Image Credits: pxhere
EVs are two to three times more efficient than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles and emit no tailpipe emissions; nevertheless, the decrease in GHG emissions and overall air quality improvements they provide are dependent on the mix of generation sources on the grid used to charge them. If charged predominantly using fossil fuel-based generators, EVs could result in significant GHG emissions or even help extend the life of fossil fuels in some circumstances. Due to reliance on coal-fired grid, one study indicated that EVs can produce two to five times more smog than gasoline-powered vehicles.
Recognizing this, several utilities, automakers, cities, and EV charging providers s are launching new pilot programmes and services that will allow residential and commercial customers to use renewable energy for their EVs' electricity needs, and charge at times that will help integrate more renewable energy sources on the grid. Daytime charging corresponds to peak solar output, and night-time charging frequently corresponds to wind output. Below, we look at some of the current charging choices, focusing on instances that try to better align the schedule of EV charging with renewable energy generation.
Image Credits: pxhere
Using Installed renewable sources of charging
Electricity charging can be combined with the generation of renewable energy onsite - mostly by co-locating EVs with solar energy systems onsite and in some circumstances with or without controlled charge in batteries.
The most obvious solution is to plug your automobile directly into solar panels or a wind turbine. And it's achievable. This charge point in Sheffield, for example, bills itself as the UK's "first fully integrated solar PV, storage, and EV charging hub." Another one located around the Reading's football stadium is directly connected to a wind turbine.
Talking about newer technologies, San Diego Gas & Electric has launched a San Diego Zoo pilot project to install 10 solar-photovoltaic (PV) doors. This scheme provides clients with access to five charging stations and the solar power is stored in a battery system when it is not used. Google is also supplying a portion of 750 charging stations to its employees using the PV system.
Image Credits: wikimedia
Use of Solar Panels
The use of solar panels on the roof can help to further lower the expenses of charging an electric vehicle while also reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. In fact, investment in solar panels for car charging can pay faster than the solar panels alone for residential electricity, because solar power, in addition to power supply, replaces more expensive fuel.
Solar panel installations for electric car charging can provide quick and strong return on investment. These systems can generate annual returns of 10 to 30%. Upon payment of the initial cost, the rest of the lifecycle of the solar panel system comes with free electricity.
In general, the combination of buying an electric vehicle with the installation of a solar panel system ensures even greater life time savings for the vehicle as well as the system of the solar panel. A solar panel system can balance power expenses and generate free energy in 25+ years as well as reducing reliance on fossil fuels for charging. The combination of solar panel systems with electric cars has several advantages which may be maintained for years to come to minimise the environmental impact, save cash and boost value
Use of Managed Charging
Customers, utilities, and even automakers can adjust the timing of EV charging through managed charging programmes to align with clean energy supply and grid needs while still fulfilling customer expectations. In exchange for lower charging rates, users agreed to delay charging for up to an hour every day in a test programme called Charge Forward, which was sponsored by PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) and BMW in April 2018.
Image Credits: pxhere
Charging on the Network
Customers in some situations can use a network of stations to charge their EVs with renewable energy. Austin Energy has created a network charging scheme called the Plug-in Everywhere Network, which allows consumers to source 100 percent of their charging electricity from wind —- for $4.17 per month, customers have unrestricted access to more than 800 charging stations throughout the city's network.
This programme is used by around 35% of EV owners in Austin Energy's service area. In addition to network charging, Austin offered a pilot programme that encouraged off-peak charging at home at night and on weekends. Evgo has stated that it intends to power its EV charging network entirely using wind or solar energy. Customers can join by enrolling in either a pay-as-you-go plan, which charges customers per minute charged, or a membership plan, which charges a fixed monthly rate.
Discounts for Peak Periods of Renewable Energy Availability
Some utilities provide discounts to consumers who are prepared to pay when renewable energy is generated. Southern California Edison implemented a time-based tariff in January 2019 that promotes users to charge during the weekdays and off-peak hours on weekends, when solar is abundant (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and then again at night (9 p.m. to 8 a.m.), when wind is frequently available. Enrolment in this rate carries a set daily price of $0.40, as well as discounted rates of $0.13 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), as opposed to the regular $0.27-0.38 per kWh rates during on-peak periods.