What Is Smart Charging with EV Charge Points?
The best way to start is to identify what Smart Charging is. With the aid of the cloud-based technology known as ‘smart charging’, you can effectively schedule when and how your electric vehicle is charged by establishing data links with the charging station operator and utility company.
In most cases, it refers to load balancing, energy monitoring, and ‘managed charging’, in which the charging power may be automatically reduced to ensure that it doesn't exceed the grid's restrictions and can reduce electricity costs for EV drivers.
What are Smart EV Charging Point Regulations?
The sale and installation of home and office charging stations that do not adhere to the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 will be prohibited in the United Kingdom as of June 30, 2022.
Then, in order to assist in managing the increasing energy demand on the grid from electric vehicles, all charge stations marketed for residential or commercial use will need to have smart charging capabilities (EVs).
These new smart charging rules cover:
- Charge stations in houses that are primarily used by their owners for personal purposes but might be rented out to the general public.
- Charge stations were bought by owners of multi-unit buildings with a common parking area in mind.
- Charge ports designed for use at work. For fleet drivers, this also applies to depot fees.
Why We Need These New EV Charge Point Regulations
The government plans to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel automobiles by 2030 in order to attain net-zero emissions by 2050. If the Road to Zero (RTZ) objectives are met, the Department of Transport anticipates that the number of hybrid and electric cars will range between 8 and 11 million by 2030. Due to this increase, the grid will be under a lot of stress which is why it will be vital to find a way to control and adapt to this rise. The rise in power consumption may be controlled, though, with the aid of a smarter, more adaptable energy infrastructure.
There are several methods for providing EV smart charging, both in terms of technology and economic strategies. While this variety is crucial for growth, regulations established by the industry will give the required grid protection and consumer protection, eradicating charge stations with a range of smart charging functions.
What Results Will the Regulations for Smart Charging Produce?
The effectiveness and efficiency of energy usage are intended to be improved through smart charging solutions. Charging at home and work occurs during moments of high demand on the power grid, such as when individuals arrive at work in the morning or at home in the evening.
Peak demand can be reduced through a more intelligent energy system, which will also maximise the use of intermittently produced, sporadically produced low-carbon renewable electricity. By lowering the need for investment in the electricity network by charging electric cars off-peak (at night), electric vehicles can aid in the transition to a more intelligent energy system.
With the shift to electric vehicles, these regulations seek to make the best use possible of these sophisticated technologies while safeguarding the grid and providing customers with lower power prices.
New Charge Point Requirements
Per the new regulations, the majority of household and business charging stations marketed in Great Britain must be able to smart charge, enabling drivers to take advantage of reduced overnight energy rates. This encourages EV owners to charge their cars at less expensive times, such as overnight or on weekends. It is significant to note that drivers have the option to reject the pre-set settings and that peak charging is not prohibited. Drivers will be able to choose when to charge, but since peak time charging has higher tariffs, they are less likely to do it when the grid is busiest.
Cyber data and security
Chargers will have safeguards for safety-critical services and user alerts if there is a cyberattack after the new security and privacy rules take effect on December 30, 2022. Furthermore, there must be encryption and security measures in place for all communications transmitted to and received from the smart charger. Additionally, it must be feasible to erase any personal information that may have been entered into the charging point.
In order to shield consumers and EV users from the disadvantages of vendor lock-in, charge points must not be set up in such a way that, should the owner switch power providers, they would no longer work as smart devices.
To send and receive signals, charge stations require a communications network such as cellular, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi. To guarantee that owners can charge their vehicles, a charge station must be set such that even if it loses communications network access, it can still charge an EV.
Charge stations are pre-set to turn off during peak hours (8 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 10 pm on weekdays) in order to relieve pressure on the national grid and encourage EV owners to charge during periods of low demand. Owners can choose to change this default time setting, though, since they will be notified and asked to confirm this setting the first time they use their charge point and are free to alter the setting at any time.
Charge points will have a randomised delay function of up to 10 minutes at the beginning of each charging session, in addition to off-peak charging. While several charge points turn on or off at once, as can happen when recovering from a power loss or in reaction to a ToU tariff, this capability will lower the risk of possible grid stability concerns.
The randomised delay will arbitrarily postpone off-peak charging sessions and evenly spread the demand placed on the grid in order to prevent the grid from becoming unstable owing to unexpected spikes or reductions in demand. Again, any delays can be overridden by EV drivers.
Monitoring of Energy Consumption
These regulations provide new guidelines for how charge stations must track and report power usage. This will make it easier for consumers to monitor their energy use and interact with their utility bills. The ability to track usage data and offer owners a method to look back on it for the previous 12 months are also requirements for a charging station.
Do these regulations apply to public charging stations?
Public charging stations, such as those found on public streets and at destinations, will not be subject to the new regulations. The majority of EV charging takes place at home. Thus, due to the lengthy plug-in durations, implementing smart charging in domestic, close to home, and business settings is the most appropriate course of action for phase one of the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021.
Other Anticipated Adjustments
It is anticipated that Phase Two of The Electric Vehicles Smart Charge Point Regulations 2021 will be implemented by 2025. In addition to upgrading the device-level specifications established in Phase One, it will contain new standards for charge point operators and power aggregators in addition to smart charge point hardware.
What Do These Regulations Mean For Business?
For businesses, Smart Charging can have many positive effects and help you take control. Smart Charging:
- allows restrictions on energy consumption. In order to prevent taxing the system and expensive grid improvements to satisfy power needs, charge station operators that provide charging to their staff or customers can balance the energy demands for the building and EV charging.
- enables remote management and monitoring of charging. When an electric vehicle (EV) is plugged in, the charge point transmits data to the management platform regarding the charging time, speed, capacity of the nearby grid, and how energy is being utilised at the location. Charge point operators can make wise judgments thanks to real-time data analysis and visualisation. This information is essential to establish charging costs, availability, and power for EV drivers if you intend to make your charging stations accessible to the general public.
- maximise the use of your charging network. You may increase your return on investment (ROI) by allowing external clients to charge at your charge point during off-peak times.
To bring it all together, these new smart charging regulations are an important step in getting companies and homes ready for an energy system that is reliable and accessible, which is necessary for reducing emissions.
Therefore, it is important to execute specifications in the charging infrastructure to enable simple communication across the ecosystem on power usage and smart charging activities.
To support the expansion of the EV sector, comprehensive legislation addressing EV charging is essential. Smart charging in this situation attempts to increase the sustainability and efficiency of growing EV usage.