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EVs as part of the energy system - what is smart charging?

Electric vehicles are not a threat to electricity grid – vice versa. They are big batteries on wheels, thanks to smart charging. What does that mean? What is smart charging?


 

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What?

EU directive on energy efficiency defines smart metering systems as electronic systems with measurement and data transformation functionalities. Finland was the first country in Europe to include a definition of smart charging into legislation considering EV charging. Smart charging should enable power measuring in real time and adjusting the power without stopping the charging event.

Why? 

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 steps in.

virta_icons_carbattery_dark.pngHow? 

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.

 

Read more about the smart and electric future of transportation - download free EV Market Overview 2017 and read more about Virta Home, a smart charging service available in Nordics. 

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