The world is heading for widespread and devastating climate disasters if countries do not meet their emissions reduction targets in a timely manner. To mitigate harmful impacts and meet their climate commitments, a variety of sustainability initiatives are being pursued. The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) plays a central role in the sustainability plans of many countries, but also companies, as EVs can reduce the significant carbon footprint of cars. As a result, the EU, the United States, Canada, and China, as well as other countries, are focusing heavily on policies that encourage the adoption of EVs.
Given the record-breaking sales of e-vehicles, this approach seems to be working. However, simply increasing the number of e-vehicles on the road is not enough to combat their impact on climate change. The so-called re-bound effect, in which efficiencies are offset by increased consumption, jeopardizes the sustainability impact of e-mobility, especially if the electricity does not come from renewable sources. E-vehicles that are charged with fossil fuels and whose charging patterns do not optimize the use of clean energy can still leave a significant carbon footprint.
E-mobilists do not always have control over the source of their charging power, as not all charging infrastructure operators source their power from 100% renewable energy. However, a system that monitors, manages, and ultimately limits EV charger usage can optimize and flexibly adjust energy consumption to the extent that charging processes meet the needs of both EV users and the power grid. A U.S. study found that aligning EV charging with times when clean electricity is available on the grid could save about 360 kg of CO₂ per vehicle annually. Installing smart charging stations, e.g. in commercial areas and multi-family dwellings, not only provides drivers with more charging points, but also more charging options than conventional classic load management.
In static load management, an upper load limit is set based on the available grid connection, which must not exceed the sum of the charging current draw. Two load management variants are conceivable: All charging stations at which charging is actively taking place share the total power equally. The second variant prioritizes the first connected e-vehicle, which is fast-charged, while each additional one receives the available residual power.
The highlight of "dynamic load management" is that the available energy can be dynamically distributed between the charging points using a smart meter, depending on the building's consumption and different times of day. If little electricity is being used in the building, more e-cars can be charged with higher power and vice versa. If the sun is shining at the moment and the car is to be charged with PV power, this prioritization is also possible. This allows charging point operators to stay within their consumption limits and avoid costs for exceeding grid capacity. Smart charging solutions can thus charge off-peak, reducing charging costs for drivers and minimizing load impacts. This in turn avoids the need to upgrade in-building power distribution systems and contributes to grid balancing by adjusting charging levels.
In addition to the sustainability benefits, it's also about convenience. Charging electric vehicles is not nearly as fast as filling up at a gas station. Because e-vehicles take longer to charge, the drivers want the option to charge in convenient locations where they've already been parked for extended periods of time - such as at work or home. According to Bloomberg, it is predicted that by 2030, more than 60% of the world's electric cars will be charged in commercial or multifamily buildings. Figures that can already be compared with the empirical data of inno2fleet. It is therefore important that an intelligent charging infrastructure is available.
Aside from supporting the needs of drivers, which can make the site an attractive place to live and work, smart charging infrastructure relieves the burden on building electrical systems by meeting increased energy demand in buildings while also using renewable energy when it is available. Corresponding systems act in the spirit of operational stakeholder management.
With inno2fleet, we support them in the entire value chain of operational e-mobility: from planning to implementation to smart operation of the charging infrastructure- In charge to change!