How smart charging supports the energy transition
Smart charging is an efficient and intelligent way to transition to more sustainable sources – delivering power at the right price while protecting the plant. New connected charging technologies, services, and business solutions are accelerating Europe toward more sustainable energy solutions.
In this in-depth article, we explain what the smart grid is, how it works, and how it's supporting the energy transition in Europe. European businesses are already facing the highest energy bills in a generation, but innovative charging solutions could provide a welcome boost.
What is EV smart Charging?
Smart Charging is a data-driven solution to Europe’s rapidly emerging energy crisis. Rising electricity prices and energy scarcity are critical issues, with recent global instability highlighting Europe’s precarious position. Electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to smash records, but there is concern about the pressure growing numbers of vehicles could place on the grid. Too many vehicles drawing energy could damage the grid or even lead to blackouts, some experts have warned.
Smart Charging is an intelligent system that controls all aspects of EV charging. Instead of drawing energy directly from the grid the second they’re plugged in, smart charging solutions actively engage the grid and decide their charging rate based on several factors ,including electricity price, grid demand, and renewable energy availability.
The system makes charging decisions each second, optimizing energy usage. Energy can be used to charge an individual vehicle or entire fleet when it's most economical. As well as cutting energy costs, smart grids can charge vehicles when the grid is powered by sustainable sources, including wind, water, and solar power. Smart charging technologies can help balance the grid, smoothing out the intermittent flow of sustainable energy.
Smart grids are a connected and integrated approach that uses data to drive charging decisions. At the heart of the smart grid is the day-ahead energy market. Each day, energy prices are determined for the following day using information about predicted demand and supply. Intelligent charging systems can use these signals as the basis for charging decisions, helping them to identify peaks in demand where prices are highest and times where supply is higher, and prices lower.
Smart charging is a sustainable and cost-effective charging strategy that ensures power is delivered at the most affordable price.
How do EV smart charging systems work?
Smart charging systems are complex technology that makes power management simple. Here is how your smart charging technology is transforming how EV owners and fleet operators are charging their vehicles/
Data processing: Smart Charging systems use advanced algorithms that simultaneously analyze data from several sources. The system combines data from the day ahead energy market, as well are real-time information on energy prices and grid capacity. Details of each vehicle, including the current rate of charge, are combined with user preferences inside the system.
Optimized decision making: The Smart Grid system uses each data source to help build a complete picture of vehicle charging requirements. Using the insights the day-ahead energy markets provide, it can calculate an optimized charging schedule for each vehicle or fleet.
Management & monitoring: The system can start, stop, and adjust vehicle charging, ensure that its optimised. The system never disconnects from the grid, enabling it to immediately respond to changes in the market or those made by the operator.
Supporting the transition to sustainable energy production: Europe is pioneering the adoption of sustainable energy generation, with up to 40% of the total power requirements provided by wind, water, and solar. In 2022, wind and solar power alone delivered an astonishing 22% of all energy– the highest total ever. As public opinion turns away from fossil fuels, this figure is likely to grow rapidly until renewables contribute the majority of the continent’s energy needs.
Smart charging technologies are supporting the shift to sustainable energy production by drawing power at renewable energy peak periods. The intelligent systems can ensure that sustainable energy isn’t lost or wasted, helping to balance the grid. As well as helping to cut energy costs by up to 30%, smart grid technologies are supporting sustainable energy producers, helping them to make higher profits. A recent EU-funded study found that smart charging can play a crucial role in reducing company-level emissions and make a large contribution to country wide carbon reduction targets. While fossil fuel still has a future as part of our energy mix, smart grids to power EVs are essential.
Of course, by drawing power at times of peak supply, EV users are reducing stress on the grid. This increases the stability and safety of the grid, which is critical to the increasing adoption of renewable energy.
Smart grid technologies are a clear signal that your business is serious about sustainable alternatives and is investing in energy-efficient charging solutions. As well as increasing productivity and boosting profit, smart grids are a public statement that strengthens your environmental credentials.
Make smart charging a strategic priority
Smart Charging isn’t just a technological leap; it's a strategic lever that’s transforming the energy sector. The algorithms that power smart charging systems enable businesses to align charging strategies with sustainable goals. More broadly, smart charging increases the viability of environmentally-friendly energy production, ensuring customers are connected at the right time to benefit from low-cost, sustainable energy sources.
At Heliox, we have pioneering smart grid technology, helping customers to establish smarter, more intelligent, and more profitable EV recharging strategies. Contact us to learn how we can help your business take the next step toward a greener future.