Jan 17, 2023
Smart EV Charging: How to Save Time and Money on Charging
Imagine a world where your electric vehicle charges itself while you sleep, effortlessly keeping your battery topped off and ready for your morning commute. That’s the world we are living in.
Let’s talk about the benefits and drawbacks of smart and simple EV charging stations. After reading our blog post, you will be able to decide whether paying more for smart features is a good investment.
What does Smart EV Charging Mean?
Your electric vehicle charging experience is like a journey. With traditional EV charging, it's like you're driving through the countryside with no map - you have to guess where you're going, and hope that you end up at your destination. But with smart EV charging, it's like you have a high-tech GPS guiding you every step of the way. You can monitor and control your charging progress and energy usage in real-time and access a range of insights about your electric vehicle and charger.
In short, smart charging is another combination of words for “energy efficiency”. Using an intelligent wallbox allows you to use electricity in such a way that you minimise your expenses as well as your carbon footprint.
What do you need to do to charge smartly? We are about to show you everything.
What is a Smart Wallbox?
A smart EV charging station such as our go-e Charger is like a personal assistant for your electric vehicle, helping you to charge more efficiently.
With a smart charger, you'll have total control at your fingertips - you can monitor and control your charging progress and energy usage from anywhere in the world. Plus, the wallbox will work its magic to optimise your charging time and power based on off-peak hours and lower energy rates, helping you save some serious cash on your energy bills.
Let's look at it on a larger scale. Many smart EV chargers can be connected to a charging network using OCPP, which allows them to communicate with back-end systems and other devices or systems. This can enable a range of features and functionality, such as remote monitoring and control of the charging process for many chargers simultaneously.
A lot of things in just one small wallbox, huh? Let us explain everything to you in a simple way.
Charging intelligently is convenient
- With an app that provides data insights, you can get a glimpse into the inner workings of your charger and your electric vehicle, and use that information to optimise your charging time and power.
- Control your charging from anywhere, at any time - whether you're relaxing on the couch or whipping up a feast in the kitchen, you'll have all the info you need just a click away.
- With a smart wallbox, you can easily track your energy usage and get clear, concise billing information. No more digging through paperwork or trying to decipher complicated energy statements - with a smart charger and app, everything is simple and straightforward.
As we said, using a smart wallbox is like having a GPS for your charging - you can see where you're at and where you're going, and choose the most efficient route.
Smart Charging: Load Balancing Makes Charging Safe
Smart chargers come with an important feature - load balancing. In other words, they allow you to set a maximum kW limit for charging.
What is the load balancing for?
If you charge your electric car and have many house appliances on (e.g. dishwasher, computer, sauna), you risk overloading your grid and having power cut in the whole building. Or imagine a bunch of EVs all trying to charge at the same time - without load balancing, it could be like rush hour on the highway, with everyone stuck in gridlock. But with load balancing, it's like everyone is moving at the perfect speed, making sure that the power grid stays stable and efficient.
Financial Benefits of Smart EV Charging
When is electricity cheapest? When it's available in abundance - e.g. at night. With a smart wallbox, EV owners can schedule the start of charging for 1am and go to bed early - the wallbox will carry out the command.
Our go-e Charger is able to monitor electricity prices for the coming hours from the energy suppliers we have integrated in the go-e app. This means that you can set a maximum cost of 1 kWh and the charger will not charge when the price is higher unless you set an exception. Get full control over your EV charging costs.
Smart EV Charging With Solar
Smart wallboxes with a PV surplus power feature allows you to use excess solar energy to charge your electric vehicle. It is basically like killing two birds with one stone as you not only reduce your carbon footprint by charging your car with renewable energy, but also save on fuel costs.
Charging With a Simple Wallbox?
In contrast to the smart charger, a simple (dumb) wallbox is not connected to the internet and must be operated manually. This means that the charging process starts immediately upon plugging in the cable, and ends when the cable is unplugged or the car battery is fully charged - no scheduling available. Furthermore, you can't monitor or control the charging process remotely. On top of that, it can also be less flexible and less energy-efficient than a smart EV charger.
However, there is one big advantage simple wallboxes have - their price. You can buy one for around 300 €, while prices for smart charging stations start at around 600 to 700 €.
A dumb charger may be sufficient for infrequent charging, but a smart charger may be more convenient and efficient for more frequent or long-term charging needs.
However, we are sure that dumb charging stations will be banned in the future because they endanger the stability of the electricity grid.
Who Benefits from Smart Charging?
Smart charging is a game-changer for a variety of stakeholders, not just electric vehicle owners. Network operators, companies, and even society as a whole can all reap the rewards of this innovative technology.
Whether it's optimising charging experiences, fine-tuning the energy grid, boosting efficiency and sustainability, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there's something in it for everyone.
Benefits for electric vehicle owners
Smart charging technology can provide EV drivers with greater control over their charging experience by allowing them to monitor and control their charging progress and energy usage in real-time. It can also help them save money on their energy bills by optimising their charging time and power based on off-peak hours and lower energy rates.
Benefits for network operators
Network operators can better manage the demand for electricity on the grid, improving the stability and efficiency of the energy system overall. It can also help to reduce the risk of grid overload and improve the integration of renewable energy sources.
Benefits of smart charging for companies
Companies that operate electric vehicle fleets or offer electric vehicle charging services can benefit from smart charging technology by improving the efficiency and reliability of their charging operations. It can also help them to reduce their energy costs and improve the sustainability of their operations.
There's a lot you can learn about smart charging. But sometimes all you want to do is get home from work, leave your car charging in the garage and go watch a new season of your favourite TV series.
And we totally understand that.
EV charging shouldn't be a big deal. But when another episode of your series gets interrupted by a power outage, it becomes a headache. You get up to check what's going on, but walking in the dark doesn't seem like your preferred activity. Now imagine that all this could have been avoided if you had got yourself a smart charging station that regulates current and doesn't consume more electricity than is available.
So why settle for a dumb charger when you can get a smart one and take control of your EV charging experience? With a smart home charger, you can charge smarter, optimise energy consumption, save money, and enjoy the convenience of having your electric car charge itself.
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