Column Published in Eco2Friendly Magazine 10/22
In early 2022, the auto industry proclaimed that the charging infrastructure was massively lagging behind the electric boom. If the charging infrastructure does not catch up soon, this could harm the trend of electric cars. Because range anxiety is still widespread when buying electric cars. Even in small Switzerland. These calls must be taken seriously, and we must move forward. What must not be forgotten is that, compared to gasoline charging stations, electric charging stations can also be installed in garages, single-family homes, office parking lots, and underground garages in residential areas. This extended area of application alone provides greater potential for the expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
The E-charging Station Is Intelligent - Thanks to Connectivity
Connective electric car charging stations can do much more than just be installed in additional locations. They are smart, digitally networked and can thus exploit the enormous potential of the Internet of Things.
The e-charging station has a data connection with the electric car and a data connection with the charging operator or owner of the charging station. Compared to "analog" charging stations such as pumps at gas stations, smart e-charging stations allow the operator to monitor and manage the use of the charging stations remotely thanks to networking, and to bill the driver of the e-car.
Smart Charging Saves Money, Energy and Emissions
Above all, however, smart charging helps the environment. If an electric car is purchased, the footprint should be kept as low as possible.
Smart charging means that the electric car is charged when there is enough electricity available and the grid has sufficient capacity. When it is most suitable for the power grid, the end users also benefit at the same time, because that is when charging is cheapest.
Smart also means charging primarily when renewable energy is available, such as when the sun is shining. This helps not only the wallet, but also the environment. Thanks to the data connection that makes the e-charging station smart, the demand for electricity can be easily adjusted to the supply and continuously optimized. Of course, it is also possible to define by when the electric car must be ready again, i.e. fully charged. In this way, a sophisticated system can optimize charging fully automatically and autonomously towards the cheapest and most environmentally friendly electricity.
Smart Also Means Easy Sharing of the Charging Station
The networked e-charging station can easily be used by several people. So also by the neighbor or a visitor. Or, what happens in new housing developments: The parking spaces are used overnight by tenants and during the day by tradespeople who want to charge their cars while they work. That, too, is quite simple.
Smart charging requires electric car drivers to identify themselves at the charging station. The identification links the driver of the electric car, the charging station and the charging event. The appropriate price is charged to the correct customer and the money is forwarded to the correct charging station owner.
Thanks to smart connectivity, everything happens automatically. This also means that a smart e-charging station can not only save money, but also earn it.
Networking Is the Basis for the Future of Vehicle-2-Everything (V2X)
Of course, the photovoltaic system on your own roof can also be integrated into the smart E-charging station and optimized so that this electricity is used.
In the future, electric cars can even be integrated into the entire power grid as an energy storage system. So that the electric car can be used as a battery for the company's own photovoltaic system and store the surplus electricity that is produced during the day. At night, this energy can then be used to heat a boiler, for example.
The further development of e-charging stations is progressing rapidly and new stations are being built and installed all the time. The basis of every e-charging station is networking. Thanks to this, the individual e-charging station becomes intelligent and can optimize, monitor and individually charge charging in real time. In addition, this multitude of new developments can also be sent "over the air" to the older e-charging stations to update them.
These developments must be taken into account and flexible solutions for networking must be offered in order to advance the energy industry and the expansion of the e-charging infrastructure in the best possible way.
Ali Soy, Co-Founder of Digital Republic