Electric vehicles are not a threat to electricity grid – on the contrary. These cars are huge batteries on wheels and through smart charging we can use them in an unprecedented way- as suppliers of electricity. What does that mean? What is smart charging, Vehicle-to-grid and Vehicle-to-home?
The term smart charging is being used to describe a system where there’s a data connection between an electric vehicle and a charging device, and also a data connection between the charging device and a charging operator. This enables real-time control of a charging event. In practice smart charging is a charging device connected to a back-end service that enables monitoring, controlling and restricting the usage of the device.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) is the technology which allows battery powered electric vehicles (EVs) to act as mobile energy storage units. This means that as well as importing, electric vehicles can export power onto the electrical network when required, via a bidirectional charging unit.
Vehicle to Home (V2H) is a two-way street, with the vehicle powering the home and vice versa based on cost and demand for home energy. The car battery is used for energy storage, taking place when energy is cheap or “green.”
Energy system is in transformation. Firstly, renewable energy resources are being exploited increasingly. Renewables are volatile, since wind and sun power are highly dependent on weather. Thus, electricity grid based on renewable energy sources cannot answer to spikes of energy demand very rapidly. Secondly, the amount of electric cars on the roads is continuously growing all around the world. At first glance, EVs may seem like a new form of mass demand for electricity. A concern about the electricity grid sustaining the growth of demand is relevant only if hundreds of thousands of cars are being charged at the same time. Electricity prices would thus rise and the grid should be able to answer to much higher consumption spikes than currently. However, this is not the only scenario. We’re moving towards a market where the price of electricity varies hour-to-hour. Electric vehicles are a key component in providing stability to the grid, not destabilizing it. This is where smart charging and V2G step in.
Electric vehicles are big batteries on wheels.
Smart service starts the charging when prices and electricity consumption are at lowest. Users can plug in their car at high demand hours, but charging starts when demand and prices are low. Smart service can also decrease charging power if electricity consumption increases momentarily. After few minutes, charging power would return to normal and cars would be fully charged in the morning when leaving to work.
Renewables and electric vehicles are not a threat to practical energy system. These two together create a more flexible energy system than previously and support each other. Smart EV charging platform is future proof and enables benefits for the energy system and consumers.