases, dynamic load balancing can automatically lower the power used by your EV, freeing up capacity for other appliances. Once those appliances are turned off, the charging power can return to normal. If you have more than one EV, dynamic load balancing lets you give priority to one car, ensuring that it’s charged first.
Currently, your EV’s battery only stores electricity for driving. However, in the future, it could also serve as a power source for your grid by feeding electricity back into it. This technology is known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G), which enables bidirectional power flows between an EV and the electrical circuit.
A variant of V2G is vehicle-to-home (V2H), which enables an EV to function as a power source for a single house or home. By relying on the power stored in your car’s battery, you can supplement or reduce the power you use from the grid using V2H.
This means that during peak times, you can use V2H to power some of your home appliances, thus avoiding the use of expensive electricity from the grid. Later on, you can recharge your EV’s battery during off-peak times when prices are lower.
V2H will be particularly helpful for drivers who want to install a storage battery. Rather than purchasing an expensive, dedicated battery and paying for installation, they can leverage their EV’s existing battery.
If you generate your own energy through solar panels or wind turbines and own an electric vehicle, you may wonder if you can use that electricity to charge your car. Smart charging can help you optimize the use of locally generated energy. This means you can easily control where the energy comes from to power your car.
For instance, you can schedule your car to charge during the afternoon to take advantage of high solar energy production. This guarantees that the electricity used to charge your EV has been generated sustainably. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, using your own energy can also help you save costs by reducing the amount you need to purchase from the grid.
Investing in a smart charger may initially cost you, but the benefits it provides can unlock significant cost savings throughout its life. With a smart charger, you gain insights into the charging process and energy use. This allows you to manage your electricity consumption and charge during times when you can save on your electricity bill. Moreover, potential automation in the future could enable you to optimize your electricity usage automatically.
By scheduling your charging during off-peak hours, you can take advantage of lower prices. These prices are usually available at night and during the weekend when there is less pressure on the grid. This also helps to incentivize consumers to shift their energy demand to quieter times. By regularly charging your EV during these quiet times, you can save significant amounts of money.
Another way smart charging can reduce costs is with dynamic load balancing. This feature can responsively adjust an EV’s power consumption during charging. By doing so, it allows you to keep using your existing meter box and electrical circuitry without having to upgrade them to more powerful ones. As a result, you can avoid the cost of buying a new meter box and the need for expensive installation work by an electrician. This helps you save money and avoid potentially higher monthly connection costs from your utility provider.
Finally, vehicle-to-grid technology holds much future promise for saving costs. V2G and V2H are still in development, but smart chargers’ connectivity means they can be upgraded later to support these new features, even if they don’t come with them today.
Smart charging offers a compelling tool for managing EV charging and keeping energy use under control, which is increasingly important for homeowners. With efficiency and convenience becoming more critical considerations, investing in a smart charger can help you to manage your electricity consumption, optimize your charging time, and save money in the long run.