Three recommendations for grid-friendly charging of electric vehicles: Agora


The adoption of electric vehicles can lead to a significant annual investment in power lines and transformers, according to a study Distribution grid planning for a successful energy transition – focus on electromobility by Agora Verkehrswende, Agora Energiewende and Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP).

However, by reducing the total number of electric cars as well as introducing “grid-friendly charging”, investment needed can be reduced by as much as 50 per cent by 2050. Adopting grid-friendly charging means refining the behaviour of customers with electric vehicles in order to optimise the charging process and smooth network load.

Based on the study, here are three recommendations for policymakers who want to introduce grid-friendly charging:

  1. Allow controlled charging. In order to limit the peak loads on electric networks, network operators should be allowed to cut charging at peak times if needed. To incentivise this, customers with electric vehicles can enjoy reduced costs if they grant consent for controlled charging
  2. Incentivise charging when demand is low. Time-of-use tariffs or critical peak pricing can be used to encourage electric vehicles to be charged when load on the grid is low. The incentives need to be high enough to encourage customers with electric vehicles to pay for the installation of intelligent charging technology.
  3. Develop and distribute software for forecasting network capacity. By capturing and processing data on the location and timing of network usage, a more accurate network schedule can be forecasted and communicated to consumers to improve the use of time-of-use tariffs and critical peak pricing.

For more insights into the effect of electric vehicles on power distribution networks, read the full report Distribution grid planning for a successful energy transition – focus on electromobility.


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