Skip to main content
Nationwide Servicing
24 Hour Support Line: +44 (0)3339 960978

EV Smart Charging: Maximising Efficiency and Savings for Your Electric Vehicle

Smart Charging

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as more people look for ways to reduce their carbon emissions and lower their fuel costs. As the number of EV drivers continues to grow, there is a greater need for multiple charging stations and smart charging systems that can optimise energy consumption and reduce charging costs.

Smart charging is a cloud-based technology that allows charging operators to remotely manage and monitor electric vehicle charges in real-time. This technology enables EV owners to charge their vehicles during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper, reducing the overall cost of charging. In addition, smart charging can help integrate more renewable energy into the grid by charging EVs when renewable energy generation is high.

The benefits of smart EV charging go beyond just cost savings. It can help to reduce the carbon footprint of EVs and balance the grid by reducing charging during periods of high energy demand. Furthermore, smart charging systems can help to prolong the life of EV batteries by reducing the amount of time they spend at full charge.

At Vital, we understand the importance of smart charging for EV owners and the environment. That’s why we offer a range of charge points installations and data connections that enable EV owners to charge their vehicles using the latest smart charging technology. Our charge points are designed to deliver maximum charging power during peak hours, while also offering flexible and convenient charging options for EV drivers. With our smart charging solutions, EV owners can enjoy the benefits of fast, reliable, and cost-effective charging, while also doing their part to reduce carbon emissions and support a more sustainable future.

What is smart charging?

Smart charging for an electric vehicle (EV) refers to a technology that optimises the charging process of an EV based on various factors, such as energy demand, pricing, and grid stability. With smart charging, EVs can charge at times when electricity is cheaper and more abundant and reduce their charging during periods of high demand or when the grid is under stress.

Smart charging systems can be controlled remotely, and they can also communicate with other devices, such as solar panels, to optimise the use of renewable energy. This technology not only helps EV owners save money on their charging costs, but it also supports the overall stability of the grid and reduces the carbon footprint of EVs. Smart charging is a significant step towards more sustainable and efficient charging of electric vehicles.

What are the benefits of smart charging

Smart charging offers several benefits for electric vehicle (EV) owners and the wider energy system. Some of the main benefits of smart charging include:

Cost savings

Smart charging can help EV owners reduce their charging costs by taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates. In many cases, electricity prices are higher during peak demand periods when people are using more energy, such as during the daytime. By charging during off-peak hours, such as at night when demand is lower, EV owners can benefit from lower electricity prices.

Smart charging systems can also use dynamic pricing to adjust the charging rate based on real-time energy prices. This means that when electricity is cheaper, the charging rate will increase, and when it is more expensive, the charging rate will decrease. This ensures that EV owners are always getting the best price for their electricity, and they can save even more money on their charging costs.

Furthermore, some energy providers offer time-of-use tariffs that offer significantly cheaper electricity rates during off-peak hours. By using smart charging systems, EV owners can take advantage of these tariffs and save even more money on their charging costs. Overall, the cost savings of smart charging can make owning an EV more affordable and accessible to a wider range of people.

Reduced carbon footprint

One of the major benefits of smart charging is that it can help reduce the carbon footprint of electric vehicles (EVs) by integrating more renewable energy into the grid. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are variable in nature, meaning that the amount of energy generated can fluctuate depending on weather conditions. Smart charging systems can take advantage of these fluctuations by charging EVs during periods of high renewable energy generation.

This not only helps to reduce the carbon footprint of EVs by using cleaner sources of energy, but it also helps to reduce the strain on the grid during periods of peak demand. By charging EVs when there is an abundance of renewable energy available, the need for energy storage systems is reduced, as excess renewable energy can be used to charge EVs instead.

Smart charging systems can also work in conjunction with other technologies, such as solar panels or home energy management systems. For example, excess solar energy generated during the day can be used to charge an EV, reducing the need for grid electricity during peak demand periods.

Improved grid stability

Another benefit of smart charging is that it can help balance the grid and prevent blackouts and brownouts. During periods of high energy demand or when the grid is under stress, the energy supply may not be sufficient to meet the demand. In such situations, if many EVs are charging at the same time, it can put additional strain on the grid and lead to blackouts or brownouts.

Smart charging systems can help to balance the grid by reducing charging during these periods of high demand or when the grid is under stress. For example, smart charging systems can be programmed to prioritise charging during off-peak hours or when renewable energy generation is high. This can help to reduce the load on the grid during peak demand periods and ensure that there is enough energy to go around.

Additionally, smart charging systems can be designed to communicate with the grid, allowing them to adjust charging rates in real-time based on grid conditions. For example, if there is a sudden increase in demand, the smart charging system can reduce the charging rate of connected EVs to reduce the load on the grid

Convenient charging

One of the key benefits of smart charging is the ability for EV owners to control their charging remotely, allowing them to schedule charging times based on their needs and preferences. Smart charging systems can be controlled through a mobile app or web portal, giving EV owners the ability to start or stop charging, adjust charging rates, and monitor charging progress from anywhere.

Remote control of charging can be particularly useful for EV owners who have variable schedules or who need to charge their vehicles at different times of the day. By scheduling charging times, EV owners can ensure that their vehicles are charged and ready to go when they need them, without having to worry about remembering to start or stop the charging process.

Furthermore, some smart charging systems offer features such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which allows EV owners to sell excess energy stored in their vehicle’s battery back to the grid during times of high demand. This not only provides an additional source of revenue for EV owners, but it also helps to support grid stability by providing additional energy during peak demand periods.

Extended battery life

Another benefit of smart charging is that it can help to prolong the life of EV batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in EVs, can degrade over time if they are frequently charged to 100% capacity and held at that level for an extended period. This can lead to reduced battery capacity and a shorter overall lifespan for the battery.

Smart charging systems can help to prevent this degradation by reducing the amount of time that EV batteries spend at full charge. By programming the smart charging system to stop charging the battery once it reaches a certain level, the system can prevent the battery from being overcharged and held at full capacity for an extended period. This can help to reduce the risk of battery degradation and extend the overall lifespan of the battery.

In addition to prolonging the life of the battery, smart charging can also help to reduce the need for expensive battery replacements, which can be a significant cost for EV owners. By reducing the amount of stress placed on the battery, smart charging systems can help to keep the battery in good condition, potentially extending its life and reducing the need for costly replacements.

EV Smart Charging Regulations

With a growing number of businesses turning to electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK, the government has implemented regulations to outline the necessary capabilities for workplace chargers. Central to these regulations is the emphasis on smart charging functionality, enabling charging stations to prioritise charging during periods of low grid demand or when renewable energy sources are abundant.

These regulations also aim to provide end-users with more information and statistics about their charging events, alongside enhanced security measures. The widespread adoption of EVs aligns with the government’s strategy to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, supported by financial grants for homeowners and businesses.

While the surge in electric cars poses challenges to the nation’s energy grid, it’s assumed that the grid can meet this demand, provided EV charging is optimised in terms of timing. By fostering a more adaptable energy system, the grid can effectively support the UK’s transition to EVs. Additionally, these changes encourage the use of smart charging and associated flexibility, facilitating the seamless integration of clean, renewable electricity into the grid.

Overall, these regulations aim to elevate standards in the EV charging industry and pave the way for an intelligently managed and future-proofed energy ecosystem.

EV Fleet Management

Overhead shot of electric EV delivery vans are being charged in company parking garage

Sophisticated smart charging systems, such as Occulus, use cloud-based technology alongside onsite hardware. This combination enables the automation and optimisation of charging operations. The software can effectively steer fluctuating electricity costs on an hourly basis and coordinate charging sessions to utilise low-cost energy, ensuring vehicles are adequately charged and ready when required. smart charging allows fleets with access to price optimisation without the need for constant monitoring of electricity price volatility or manual intervention.

Addressing one of the challenges in expanding EV fleets, smart charging also provides a solution to potential increases in maximum import capacity requirements. Fleet customers can sidestep lengthy and expensive service upgrades by using adaptive load management tools. These tools monitor site and charger load profiles, efficiently managing a fleet’s chargers and charge sessions to prevent exceeding the maximum power threshold. By automatically adjusting and deactivating chargers at strategic intervals, while still ensuring timely charging for the fleet.

Send us a message

Find out more about our Commercial, Public and Residential EV Charging services today.