We’ve written quite a bit on these web pages about how electric vehicles can be a force to drive energy efficiency in the home. And we at GreenTech Advocates believe that home energy management systems will be an essential and intelligent conduit between the EV and other systems, due to the need to “smart-charge” these vehicles.
But what form will that energy management be in?
To briefly recap, smart charging EVs will be essential because:
- The charger will be the biggest power draw in your home.
- Utilities are afraid we will all come home at roughly the same times and charge our cars, wreaking havoc on the grid and causing brownouts.
- Utilities will enforce hourly Time of Use rates, Demand Response programs and other means to encourage delayed charging or smart charging cycles.
- Utilities want V2G (vehicle to grid) technology to summon the power available in many EV batteries if needed.
- That power could also be used to power other things in your home.
- You will require an intelligent system to govern this and to smart charge EVs and do other tasks, based on your preferences.
So what form will that energy management system take?
Some smarts will be in the car, some will be in the charger. Rate signals will come from a smart meter or via the Internet. You may be able to set a charging schedule right from the car.
But as Mike Calise, director of Electric Vehicles for Schneider Electric, emphasizes, there’s a pricing pressure to keep EVs and chargers as inexpensive as possible. So don’t expect a lot of energy management tech in the cars and charger. They’ll likely be just enough. Yet the principle of Moore’s Law, which states that computer power will double every 18 to 24 months, can also apply to EVs. “The integration of tech is ultimately where this goes,” he says. “You can (eventually) add significantly more tech at same cost, like Moore’s Law.”
We’ll certainly have some intelligence at the EV level, but it may not be enough to handle all an owner’s smart charging preferences and V2G or even vehicle-to-home power decisions.
It’s all conjecture for now, but our bet is that we’ll see some energy management capabilities in many devices. You may just need a central system to make sense of it all.
You may also like: