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  • Apr 24, 2024

  • 4 min read


What is smart EV charging and how does it work?

As the uptake of EVs increases, so does the need for EV chargers. And while there are many types of EV chargers, smart EV chargers are becoming the most popular option. But what are smart EV chargers? And how do they work?

In this blog, we chat through:

What is smart EV charging?

Simply, smart EV charging is a type of charging that optimises the charging process by communicating with the grid and other devices such as your phone and smart meter.

Often, it’s optimised based on things like the time of day, electricity prices, and your EV battery percentage.

It basically means that you plug your car in and control your charge from anywhere, at the cheapest times, all without having the manual back and forth that you’d have with a standard charger.

How does smart EV charging work?

Smart EV charging only works with compatible smart chargers (like the Ohme ePod). Smart chargers use algorithms to optimise the charging process based on preferences set by you. I.e. desired charge level, when you want the car to be charged by.

Once you have set preferences, the smart charger will automatically stop and start the charging process. It’ll also keep track of electricity prices and will try and only charge when prices are at their lowest.

It’s also possible to program a smart charger to take advantage of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, by storing the renewable energy and using it to charge your car later.  Smart charging is usually controlled remotely, whether that be from an app on your phone or from your laptop, just make sure you’ve got wifi and you’ll be good to go.

So, if we think of it in steps:

Step 1: Set your preferences (e.g. desired level of charge) on your phone or wi-fi enabled device.

Step 2: Your smart EV charger will schedule charging based on your preferences and when electricity prices are lower.

Step 3: Plug in your EV to your smart EV charger.

Step 4: Your EV charges at the right time and is ready to go when you are.

What are the benefits of smart EV charging?

The most obvious benefit to smart charging is reduced cost - if the smart charger is taking advantage of lower prices during off-peak hours, it’s naturally going to save you money on your electricity bill.

But, there are some other pretty cool benefits to smart charging too, like:

  1. Increased convenience - smart chargers can be programmed to charge your car at the times most convenient to you. Just set your preferences and go about your day.
  2. Improved reliability - smart chargers can provide real-time info on the charging process, so you can be sure your car is getting the power it needs, when it needs it.
  3. Reduced emissions - smart chargers can help to reduce emissions by optimising the charging process and taking advantage of renewable energy sources when possible.
  4. Grid stability - smart chargers can help to stabilise the grid by providing accurate information on demand and avoiding charging during peak demand times. This can reduce the need for expensive grid updates and improve the overall efficiency of the electricity system.
  5. Optimised range performance - smart chargers can help to optimise the range and performance of your EV by keeping the battery charged to the manufacturer’s recommended level.

Do I need a smart EV charger?

You can use any EV charger as long as it’s compatible with your vehicle. However, there are a lot of benefits to smart charging and EV-specific energy tariffs.

If you’re considering getting an EV charger at home, you’ll need to consider things like the type of charger you want and whether the charger is compatible with your car and/or your energy provider (if you’re looking at an intelligent EV tariff).

Want to find out more about EV charging? Head over to our EV Charging Hub.