The rapid growth of electric mobility in recent years has
been evident. It is also expected to continue exponentially increasing in the
coming decade. It’s no surprise that 2,000,000 electric cars (EVs) were sold in the first
quarter of 2022. That’s 75% more than in the year prior. A total of 65 million EVs are expected to be on roads by 2030.
This rapid increase in EV use is putting strain on power
grids, making it a challenge for countries all over the world to meet the
rising electricity demand. Smart Charging, which is a method to optimize energy
use and manage EV charging loads, is being considered by governments and
discusses smart charging regulations and the policies the UK and US are following.
What is EV-smart charging?
Smart Charging, sometimes called intelligent Charging, is a general term that can be confusing. Let’s get it down.
In simple terms, an intelligent battery charger is a
device that allows communication between an electric car and a charging
station. Information and data can be exchanged to give the user more control
and insight into the charging process.
An EV driver can use the insights from smart Charging to
make informed decisions about when and how they charge their vehicle. Smart EV
chargers are able to monitor and adjust the charging process automatically in
order to avoid overloads.
Smart EV charging regulations
A smart EV charger can provide many benefits for both EV drivers as well as the grid operator. It makes charging more predictable and allows for easier management of peak power loads. Smart Charging makes it possible to integrate renewable energy sources more efficiently into the overall energy system.
Governments are increasingly introducing new regulations
to ensure that EV chargers meet specific requirements. These regulations aim to
improve the charging experience in several ways.
Easy to use and accessible EV
A charging station’s ease of use is one of its most important attributes. The charger should be simple to use and understand by the driver. In fact, 54% say an intuitive interface
is one of the most important things to look at when selecting a charging station.
Smart chargers must be easy to use and intuitive,
especially when it comes to software interfaces that connect the charging
station to the user.
troubleshooting & software updates
Connectivity is an important feature that makes a smart charging station stand out from a regular one. It allows remote troubleshooting and diagnosis. By connecting to the charger, the provider of charging stations can access its status and diagnose problems immediately. It is obvious that EV drivers are looking for
preventive maintenance services.
This not only allows for quick troubleshooting but also
allows technicians to correct errors remotely without the need for an in-person
visit. Smart chargers keep the driver up-to-date about the charging process and
notify them immediately if there is a problem.
The energy efficiency and
cost-effectiveness of EV charging stations
We found that besides connectivity and ease of use, energy efficiency is an important consideration for charging stations.
Smart Charging gives you insights into how your vehicle
charges and allows you to reduce energy consumption. By scheduling charging
outside of peak hours, you might be able to take advantage of a lower
electricity tariff. Also, the strain on your grid may be lower.
A transparent experience in EV charging
As we have already mentioned, smart charging stations
allow for real-time control over the charging process. This is something 32% consider when purchasing an
electric vehicle charging station. EV drivers can see exactly how much power their car uses and the price they pay for electricity. By doing this, they can optimize their charging times to decrease their electric vehicle’s consumption and manage their costs.
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G), ready
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G), an emerging technology, allows for
two-way power flows between an electric car and the power grid. V2G, which is
essentially an electric vehicle that temporarily supplies power to the grid in
order to store it, will help even out spikes in demand.
Although it’s not yet widely accessible, this technology has great promise.
Grid operators can use these bidirectional flows as a way
to manage rising power demand and prevent overloads. The vast storage potential
of electric cars can benefit the entire energy system. A consolidated fleet of
EVs could transform their batteries into virtual power plants. These power
plants can store and provide power when they are needed. The government
regulations that govern V2G will be critical in ensuring V2G readiness and
smart charging stations comply with the necessary specifications.
Overview of the regulations
for EV smart chargers
Depending on where you are located, there may be smart charging regulations in place. We’ve created an easy-to-understand overview of smart charger regulations for the United Kingdom, Europe, as well as the United States.
- UK Smart Charging Regulations
- EU Smart charging regulations
- Smart charging regulations for the US
The United Kingdom
The UK leads smart-charging regulations worldwide, already having adopted a specific package of measures that govern the use of EV chargers. Smart Charge Points Regulations state that all EV chargers sold within the UK must be capable of supporting smart functionality. They also have to meet a number of minimum requirements. These regulations address connectivity, privacy and security, as well as phased Charging and off-peak Charging.
What does it all mean for homeowners and drivers of EVs?
These smart charging regulations require that all new EV
chargers sold in Britain must have a minimum number of features. As of this
writing, many EV chargers on the UK market were not yet fully compliant. But
they will soon. We have created this overview to help you understand what these
mandatory features are and how they affect you as an electric vehicle driver in
An integrated data connection must be provided to all EV
chargers that monitor and communicates the electricity use during Charging.
This is a core requirement of the new regulation. The monitoring system can
also be used to monitor electricity usage and allow the charging station, for
instance, to slow down or delay charging if there is excessive demand.
The app allows users to access the information generated
by charging stations and adjusting the process to suit their needs.
To reduce peak electricity demand, new chargers must be
default set to charge at night.
This is designed to increase grid stability, allowing
grid operators a more even distribution of electricity by smoothing out peak
demand. It also helps to manage future EV growth by ensuring that they don’t
overload the grid and cause disruptions.
The default setting is not restrictive and can be
manually changed by an EV driver. So, while the user will still have the
ability to charge whenever they like, they will also be encouraged to charge at
times more suitable for the grid and their wallet.
You should also consider that utilities often offer lower
off-peak rates at night when the electricity demand is lower. This default
setting can result in significant savings for electric vehicle drivers, even
though they may not realize it.
Delay charging/ Phased Charging
To prevent a surge in electricity demand from millions
charging simultaneously at 10 pm, the government requires chargers that can
delay charging for up 1800 seconds. That’s 30 minutes.
This allows EVs, which can be charged in phases, to
smooth out the rise in demand over a longer duration, making it easier and more
manageable. As before, EV drivers are always in control and can manually bypass
the delay if needed.
The second phase of new regulations will require charge
points to comply with certain privacy and security standards. It will take
effect from December 30 2022. Chargers will have to ensure that all data sent
to or from their station is encrypted and secured to protect users’ privacy and
minimize the risk of cyberattacks.
Regulations also stipulate that individuals must be able
to manage what data they share and have ways to delete any data that has
already been collected. These data will be deleted after 12 months.
Security is another set of requirements that will apply
from December 30, 2022. The policy requires that chargers be designed,
manufactured, and configured in a way that provides adequate protection against
damage to the electricity system or disruptions to the charge point.
Chargers must also be made in a way that protects the
user and prevents damage to the charger.
What if I
already own a charging station
This may leave you wondering what this means for you if
your charger is already in use. Good news! If your charging station was
installed prior to June 30, it is exempted and will continue to work even if it
lacks any of the mentioned features. You will need to upgrade or install a new
charger in order for it to be smart-charging capable.
The European Union
The EU has also adopted which is a collection of
initiatives that aim to create a zero carbon future and empower electric mobility. The European Green Deal, and more specifically, the Package Fit for 55, are the main EU regulations to reduce CO2 emissions.
The European Green Deal was a result of all 27 Member
States recognizing the urgency of climate change and provides set guiding
principles and legally-binding emission goals for 2050. The Green Deal’s result
is the Fit for 55 Package. It outlines specific policy initiatives that aim to
reduce Europe’s emissions by at minimum 55% by 2030.
Fit for 55 includes the ban on the sale of new internal
combustion engine (ICE) vehicles within the EU by 2035. This decision was officially approved in June 2022 by the European Parliament. This presents new challenges as the EU moves to electric mobility.
The Fit for 55 is the current smart charging proposition.
The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation package is included in the Fit for 55 Program to address the increasing demand for EV chargers. All new public-accessible charging stations across Europe will need to be capable of smart Charging and digitally connected under this plan.
The AFIR, which is the EU’s most important policy, sets
the legal framework for public charges for the next ten years. It is crucial
for realizing the Green Deal, as well as developing a dense, user-friendly, and
accessible charging network in Europe. This is uniform across all Member States.
The proposal highlights three requirements for charging
infrastructure. First, Europe’s charging network must be equitable. That means no one should receive
preferential treatment or be prohibited from using chargers. It should also be
available to the public and be accessible without restriction. Finally,
charging infrastructure must be accessible. This means there must be enough
chargers, especially near transport points like railway stations and airports.
Apart from the AFIR proposal, all private charging
infrastructure would have to be compatible with smart Charging. This would give
EV drivers the ability to monitor the charging session in real-time, provide
optimized information about charger status, and offer a comprehensive overview
of charging times and costs.
The United States
Like the UK and EU, the USA is also implementing
regulations that encourage electric mobility.
The scheme aims to set a number of standards that will
ensure a more efficient and consistent EV-charging network. These regulations
have the specific goal of making EV charging infrastructure accessible,
user-friendly and reliable. Additionally, states will receive funding to
install chargers along important transport corridors.
One thing to note is that the US requires
interoperability among different charging providers. This includes setting
similar payment systems, pricing information and charging speeds. As such, the
proposal would create an interoperable network of EV charging infrastructures
across states that could use the same software platforms.
This would improve the user experience and allow for a
seamless EV charger database that collects data.
The US proposes a set of standards for EV charging that
is not only focused on smart chargers but also aims to facilitate accessibility
and connectivity through smart Charging. The NEVI Program, even though it does
not have specific requirements regarding smart Charging, will contribute to the
rise in smart Charging in the US.
As electric cars continue to increase in number, so will
the need for charging infrastructure. The introduction of new regulations
regarding smart Charging and EV chargers is a way to make sure that the
infrastructure is available and built according to certain standards.
Smart Charging is a way to make your home more