Electric vehicles (EVs) play a key role in combating climate change – but they must be charged sustainably. FM explores how smart charging could help decarbonise transportation.
The world is teetering on wider-ranging and more destructive climate effects if countries don’t meet their emissions reduction targets.
To mitigate their impact and meet their climate commitments, countries are pursuing a host of sustainability initiatives. With light vehicles accounting for around 11 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, electric vehicles are key to reducing our carbon footprint.
Record-breaking EV sales show rising interest in a greener mode of transport. However, simply increasing the number of EVs on the road isn’t enough to combat the climate change effect of vehicles. EVs that are charged with electricity powered by fossil fuels and whose charging patterns don’t optimise clean energy use can still have a significant carbon footprint.
What is smart EV charging?
Smart charging is the solution for more sustainable charging. Smart charging refers to a charging system that is able to monitor, manage and eventually limit the use of EV charging devices with the aim of optimising energy consumption. It can intelligently and flexibly adapt the charging strategy to meet both the needs of EV users and the power grid.
By 2030, the EV market will require more than 55 million chargers in buildings, according to estimates from McKinsey. Smart charging technology helps decarbonise transportation while still meeting the charging demand of EVs.
By adding smart charging points in places like commercial and multi-family residences, not only do drivers have more places to charge, but they also have more charging options than traditional classic load-management options. For example, charging can be adjusted for drivers’ needs, taking into account variables like time and cost and the charging level based on local renewable energy sources.
Regardless of whether a driver is charging with renewables or fossil fuels, smart charging can also optimise electricity use. Smart charging solutions can charge at off-peak times, for example, which reduces charging costs for drivers and minimises load impact. This, in turn, avoids the need to upgrade electrical distribution installations in the buildings and contributes to grid balancing by adjusting charging levels.
Why is smart charging in buildings and homes so important for the EV revolution?
In addition to the sustainability benefits, it comes down to convenience.
EV charging is not nearly as quick as filling up with gas at the pump. Because EVs take longer to charge, EV drivers want to be able to charge at convenient places where they will already be parked for extended periods – such as workplaces and homes.
How does smart EV charging benefit building owners and FMs?
Supporting drivers’ needs naturally makes locations attractive places to live and work. But, equally importantly, smart charging also takes the stress off buildings’ electrical systems, accommodating the increased energy demand in buildings while also using renewable energy when available.
It’s clear that EVs are part of the new mobility, so putting a smart charging infrastructure in buildings now future-proofs them for the regulations that are already in place in some progressive geographies or are in the years to come.
Learn how integrated smart EV charging solutions can support efficient and resilient all-electric mobility in homes and buildings.
Download Schneider Electric’s eGuide for a better understanding of why smart charging is the best solution for reliable, sustainable charging.