Despite some serious concerns and criticisms, the smart charging of electric vehicles is being adapted slowly.
It’s a relatively newer technology that shares a data connection between the charger and the electric vehicle to monitor and control certain things.
However, there are claims that smart charging reduces battery efficiency in the long run.
Can it be true?
Let’s find out…
What is the Smart Charging of EVs?
Smart Charging is an EV charging system that has a data connection with the vehicle to monitor, manage, and restrict the charging process to optimize energy consumption.
Basically, in the process, charging devices (like superchargers) are connected to the cloud and can be controlled by some software.
Like, if the electricity is being used by some other processes during the peak hour then the smart charging system can shift the peak by flattening the electricity usage.
In the smart charging system, an electric vehicle share data connection with the charging device (charger), and the charging device share data connection with the charging operator. And, this way, the charging operator can control or restrict the charging process remotely.
Based on charging management, smart charging can be divided into 2 categories:
- UMC (User-managed Charging): Customer decides the timing to charge based on the price & needs.
- SMC (Supplier-managed Charging): Charging and discharging decision is made by the supplier.
What are the benefits of a Smart EV Charging system?
Even if smart charging is not being adopted as it should, it’s future proof.
Followings are benefits that smart charging offers:
Fast and safe charging
A smart charging system provides a comparatively faster charging experience by letting the device use maximum charging power if available.
Also, the smart charging system performs a quick test on the vehicle before starting to charge. This prevents any kind of unfortunate events and keeps the vehicle as well as the charging station safe.
If needed, the charging process can also be remotely stopped.
Easy location of charging stations
Since all the charging stations and charging devices are connected to the charging operator via the cloud, drivers can easily locate the nearest charging station and also know whether any charging device is available or not.
Also, people can share their home charging stations to help others.
Detailed report on charging and performance
Traditional chargers or uncontrolled chargers only transfer power to the vehicle, but smart chargers collect various information about the vehicle, station, charging process, etc.
It can send diagnostic reports like charging status, historical data, optimization support, etc. to the user to get the most out of the charging device.
Easier to manage
For charging operators, it’s a lot easier to add or remove features from the connected charging stations.
Any update in the system’s software can be easily rolled out to all the stations within minutes.
Not only these but there can also be multiple other benefits of the smart charging system:
- users can control their home charging point from their smartphones
- individual users can provide home charging point’s access to their friends or everyone and earn extra money
- helps to charge operators optimize their charging infrastructure
- EV owners can set their charging preference remotely through an app
Types of Smart Electric Vehicle Charging
There are 3 forms of smart charging system:
- V1G (Unidirectional): Charging infrastructure adjusts its rate of charging.
- V2G (Vehicle to Grid): Users can charge their vehicles, plus the supplier can borrow/purchase energy from vehicle owners in time of need.
- V2H-B (Vehicle to Home or Building): Vehicle’s battery can be used to power the home or building in emergencies.
Concerns about Smart Charging of EVs
- Redundant and incremental charging
Research studies show that majority of electrical vehicle owners full charge their vehicle every day. And, fragmental charging does cause problems if the vehicle is charged 100% regularly.
But if EV owner charges their vehicles only up to 70-80%, fragmental charging will have a very limited effect on the battery.
- Accelerated charging demand in car-sharing culture
Various studies have shown that young people are no longer interested in buying cars, they use cabs like Uber.
And, as the average shared vehicle time increases, it will be a challenge to accelerate the simultaneous charging capacity.
Future of Smart EV Charging
As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, it will be a challenge to scale public charging stations and make them commercially sustainable.
Also, battery swapping seems like a good option for the coming future. Pre-charged batteries can be inserted by taking out the discharged ones and that would require much less time. It will eliminate the wait time at charging stations.
That’s all about smart charging.
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