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Navigating your EV and utility relationship through 3 common programs for smart charging

The wheels of electric cars are propelling us into an era of sustainable mobility, with a predicted 92 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2040, up from 4.5 million in 2023. As more people shift to electric rides, the national power grid faces an exciting challenge, with electricity demand potentially skyrocketing from 24,000 to 468,000 gigawatt-hours by 2040. 

This surge in EVs means we’ll need a whopping 58 million charging spots by 2040. Power companies are gearing up to adapt ensuring we stay charged and ready. Utilities are getting smart by using a variety of programs to get us charging our electric rides when it’s best for the planet and the grid. It’s not just about plugging in more; it’s about charging smarter and cleaner for an exciting future on the road!

Here are 3 commons programs your utility may offer: 

Whole-Home Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates

Efficiency meets economy with Whole-home TOU rates, programs that encourage strategic charging during off-peak hours. By aligning your charging habits with periods of reduced demand, you not only optimize costs but contribute to a more balanced load on the grid. During peak hours when the demand for electricity is high (e.g., evenings), the rates are higher. In contrast, during off-peak hours (e.g., late at night or early morning), the rates are lower. Whole-home TOU rates impact your electric bill based on how you use electricity throughout your home, not just your EV.

EV TOU Rates

Similarly, EV TOU rates provide an opportunity to optimize your charging habits and ensure a balanced distribution of energy consumption throughout the day. The key difference is that, unlike Whole-Home TOU rates, these programs are based just on the energy usage from the charging of your EV. Practically, this means installing a separate meter or installing a wall-unit at your home to track this. 

Managed Charging Programs

Optimize your charging routine with managed charging programs. Utilizing smart charging stations or vehicle telematics, these programs act like a personal assistant for your EV, actively managing optimal times for charging based on grid demand. These programs are similar to common smart thermostat programs that adjust your heating and cooling based on grid demand. In essence, managed charging turns your EV into a smarter player in the energy landscape, benefiting both your convenience and the larger goal of a resilient and sustainable energy grid.

Every utility is different, and tackles EV charging in a different way. Please reference your utility’s website for more detailed information on what is available to you. If you have questions, you can always reach out to us! That’s what we’re here for.