How do you ensure that electric vehicles get the charge they need, every time? With a little over a quarter of a million electric vehicles on the road, this may not be a problem that keeps you awake at night just yet.
However, with an estimated thirty-six million electric vehicles on the road by 2040, the challenge of providing and managing energy for transport needs to be addressed now – and smart EV charging is the answer.
This involves thinking about the infrastructure needed across the country, as well as the individual EV chargers themselves - and what they can offer vehicle owners and drivers.
Planning For The Right EV Charge Points
Planning electric vehicle introduction and operation often uncovers one fundamental problem; a shortage of available power at the desired charging location. Add to this the problem of charging a vehicle where no off-street parking is available, and it is easy to see that EV charging planning is key to successful electric vehicle use. This is where Connected Kerb’s intuitive site selection tool comes in, choosing locations based on a range of factors such as local grid capacity, EV ownership levels, and existing street furniture.
Many buildings with off-street parking lack sufficient electrical infrastructure for charging multiple electric vehicles. In early adopter businesses, EV charge points typically receive energy from the main distribution board, itself connected to the main electricity metre.
This might work well for up to three EV charging points, but any additional sockets are likely to increase the load to the extent that it will exceed the building’s fuse limit, resulting in problems across the property. This doesn’t just affect EV charging, but business functions or using appliances in the home.
Some businesses, consequently, have invested heavily in grid upgrades to bring additional power to their premises. However, savvy businesses have also invested in smart EV charging infrastructure that integrates load balancing management software to make more efficient use of the available energy, saving potentially massive capital expenditure on grid upgrading.
What’s The Difference Between Load Balancing And Dynamic Load Management?
Energy and vehicles are a precious, critical resource. As an organisation, it is essential that vehicles are charged when required by using the right EV charge points.
There are several approaches that can be used to share energy across multiple charging points and vehicles, such as load balancing and load management.
Static Load Management
Static load management, or load balancing, is, as the name suggests, a fixed way of allocating the energy for EV charging. As the maximum capacity is set in stone, the charging speed of each electric vehicle is distributed evenly across charging points, adjusting speed as additional chargers begin or finish charging their vehicles.
Dynamic Load Management
Dynamic load management is a smarter form of EV charging, as it enables multiple charging stations to be used at the same time with the highest possible power without jeopardising the electrical supply to buildings. It requires a Current Transformer (CT) clamp and load testing, which then allows a much higher level of user control.
Controlled in the cloud, dynamic load management is an integral part of an efficient EV charging point operation. It collects data from other energy appliances and calculates the building’s current energy capacity in real-time.
Based on the building’s overall energy capacity and current consumption, the system then dynamically provides an optimal load for charging vehicles.
How Does Smart EV Charging Work In Practice?
The key benefit of dynamic load management is the ability to integrate bespoke EV charging strategies, where operators can set variable factors to manage energy delivery to make it the most efficient it can be.
For example, a business may choose to give priority EV charging to vehicles seen as high priority, such as field-based vehicles. In this instance the system can be configured so that whenever they plug in, a larger proportion of the available energy is provided to these vehicles, rather than those that might be stationary for the majority of the day.
This ensures that those that can wait, do, and those that need to get back on the road as soon as possible, can.
Why Use Smart EV Charging?
By using a dynamic cloud-based load management system, expensive power supply upgrades can be avoided. Where supply is limited, the software allocates available capacity to EV charging points, ensuring vehicles are charged as quickly as possible - all with no additional strain placed upon the grid connection.
With this system, little or no extra hardware is required, which means fewer extra costs. Faults can be resolved remotely, with no input from the drivers, ensuring a much more seamless and hassle-free user experience.
Utilising smart technology is a way for any business to improve the efficiency of their EV chargers and make sure vehicles are ready to go whenever they’re needed.
An excellent trial is taking place called Agile Streets, which is helping push the argument of smart EV charging forward. This gives vehicle owners access to cheaper tariffs, allowing them to charge when energy is cheaper and low demand so they can get the best value.
Save On Costs With Smart EV Chargers
Whether you’re a business looking to introduce EV charging points to your company car park, a local authority working to deploy on-street charging points for residents or a developer investigating ways to meet Net Zero objectives, installing a smart EV charging point is a guaranteed means of making charging stations and infrastructure work more efficiently and cost less money for users.
Behind the Connected Kerb hardware system is an advanced software platform that enables clients to create a network of fully controlled and remotely managed EV charging points, allowing drivers to reliably charge their vehicles and take advantage of attractive energy tariffs.
The software optimises charging for drivers habitually charging their cars and, in turn, provides invaluable data for power management. This smart EV charging point power management system reduces energy costs for drivers and fleets while minimising stress on power connections.
Data reporting, analysis and consolidated billing are available on-demand within a fully integrated back-end dashboard. Smart charging operations are automatically monitored 24/7 and most issues can be resolved immediately and remotely.
Find Out More About Smart EV Chargers
Our smart EV charging system helps you make the very best of your energy, to do business and deliver. We are where the journey begins and ends. Like all aspects of business, there needs to be an analysis of cost versus return, but by using your energy in the best way, and prioritising which vehicles are charged - and when - you can make EV charging a lot more efficient and beneficial to your organisation.
If you want to find out more about how load management can benefit you, your business, and EV owners working for your organisation, reach out to our team of experts.