Most people charge their electric vehicle in the morning, at one of the peak hours on the energy grid. Smart charging your EV is a smart way to balance the grid and save money.
According to the International Energy Agency’s Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Outlook report, new registrations of electric cars increased by 70% globally between 2014 and 2015, with over 550.000 vehicles being sold in 2015. In the U.S. new registrations declined while in China (the largest EV market), they surged, seeing a threefold increase. While this growth market can contribute to decarbonising our transportation needs, it will also have a profound effect on the energy industry.
The Netherlands in top of the list
Together with Norway, the Netherlands are in the top of the list concerning EV uptake and charging station development. The Netherlands has around 72.000 charging stations installed for around 110.000 registered EVs on the road. With 10% market share in the Netherlands they are certainly ahead of the EVs growth curve. This fast growth is already affecting distribution grids and energy markets.
EV’s double the total of energy demand
The energy demand of electric vehicles effectively doubles consumer energy demand. In the Netherlands, the average energy demand of a home is around 3400 kWh/year. In order to fuel the average daily commute you need around 7-11 kWh. That equals 2.555 – 4.015 kWh per year, roughly doubling total demand. Next to this, as can be seen in the figure below, most of this demand occurs during the morning and evening peak. This creates problems on distribution grids and in markets. Grids are already on peak capacity during the morning and evening. Doubling energy demand in these hours can lead to congestion on grids. Also, charging your electric vehicle on these moments is expensive: every additional kWh consumed in peak hours, requires additional generation capacity to come online. Where peak power often costs around €55/MWh, off-peak power costs around €30/MWh. Just in the Netherlands alone, the value of the energy bought for powering electric vehicles is about €1.6 million annually (taking an average of €35/MWh). This is just for the full electric vehicles alone, excluding plug-in hybrids. Imagine this number in 10 years.
The Cool Thing about EV’s
The really cool thing about electric vehicles is that they are connected to a charging station for a longer time than necessary for charging the car. On average cars are connected to a charging station for 7 hours per charging session. Only 2,5 hours of these 7 are actually used for charging the car. So what does this mean?
Smart Charging of your EV
This means that if you are smart you can use the flexibility in the charging moment for demand response or frequency containment reserve, two lucrative markets. With enough cars connected to a smart control system, charging electric vehicles could potentially cost a fraction of the €1.6 million mentioned above. With primary reserve prices of around €2500/MW we believe charging your electric vehicle, could potentially be done for free! That would mean the car owner only has to pay for the investment into the electric vehicle and the charging infrastructure.
Within the pilot set up by TenneT, Senfal is developing the control software necessary for providing frequency containment reserve. By bundling charging stations with batteries and wind turbines, a stable signal towards TenneT will be piloted. In this way, Senfal is working towards an affordable, smart and sustainable energy future.