Smart EV Charging in Buildings: a key lever for accelerating EVs’ adoption

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are transforming and decarbonizing the mobility industry. With millions of new EVs expected on the roads in the near future, this trend will only accelerate in the coming years.

To maximize the benefits of this shift, for both consumers and the environment, it is also essential that we speed up the global roll-out of smart EV charging infrastructure.

With 300 to 500 million EV connectors projected to be installed by 2040, getting EV charging infrastructure right will be pivotal for building tomorrow’s smart and decentralized energy system.

Most existing policies today focus on the deployment of public charging infrastructure. However, around 90% of EV chargers installed by 2040 will be in private settings – mainly in our residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. It is thus essential to evaluate the potential added value of deploying private smart EV charging technology in buildings for EV drivers, system operators, and other stakeholders.

The multiple benefits of smart EV charging in buildings

To assess this issue, the Schneider Electric TM  Sustainability Research Institute has conducted a cost-benefit analysis of installing local smart EV charging technology in households, multifamily, and commercial buildings.

Our research finds that, for consumers and system operators, the benefits of such an approach are striking. The results highlight that:

– On average, smart EV charging stations deployed in buildings are more affordable for consumers than equivalent public charging points.

– Smart EV charging can generate savings of up to 70% for consumers, when compared to public EV charging costs, especially if paired with time-of-use tariffs, demand charges and the implementation of distributed power generation infrastructure (such as onsite solar). These savings can be further enhanced through the utilization of load management systems.

– The benefits of EV charging are magnified by the provision of grid and system services, highlighting the value of having a fully smart and bidirectional charging strategy.

– Implementing smart charging technology in buildings increases the resilience of local and global grids, while also helping avoid the need for large, expensive associated infrastructure investments.

– Finally, the provision of smart EV charging in buildings, on average, reduces associated CO2 emissions by more than public charging or uncontrolled charging, at the building level.

A thoughtful policy approach is required

The potential benefits are huge, but we need well-designed policies to achieve them. The results of our study demonstrate that governments and regulatory bodies should seek to ensure:

  1. The promotion of EV charging at buildings, via the removal of all existing barriers.
  2. A reduction in smart EV charging costs for consumers, via the implementation of time-of-use energy tariffs and the increased self-consumption of electricity generated via distributed generation.
  3. Better access to grid and system services for EVs to support the transformation of energy systems.

Smart EV charging is a major enabler of the decarbonization of transport, buildings, and global energy systems. When coupled with flexible sources and loads within buildings, it also has the potential to provide important additional benefits for consumers and system operators.

This combination provides a more efficient and economically attractive proposition than centralized paradigms – and is an important first step towards the convergence of Mobility, Energy and the Urban transformation.

For full details and results of the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute’s modeling of smart EV charging in buildings, click here.

More information on the specific applications of eMobility solutions and smart EV charging technologies can be found here (eMobility) and here (EV Charging).

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