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  • Writer's pictureTyler Phillipi

EV Managed Charging Program: How to Design it for Success

The rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) presents unique challenges and opportunities for electric utility companies. We recently conducted a webinar for utility program managers, led by Jossi Fritz-Mauer, Director of Program Management, and Brian Grunkemeyer, CEO and founder of FlexCharging, where they discussed the range of options available when designing an EV charging program and offered valuable insights into designing successful EV-managed charging programs. In the session they explored specific examples of EV-managed charging programs they assisted in executing, delving into the approaches they utilized, the impacts they had, and some of the key insights gained by our utility partners and FlexCharging along the way.

We took the time to pull some of the key insights we covered in that webinar below.

The Urgent Need for Managed Charging

Brian Grunkemeyer’s journey began with a simple realization during a long drive: the impending load from EVs would soon challenge the existing electric utilities. This foresight led to the development of software solutions that shift EV charging to optimal times, benefiting both utilities and drivers.

Reducing Carbon Emissions and Managing Grid Load

By shifting EV charging to off-peak times, utilities can significantly reduce the carbon intensity of the energy used for charging. Jossi Fritz-Mauer highlighted the challenge of high-powered home chargers, which can draw as much energy as all other home appliances combined, underscoring the need for strategic managed charging programs.

Successful Program Design: A Customer-Centric Approach

At the core of every successful program is a focus on the EV driver experience. Ensuring that charging schedules are automated and minimize customer effort is crucial. Programs should be designed with a clear focus on mobility needs, ensuring drivers have the charge they need for their daily lives.

Innovative Approaches to Program Design

FlexCharging’s work with various utilities, including Rocky Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Co-op, demonstrates the diversity of approaches that can be taken in program design. From piloting telematics-enabled vehicles for peak shaving to creating incentives for off-peak charging, each program addresses specific needs and challenges.

The Role of Technology in Program Scalability

As EV adoption grows, programs must scale effectively. The integration of EV telematics and utility systems can enhance program effectiveness and customer engagement. Data accuracy and vehicle compatibility are vital for broad program applicability and success. Careful consideration should be given to the pros and cons of EVSE vs. EV telematics-based programs, which can differ in terms of communication and control pathways, coverage, and costs.

The Future of EV Managed Charging

Looking ahead, the landscape of EV charging will evolve with advancements in technology and shifting grid demands. Programs need to adapt and evolve, considering factors like vehicle-to-grid capabilities and dynamic rate structures.

Conclusion: A Call to Action

As EV adoption accelerates, utilities must proactively design and implement managed charging programs. By focusing on the customer experience, leveraging technology, and staying adaptable to future advancements, utilities can successfully navigate the EV revolution.

Key takeaways include:

  • Design pilots to learn, with an eye towards what this looks like at scale.

  • Scalable programs offer drivers an incentive based on the value they can provide to the grid and use targeted marketing strategies.

  • Managed charging programs will grow in breadth and scope over time, but preparing for that growth by learning program implementation and operational lessons now is paramount.

  • EV driver trust and experience is key – programs need to be designed around drivers’ mobility needs first and grid needs second.

Our next webinar is coming up soon make sure you don't miss it and register here:

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