New report assesses the current state of managed charging

A new report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) provides an overview of major developments in the managed charging field, and offers recommendations for designing utility managed charging programs, based on interviews with utility execs and case studies.

The State of Managed Charging in 2021,” which was produced in partnership with several charging industry players, calls managed EV charging “an important tool that utilities, fleet owners, network operators and retailers can use to avoid distribution upgrade bottlenecks and mitigate unnecessary stresses on and costs to the power grid.”

“Most US drivers have not yet adopted a default charging behavior, because they don’t yet own an EV,” said Garrett Fitzgerald, Senior Director, Electrification at SEPA. “This presents a massive opportunity for utilities to influence customer charging habits in a way that maximizes benefit to the power sector without compromising driver convenience. The shift from passive to active managed charging, alongside the pairing of networked chargers with vehicle telematics-based programs is one step closer to a vehicle-to-grid future.”

The report notes that utilities are beginning to move beyond piloting demand response and EV Time-of-Use (TOU) programs towards more comprehensive managed charging programs. As of 2021, SEPA identified 71 active utility managed charging programs. The report discusses the growing importance of protocols like OCPP, OpenADR and Plug & Charge, and the emergence of Charging-as-a-Service business models.

Some of the findings in the report:

  • Utilities are becoming more comfortable with managed charging technologies and concepts, and are now focused on how to increase customer participation.
  • Utilities go through multiple stages of program implementation, beginning with TOU programs, evolving to active managed charging for demand response, and eventually reaching continuously optimized managed charging programs.
  • EVSE vendors are increasingly offering managed charging services to fleets.
  • Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is experiencing increased interest: 25% of surveyed utilities are currently piloting or planning V2G programs.

Source: Smart Electric Power Alliance

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