Rechargeable vehicles have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The faster the transition, the better for the environment and society. Although sales of rechargeable vehicles are increasing, there are several obstacles to a rapid impact, e.g. economy and ease of use. In the end, it is the customers who decide whether the value of rechargeable vehicles is high enough to choose one instead of the fossil fuel alternatives that now dominate the market.
The roll-out of rechargeable vehicles can be accelerated by the expansion of solar cells and other renewable electricity generation that is ongoing. When prosumers generate their own electricity, there are financial incentives to store self-generated electricity locally in the house instead of sending the surplus online, if the payment for the surplus harness is low and the cost of electricity from the electricity grid is high. Rechargeable vehicles can be receivers of the rechargeable electricity, together with any local battery storage, hot water heaters and other electricity consumers. With local energy storage that enables load balancing in the house, there are financial benefits in the form of the possibility of having a lower fuse in the house, and that the electricity price of some electricity companies is based on power outputs rather than energy outlets. But more important for rapid roll-out may be the driving forces of people to be self-sufficient and contribute to sustainability.
There is potential to accelerate the transition to both rechargeable vehicles and self-produced renewable electricity, but this requires that involved players understand their role and, in collaboration, prepare their products for the opportunities of the future. Vehicle manufacturers not only want to increase their market shares, but do so with products that have a low environmental impact and help to reduce fossil dependence in society by being market driven in certain segments. Energy companies want to contribute to a change through renewable and environmentally friendly energy production and fossil-free transport systems and need to handle increased variation in supply and demand in the electricity grid as well as changing consumer needs that add to increased volatility, and investigate how the technology can be used to achieve even power consumption in the grid. to keep costs down for customers, companies and society alike. Smart charging of electric vehicles requires insights into how other surrounding consumers and players behave, e.g. the intelligence of the charging infrastructure needs to be synchronized with that of other controlled units, otherwise the system-of-system can be anything but smart. Other players are also seeing an increased market where there is an opportunity to combine business and environmental benefits. In the end, social benefits with a well-functioning solution are a faster conversion to a fossil-free and environmentally friendly energy and transport system.
RISE conducts research in smart homes with self-generated electricity, for example from solar panels on the roof, and where rechargeable vehicles are one of several consumers that must be smartly charged to keep down costly power peaks. There are several research perspectives, including what users want because it is ultimately the customers who will invest, understand and use the functionality.
An important research perspective is therefore to get the parts together in a good way, where both architecture issues and interfaces become important to determine and eventually create standards for. Part of the problem lies in the fact that it should not be a company that offers a comprehensive solution, because it locks the customer which in the long run is bad, but several actors / companies should be able to offer services and offers that work effectively together.
If power peaks are to be effectively cut, information is needed on what happens in the future, such as what solar radiation is expected in the future, how the outdoor temperature changes, etc. An interesting area of research is what predictive information is to be provided and how the energy management functionality that cuts power peaks should be designed; Properly designed, it avoids the rechargeable vehicles being charged when other energy consumers in the house are on.
Much research will be required to innovate good customer solutions linked to charging and smart homes. It is also possible to lift our eyes and see what a cutting of the power peaks in smart homes has for consequences on the electricity grid outside the house. An even load will reasonably keep electricity prices down, as the costs are strongly associated with the maximum effects in the grid in terms of both electricity generation and distribution.