Powering the Electric Vehicle Future with Efficient, Smart Energy Management
To reduce pollution and create a cleaner environment, utilities and service providers need to implement sustainable, affordable, and secure energy and mobility solutions that work together to power the electric vehicle (EV) future.
The increasing adoption of electric vehicles may lead to an unmanageable increase in the demand for power generation, affecting existing infrastructure stability. In addition, although the utility industry has increased its use of renewable energy, wind and solar are not steady resources since they are dependent on the weather. Therefore, they cannot be considered as reliable sources in times of peak demand.
This is where Smart energy management comes into play – avoiding the burden on what are often already strained networks. Think of rolling blackouts in some regions during the summer air conditioning season, and you’ve got the picture.
As internal combustion engine-based vehicles still outnumber electric vehicles, utilities, charge point operators, electric vehicle service providers, and e-Mobility service providers have time to gain insights into the types of changes necessary to manage energy demands to support EV charging networks’ long-term, exponential expansion.
To serve the highest volume of EVs efficiently, charging stations will continue to be placed in high density areas – city centers, multi-dwelling units, office parks, etc. Those facilities have well-defined, long-established energy requirements – and now those needs will be increasing to keep up with the transition to EV charging. To meet energy demand and avoid utility congestion, these sites’ internal structure (such as topology) and constraints need to be considered.
Network size is another important factor. When planning an optimized energy management solution, the number of electric vehicles charging and the number of charging sites that need to be powered must be addressed.
Individual and cumulative driver data also need to be considered within smart energy management plans – where and when they will be charging, for how long, state of charge (SoC), etc. To address the burden on the grid as well as seasonal demands, pricing must be optimized based on the type of customer, predefined business rules, and plans to encourage smart charging during non-peak hours. Furthermore, consumers overtaxing the grid may incur additional costs and penalties.
Getting the information required to make effective, appropriate changes to satisfy everyone is complex. Data needs to be collected from the utilities about the activities within the electric grid. This data needs to be combined with site and usage data from the current EV charging network infrastructure. Finally, this data needs to be analyzed to project the real energy needs going forward.
With these analyses, utilities and service providers can make better decisions about energy use design and optimal energy production for the long run. They will be able to gain a more reliable network along with optimized energy consumption.
Smart charging was introduced as part of Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) 1.6 and becomes even more primary and important with OCPP 2.0, and ISO 15118, which provides the ability to identify how much energy an EV actually needs in order to optimize energy consumption.
A major goal of using electric vehicles is to reduce dependency on petroleum-based fuels to create cleaner environments. Smart energy management is critical to optimize energy utilization, decreasing costs and increasing EV charging stations’ availability.