Smart Charging: A Necessary Element of the EV Revolution

The European transportation industry is undergoing a radical transformation in order to accommodate the exponentially expanding EV adoption anticipated through 2050 as well as the high environmental goals established throughout the continent. Although this shift will result in decreased carbon emissions, it is important to comprehend all of its effects to prevent unintended negative effects. In particular, there is a need to transition from unmanaged charging to smart charging, where EV owners just plug in their vehicles when charging is necessary without taking into account external circumstances (e.g., system load, rates).
Smart charging would automate this process and have the potential to significantly reduce customer power costs in locations with varied electricity (or time-of-use) tariffs. Consumers now have an incentive to manually manage charging to avoid higher charges.

Unmanaged charging can drastically raise peak demands on the system, making it difficult to manage energy grids at the local, national, and international levels. In particular, without major investment, generation capacity won’t be able to keep up with the increased demand, and thermal overloading and voltage spikes in the distribution network would cause widespread blackouts and much higher energy costs.

Smart charging, on the other hand, can lessen these problems by altering demand patterns, offering flexibility services to specific buildings (providing local backup power), and restricting the consumption of grid electricity during periods of high demand or injecting power into the system as necessary. It covers a number of different concepts and may be used with both unidirectional (energy flows from the grid to an EV) and bidirectional (energy flows both directions) chargers.

Charging may often be divided into the following forms (each of which has extra advantages over the prior type of charging) depending on the direction of energy flow and where the value is focused (house, building, or grid):

The true value for the energy system will be discovered at the aggregate level, where hundreds of thousands or even millions of EVs may be coordinated to participate in grid operations and power markets, even though smart charging technically works at the individual car level. Virtual power plants (VPPs), which may provide and sell energy on electricity markets, can be created by an energy aggregator by combining EV batteries with other distributed energy assets, such as solar and house batteries. With this service, VPP providers would have to pay EV owners for the usage of their batteries and energy.

Similar to conventional power plants, these systems may be scaled up to hundreds of megawatts (MWs), and as a result, they are crucial for delivering actionable answers at the system level. To enable a variety of use cases and benefits for grids (front of the electricity metre) and consumers, this aggregation service could be offered by a number of players, such as distribution system operators (DSOs), EV charging companies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), or other third-party software companies (behind the electricity meter)

Source: Introduction to V2G A critical technology to enable the energy transition | Charles River Associates & Hubject

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overview of smart charging patterns
Source: Introduction to V2G A critical technology to enable the energy transition | Charles River Associates & Hubject
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