EVs are headed to the forefront of the automotive industry. In fact, every automotive manufacturer is scrambling to release an all-electric vehicle in the coming years and some countries like the Netherlands are attempting to outlaw internal combustion vehicles entirely. However, is 100% electric even possible?
The short answer is "yes!", although looking a little deeper it's no easy task. Take the United States, the entire electrical grid is constantly overburdened. While it was designed for this it certainly was not meant to handle such a massive additional power pull. Electric vehicles are extremely power hungry and asking our current infrastructure to handle this is just not doable. So what can cities do to make 100% EVs a reality?
Intelligence is Key
While the first thought of many is to build out more infrastructure this would be a monumental feat. One that requires not only mountains of cash, but tens of thousands of man hours to complete. It certainly might help stimulate the economy but may also bankrupt it too.
The better solution is to make the existing infrastructure more intelligent. Giving it the ability to "think" how and when it's going to power these vehicles along with everything else. The thing is we don't all use the same amount of power at the same exact time and it's what makes basic load management systems work so well. What if we added machine learning to the process? Making the system overall more efficient knowing how much power you need and when you need it by.
Systems like this already exist with EverChare's SmartPower being the prime example. Our systems don't need to control the entirety of the building, just the garage. Doing this effectively maximizes the current infrastructure and allows any building to make the most of even the smallest power supply.
Adding Power Into The Grid
Its easy to trumpet EverCharge's award-winning technology as the best and only solution, but there are others. Most notable of these is the Tesla Power Wall and the Nissan Leaf's vehicle-to-grid ability. This is ideal for single family homes as the power the vehicle has left can be fed back into the grid when more people are connected.
The beauty of these systems for single family home dwellers is they can fill battery systems during the day via solar or regular power when the rate is much lower, then re-fill the vehicles from the battery at night when rates (and demand) typically go up.
Using our electric vehicles as battery packs that can power our homes once they are done being used would significantly reduce strain on the grid during peak times.
Your Personal EVSE Station
We can utilize all the intelligent systems in the world and none of it would do any good if we don't start building lots of EV charging stations. Public stations in places where cars sit for 3+ hours are a start, but the real key is people installing their own personal stations.
Try using a public charge network and it's easy to see how inconvenient it is. Many EV enthusiasts will disagree with this point, but the major majority of people don't want to sit around at a public station for a few hours every day after work. Not to mention having to build your daily schedule around charging your car up can get extremely annoying. The real questions is, why not just have a charging station at home and stop worrying about finding a place to charge up.
Further public stations would not be able to take advantage of vehicle-to-grid solutions at single family homes. Machine learning is out too as the amount of intelligence required to follow one person from charging station to charging station becomes a massive undertaking. In home solutions are really the best way forward and allow daily driving without the hassle of finding a public charger.
The bottom line is 100% EV ownership is possible, but we need to implement the right systems the first time and that is what EverCharge and SmartPower are trying to achieve.