How will smart charging be delivered to the customer?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 11:49
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Following our report in December 2018 that government-funded charging points must be smart from July 2019, there has been much discussion and debate within the electricity industry on how that can be achieved.

The announcement of SSEN’s proposed interim solution for managed charging on their network is yet another indication that the electricity system is viewing smart charging as a solution to safeguard their networks from load increases due to EV uptake. The consensus that smart charging is required naturally leads one to question: what is the best approach to implement smart charging? This is a hotly debated topic within the industry and I’m sure we will see different approaches taken from a variety of players. However, one less frequently asked question is: what are the best available technical solutions to deliver smart charging to the customer?

 One less frequently asked question is: what are the best available technical solutions to deliver smart charging to the customer?

What are the solutions for delivering smart charging and what are the markets like for each of these different options?

There are three distinct communication options emerging to deliver smart charging to the customer and the markets for each option have distinct characteristics:

Looking forward

Each smart charging communication option has benefits and drawbacks associated with it and the preferred option may well be context dependent. We must also be aware that the market is developing, and it is likely that new hybrids of these solutions could come to market. At Delta-ee we believe that in the short term (the next five years) the charger-centric option will continue to maintain a dominant market share and therefore will be integral to most local load management solutions. In the longer term, the car-centric option has exciting growth potential for several reasons:

  • It offers direct access to vehicle data, such as state-of-charge.
  • This option is not limited to location and therefore lends itself to charging with longer dwell times such as on-street charging models.
  • As a key trend in the auto industry, connected car technology enables for a cost-effective solution to smart charging.
  • For OEMs, bundling both the EV and charging solution could be a very attractive customer proposition.

One must always take predictions with a pinch of salt and the smart charging landscape is ever-evolving. New players are entering the space, new technologies are being established and new customer propositions are being developed. It is clear this is a market with a lot of opportunity and the companies that are most successful will be those that develop the most compelling proposition for the end customer.

Author: Will Van Der Byl, Analyst at Delta-ee

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