EV-Related Innovations in Technology, Regulations, and Incentives
What are any innovations in technology, regulations, or incentives that facility managers should be aware of when considering EV charging at their facility?
Look for significant innovation in three areas sooner rather than later.
- Load management systems will allow multiple chargers to automatically share and manage the requested electrical load required for charging the vehicles. For example, if you only have existing power for two L2 chargers (two dedicated 40a breakers), the load management system may be able to handle requests from four chargers, providing different charging rates as required. This can work well as the in-vehicle charger reduces the flow of power to the battery once the state-of-charge reaches 90 percent, freeing up energy to be passed to another vehicle.
- Battery storage systems will make their entry into the market soon, allowing facilities to fill up large batteries from the grid in off-peak hours at the lowest time of use kWh rates and then have that energy available to use for EV charging during the day. The main benefit of these types of subsystems is that they can reduce the peak demand charges many utilities request from users. Think of it as a DVR, you are simply time shifting energy draw from one time period and using it in another. You might notice that charging station providers begin to integrate both of these technologies into their offerings and that utilities may begin to experiment with tools to manage the load and explore “vehicle-to-grid” opportunities where the vehicle battery is a device on the network and can be controlled by the utility.
- Finally, look for innovative solar systems that will combine these technologies into a truly “off-the-grid” system allowing a facility to place a solar tree in a parking spot and not require any grid connect or dedicated power infrastructure. These self-contained units may significantly help property owners avoid the cost of electrical upgrades and provide a shady place to park the EVs far away from the building.
Answers by John Kalb, founder, EV Charging Pros. EVChargingPros has been providing vendor independent consulting services nationwide to property owners and facility managers since 2012. He can be reached at email@example.com.