Media Partners’ Corner – Why EV charging is essential for the decarbonisation of road transportation

EV charging has a critical role to play in the decarbonisation of road transport — from driving the transition to e-mobility in large commercial fleets to individual, private consumers.

Throughout the EU the forecasts for electric vehicle adoption continue to grow. Recent data from Bloomberg BNEF predicts that passenger EV sales will exceed 21 million in 2025, an increase of more than 200% from 2021. By the end of this year, EV sales are expected to reach over 3 million in Europe, which would make 2022 another record growth year for the continent.

Demand remains high as consumers and businesses seek to switch to more sustainable transport. Automakers are responding, with regular announcements concerning their plans to manufacture a wider range of electric vehicles and phase out traditional petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles.

For drivers, the charging experience must be simple, easy and effective. It must replicate the experience of refuelling a diesel or petrol vehicle. Locate, use and pay is the mantra to be adopted. This means that with the rising growth in vehicles and consumer demand, the charging infrastructure and electricity networks must grow and adapt at a fast rate. And there are a few key elements to keep in mind during this EV growth, in order to support the net-zero future of road transport.

Any emerging industry needs collaboration between its players to develop a market that serves the needs of stakeholders. When the challenge is nothing less than a total reimagining of transport, it is especially important that it works for everyone, including consumers, businesses and fleets. The switch to e-mobility requires that charging solutions be networked and integrate seamlessly with apps and vehicle in-dash infotainment systems. Drivers are already familiar with these, making them easy-to-use and cost-effective for organisations of all types and sizes.

The adoption of open protocols and standards is essential for deploying an EV charging infrastructure that accelerates the use of electric vehicles as well. In fact, open industry standards and protocols are key to developing markets and rolling out new technologies. They allow organisations to develop and deploy products and services that fully meet the need of the user. Additionally, they provide the driver with a consistent charging experience anywhere — whether it’s at home, whilst using a public charger on their preferred charging network or any other station on a roaming network.

Networked charging infrastructure is essential for efficiency.

In the wider context of the energy system, networked charging broadly refers to the ability to communicate remotely with the station in order to analyse its status, collect data and control functionality.

The ability to remotely monitor status can ensure the station is operating efficiently. Being able to control functionality means charging vehicles at pre-set times when there is less load on the grid. Data collection enables analysis of energy consumption allowing DNOs/ENOs to model and plan for future network loads or expansion.

Furthermore, the development and deployment of smart, future-proof charging stations enables consumers to take advantage of tariff incentives offered by electricity suppliers whilst allowing charging station operators to utilise power and demand-side management applications to manage the supply across their sites.

Ultimately, networked charging stations become an active component that can provide a data source for operators. This data helps them plan, manage and configure the network to ensure it is operating effectively and efficiently. It is this efficient operation that will help drive the decarbonisation of the energy system.

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Finally, we wish you happy holidays and a healthy, charged-up 2023!