We don’t negotiate with our neighbors over who gets to run their dishwashers or clothes dryers first. We don’t negotiate with them over who gets to turn their lights on, or blow-dry their hair first.
But, at some point in the future, we may be negotiating over who gets to charge an EV first.
Here’s why: Charging an EV can really strain a neighborhood distribution system. If a group of neighbors all decide to come home and charge their EVs at once, it can hurt the system.
The answer: Software and incentives that help neighbors decide who gets to charge their EV–and when.
That’s the word from Lin Khoo, senior vice president of Greenlots, which provides software systems that will allow this kind of discussion. Or argument. Or battle.
It’s called “smart charging,” and it looks like this: “The system would tell you not to charge if your neighbor is still charging or if you need to charge urgently, you ask them to turn down their charging,” he said.
Jeff Turner, project engineer at Powertech Labs, says that in order for this to happen, the utility has to offer incentives to motivate EV owners to change their behavior.
Of course, what if the incentives don’t work? What if the EV owners want their cars charged–and now!?
Interesting questions to contemplate. Will we see polite discussions or big battles? In my neighborhood, people argue over who gets to park their car where. What will happen when they can’t even get their car going?
Tell us what you think!