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Opinion Piece: Smart EV charging in buildings is central to sustainable, green transportation

Nigeria

12/10/2022

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Khaled Fakhuri, Senior Vice President Marketing and Strategy for Innovation  at Schneider Electric & Ayush Kedia, Global Offer Manager for eMobility in Innovation business  at Schneider Electric.

 

Electric vehicles play a key role in combating climate change – but they must be charged sustainably

The world is heading toward a wider-ranging and more destructive climate effects if countries don’t meet their emission reduction targets. To mitigate their impact and meet their climate commitments, countries are pursuing a host of sustainability initiatives. Electric vehicle (EV) adoption has a central role in sustainability plans because EVs can reduce cars’ significant carbon footprint, which is why the EUUnited StatesCanada, and China, as well as other countries, are focusing heavily on policies that increase EV adoption.

This approach seems to be working based on record-breaking EV sales.

However, simply increasing the number of EVs on the road isn’t enough to combat vehicles’ climate change effect. EVs that are charged using fossil fuels for electricity and whose charging patterns don’t optimize clean energy use can still have a significant carbon footprint.

What is smart charging?

Smart charging is the solution for more sustainable charging. A charging system that is able to monitor, manage and eventually limit the use of EV charging devices with the aim of optimizing energy consumption. It can intelligently and flexibly adapt the charging strategy to meet both the needs of EV users and the power grid. In fact, a U.S. study found that aligning EV charging to when cleaner power is available on the grid could save around 800 pounds of CO2 per vehicle annually.

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 if a driver is charging with renewables or fossil fuels, smart charging can also optimize electricity use. For example, smart charging solutions can charge at off-peak times, which reduces charging costs for drivers and minimizes load impact. This, in turn, avoid the need to upgrade electrical distribution installations in the buildings and contributes to grid balancing by adjusting charging levels.

By 2030, the EV market will require more than 55 million chargers in buildings, according to McKinsey

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. In fact, it’s predicted that more than 60% of the global EV charging will take place at commercial or multifamily buildings by 2030, according to Bloomberg, so it’s essential that the smart charging infrastructure is in place to support them.

How does it benefit the building owners and facility managers with the smart EV charging? Beyond supporting drivers’ needs, which can make the location an attractive place to live and work, smart charging takes the stress off buildings’ electrical systems because it can accommodate 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 forthcoming in the years to come.

 

Nigeria

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