National data study: Huge potential for electric vehicle smart charging

It’s better for electric vehicle charging to be spread throughout the day, so that they can make the best possible use of renewable energy and don’t overload the electricity grid. This is the finding from the national data survey undertaken at 90 percent of all the public charging points in the Netherlands. The survey by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences was commissioned by the G4 municipalities, Metropoolregio Amsterdam Elektrisch (MRA-E), the Living Lab Smart Charging and ElaadNL.

Smart charging potential for 30 to 50 percent of the charging operations in the evenings

For the survey, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences collated almost 2.7 million transactions from 2016. What became apparent is that vehicles are often recharged as fast as possible. 30 to 50 percent of the charging operations begin between 4 and 8 pm, with 75 percent having a smart-charging potential. For instance, when a vehicle is connected to the charger for four hours, but the battery recharges fully in one hour, the other three hours are unused.

Spreading the charging times better is vital to prevent the demand for energy becoming too high in busy periods if lots of vehicles are charging at a point at the same time. So-called Smart Charging also has a positive effect on charging with renewable energy, because you then have more time to use solar or wind power, for instance.

In Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht almost half (46 percent) of vehicles have the absolute potential to charge smarter. In the rest of the Netherlands, 36 percent of the electric vehicles have the potential to charge more efficiently.

Follow-up survey into making better use of renewable energy

The national data survey is the first step in the cooperation. A follow-up survey is being conducted with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, to investigate the potential and application of smart charging in greater detail. This should provide better insights into how we can drive electric vehicles better using solar and wind energy. In autumn, for instance, the best possible use can be made of wind energy in the evenings and overnight.

This will enable the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable, or sustainable, energy, says Harm-Jan Idema of the Living Lab Smart Charging:

‘The municipalities of Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Amsterdam, ElaadNL and the Metropoolregio Amsterdam are absolutely ahead of the pack when it comes to developing a sustainable transportation system where we live, work and drive with energy from the sun and wind. We are extremely pleased with their efforts and involvement in smart charging, with which we will soon actually be able to achieve a sustainable transportation system.’

Analysis of the current situation has now been completed, and further investigation based on it will be conducted in 2018 by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the G4 municipalities, Metropoolregio Amsterdam Elektrisch (MRA-E), the Living Lab Smart Charging and ElaadNL.

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