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How to make EV charging at home easy: let it happen overnight

Updating the electric grid that powers our homes takes years of planning and expenses. No matter the changes, we can only distribute as much energy as our hydro, solar, wind and other resources produce.

This is one of the reasons why people ask whether energy grids can handle total electrification of transportation, and how and where we might easily and seamlessly charge our electric vehicles (EVs). 

So how can we add electric vehicles (EV) and charging to our daily lives, which need a lot of power, while maintaining the electrical infrastructure we do have and upgrading it where it counts? There is a solution with energy or load management paired with a very small and easy switch to how we charge at home: charging overnight. 

If you’d like an explanation about what an electric vehicle energy management system (EVEMS) is, first turn to this article. Or read on for the most simple solution to vehicle charging: using energy at a time when it’s available… at home and at night.

Home EV Charging is an Easy Choice

Yes, electrifying transportation will require some changes, but how can we use electricity to power our vehicles without overhauling our lifestyles? Buses, taxis, and other fleet vehicles will need priority during the day because they are the vehicles that will require charging during the day. Charging at workplaces and in public will be good for topping up, but hourly charging rates are not ideal for daily charging needs, and very few workplaces offer quick (level 2 or level 3) charging.

Much like how you would charge your phone at night to be ready when you wake up, an electric vehicle is best charged overnight. The benefits for charging your EV at home are clear:

Uninterrupted charging for longer periods
Better rates, and sometimes rates designed specifically for overnight charging
Prices that will be far lower and more stable than gas prices
No need to subscribe to a charging plan or download an app
Relieving the grid of the potential stress from charging passenger vehicles
The simplicity and peace of mind in being able to wake up to a fully charged car

Minimizing EV Impact during Peak Charging Hours

While charging at night is an obvious choice, it takes one key intervention to achieve.

When you arrive home from work, plugging in and starting to charge right then and there won’t be ideal. Peak electricity use hours are the evenings, when people turn on the lights and start to cook. Setting a timer to start charging at a later hour is a possibility but it also poses a risk if the energy capacity available to you isn’t quite there at the time you set and if you don’t remember to adjust the timer.

Being strategic about load management in your home

There are a few ways to control EV charging with an electric vehicle energy management systems (EVEMS) or load management device but a device built into the infrastructure that has both the ability to control and monitor electrical currents will be the safest, most flexible, and immediate in response. The DCC by RVE is an example of a load or energy management system that can control and manage the load of an electric vehicle charging station, while protecting a home’s electrical work.

The DCC uses an approach called feeder monitoring whereby sensors read the electric current of a panel and will power down electric vehicle charging only when the panel reaches 80% of its capacity, to switch back on when capacity is next available. With the DCC, no timer needs to be set, no manual switch needs to be flipped, nothing needs to be programmed. Charging will take place when the panel has available capacity, meaning that charging will be offloaded to the times of the day when electricity is least expensive and when it will make the least impact on the grid.

We like to say that the DCC is a peace-of-mind product that optimizes the benefits of EV charging at home. And if you want to see how it’s done, check out this testimonial where Doug installed a DCC-12 to avoid an electrical upgrade of over ten thousand dollars. Something that is difficult to achieve with any other type of product.

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