4 Reasons Why You Should Get a 'Smart' EV Home Charger
Posted September 04, 2018 by Roseanne
You may have noticed that we only offer 'Smart' home chargers that 'communicate' via wifi. But, what's the advantage? Do you really need to be connected? Here's our breakdown of 'Smart'.
What is a Smart chargepoint?
In a nutshell, we call it technology that empowers you to easily understand, optimise and control your energy usage.
Having a ‘smart’ unit means that your electric car chargepoint is intelligent and in simplified terms not ‘dumb’. This is down to the unit being connected to WiFi coupled with the software behind it. Another term you may have heard of is a ‘communicating unit’.
Why should I get a Smart EV chargepoint?
At Pod Point, we're always working on products and features which enable our customers to save money, save carbon and get the most from their EV charging. We have a bunch of features which will be released very shortly, and have many more coming soon. Keep your eyes on pod-point.com for more details.
In order to have any of our new feature releases, your unit needs to be ‘Smart’ i.e. connected to WiFi. Otherwise, there’s no way for us to send you the software updates.
Here are 4 reasons why Smart charging will benefit you:
1. Energy Usage Reports
Having a Smart unit means you can view your energy usage on our App. You can also download these as .csv reports. This information has several uses from; recording how much energy you’ve used, monitoring how green your charging is (in terms of real-world carbon intensity geCO2/km) and recording work expenses.
2. Remote diagnostics, remote resolution
Occasionally things go wrong, cars don’t behave as they should and chargepoints enter fault states. Being connected means that Pod Point can diagnose and remedy most faults without having to send a Pod Point Expert to your home, reducing the time that chargers are down.
3. “Over the Air” (OTA) updates
We periodically make tweaks to our software. These tweaks can be as simple as updates to account for subtle differences in how new vehicles to market behave while charging, or can be related to the rollout of whole new Smart product features. Being connected means these updates can be done instantaneously and at scale, meaning chargepoints can be kept up to date long after their installation.
4. Remotely manage and schedule charge events
Smart charging will allow remote control of groups of chargers in future to balance the grid during times of unusually high demand. For example, the World Cup typically sees power surges as the UK makes tea in unison for 5 minute periods at half time, ramping charge down during this 5 mins could save starting some dirty, quick response power plants without materially inconveniencing EV drivers.
Scheduling an EV to charge during a specific period allows drivers to take advantage of cheaper, and/or more green energy. Perhaps the most common usage of this is to delay charging until the cheaper period of an Economy 7 tariff. However, as more flexible tariffs hit the market, the best times to charge can vary in line with higher green energy supply, which is also cheaper. Many newer EVs offer scheduled charging as a feature which is accessible in the car or by using the car's app. However, Pod Point is also planning to add this feature in the future.