First smart charge point inaugurated in Ostend

First smart charge point inaugurated in Ostend

On Thursday 27 September, in the car park of the Greenbridge Ghent University Campus Ostend innovation and incubation centre, the starting signal was given for the “smartest charge point in Flanders” pilot project, an initiative by MobilityPlus, Yuso, Greenbridge and Elegis.

In addition to the 60 attendees who were interested in the technology, the mayor of Ostend Johan Vande Lanotte and Flemish Minister of the Budget, Finance and Energy Bart Tommelein were also present. The aim of this project is to roll out a franchise concept to companies and SMEs in Flanders, whereby several ‘smart’ charge points are installed in car parks in order to respond to the increasing number of EVs in various fleets.

What exactly is a smart charge point?

A smart charge point takes the fluctuations in supply and demand in the energy market into account and uses ‘delayed’ or ‘smart charging’.

The following two factors influence the supply and demand of energy and therefore also the price:

According to McKinsey, households have a typical behavioural profile with a peak moment between 6 pm and 11 pm. Most people come home from work at this time, which creates high demand for electricity. The owners of EVs also tend to plug in their cars when they get home. A ‘dumb’ charge point will charge during this peak moment, whereas a ‘smart’ charge point will do so with a delay.

Energy suppliers can respond to this situation in various ways, such as influencing consumer charging behaviour through time-of-use electricity tariffs. This would involve giving incentives to EV owners who start charging after midnight. However, this solution requires a platform that provides a good overview. After all, if everyone chose to start charging after midnight, a new ‘timer peak’ would be created (McKinsey Analysis).

It is not only the timing of all Belgian households that influences energy consumption and consequently also energy tariffs; weather forecasts also influence energy consumption and electricity production. The production of wind energy, for example, depends directly on wind power and therefore has an immediate effect on the supply and price.

MobilityPlus contributes to network stability

MobilityPlus has come up with a smart response, using the energy controller connected to the smart charge point. On the basis of data, this will detect the best charging time for the client, i.e. outside peak times and when there are power surpluses from solar and wind energy, among other things. As a result, the EV owner will not have to think about these peak moments; the software specific to the MobilityPlus energy controller will determine the best time on his or her behalf.

This contribution from MobilityPlus is very important, as we can no longer ignore the very topical subject of electricity shortages. We need to be smart in our use of energy in order to prevent power shortages. Every contribution counts.

This is why we are calling the charge point in Ostend the first ‘smart’ charge point, as it illustrates in detail what the entire energy transition is all about: the increased ‘smart’ coupling of production and consumption installations will allow us to respond to the natural fluctuations in the demand and supply of energy that are also influenced by renewable energy sources (wind, sun, etc.) and therefore the weather conditions.