Energy Web, a nonprofit building operating systems for energy grids, in collaboration with Volkswagen Group Innovation and Elli, have developed a new smart charging solution enabling electric vehicle (EV) owners to charge their vehicles with renewable electricity that is matched directly with the vehicle’s real-time electricity consumption.
The solution relies on “24/7” matching algorithm which optimizes charging to maximize the use of clean, locally sourced electricity and provides users with control and granularity over EV charging. Through the solution, users can dictate the date and time of charging, the desired level of charge by the end of their session, and what and the renewable energy facility the electricity is drawn from.
Several VW ID4s were successfully charged with local clean energy consumption, over the span of three months. A full array of charging sessions was tested, running from just a couple of hours through to sessions spanning several days. Each time, the platform optimized the charging schedule for maximum clean electricity usage while ensuring the target state of charge at the end of each session. The majority of tests took place near Wolfsburg, Germany and took advantage of abundant clean energy from wind and solar farms in the surrounding area.
“This is the first time ever that an electric vehicle has been charged using a verified 24/7-matched clean energy strategy – coming at a time when EV adoption is gathering speed and charging is placing larger demands on electricity grids than ever before,” says Jesse Morris, CEO at Energy Web.
“The purpose of this project has been to showcase that advanced EV charging solutions can empower EV owners to set their own preferences for when and where they get their energy,” continues Morris. “For instance, they can select to charge using wind and solar resources, from energy assets within a 10-kilometer radius, and target 80 percent charge by 5 p.m. – all from within a user-friendly application, with an accurate breakdown of their session’s carbon footprint.”
Volkswagen Group Innovation is currently exploring how the solution can be further developed and rolled out at production scale, ensuring as many EV owners as possible can benefit from the Smart Charging application. With a traceable and secure audit trail for transactions provided on the Energy Web Chain, consumers will be able to show proof of renewable energy purchases, which will in future make it simple for corporate EV fleets to track granular energy usage for carbon accounting.
The Smart Charging App was developed by integrating Energy Web’s open-source 24/7 toolkit into Elli’s green charging app, which provides users with access to over 300,000 public charging points across Europe. Energy Web released its open-source 24/7 clean energy toolkit earlier this year.