As of today (Monday 1st July) all newly installed home EV charge points that receive government funding must be ‘smart’ units.
The effect of this rule is that home charge points will be capable of being accessed remotely, capable of sending/receiving signals and interpreting them.
Non-smart EV charge points are still be able to be installed, but they won’t be eligible for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant, which knocks up to £500 off the cost of a unit for eligible buyers.
With increasing uptake of electric vehicles and the need to charge them, the number of home points will continue to increase. It’s the most common location for EV drivers to charge their cars, often overnight.
Because of this increased charging need, a number of studies have concluded that the National Grid will require some improvements in infrastructure to prepare the UK for a future where EVs are the dominant vehicle type.
While there is capacity in the grid currently for large scale uptake in EVs, the energy needs to be used smarter, with charging in off-peak times. It is for this reason that smart home chargers are being backed by the UK Government.
The ability for energy companies to balance the load when EVs are charging will considerably lessen the cost of infrastructure upgrades. It will also mean the cost of charging an EV for many drivers will be lower, as they can take advantage of off-peak tariffs easily.
Although many EVs have a charging timer as part of their equipment, allowing users to set a start time and charge required, most cannot currently be programmed with a required charge for a set time, and then slow down or increase the rate of charge according to the load on the grid – as a smart charger can.
There are already a large number of smart home charge points available on the market, for a variety of budgets. Some are designed to effectively be stand-alone, while others can be partnered with home energy generation and/or storage solutions to charge the car off-grid.
Image courtesy of Andersen EV