Energie Steiermark, Austria’s 4th biggest energy service provider, is determined to revolutionize electric vehicle charging by promoting a systemization of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which allows for a bidirectional exchange with the power grid. In its current development stage, the system is not sophisticated enough for grand-scale deployment as charging processes are subject to the conditions of their respective energy contracts. E-fleet owners therefore have little to no financial incentive to endorse optimized and grid-supporting charging services. Wanting to change this counterintuitive situation, Energie Steiermark and enspired teamed up with has·to·be (now part of ChargePoint), one of the leading providers of software solutions for e-vehicle charging, to make tariffs more attractive while providing grid relief at the same time.
The use case
An overhaul of the EV-fleet-power-grid-interaction presents the challenge of detecting the right times for the charging and discharging of vehicles. Typically, fleets are connected and charged at the end of the workday, during the so-called evening peak when the system experiences the highest grid load and consequently the highest electricity prices. has·to·be saw this as an opportunity to develop charging stations that allow users to charge their vehicles with a standard charging profile starting in the afternoon and continuing into the night.
Energie Steiermark wanted to support this endeavor by reducing costs for the customer through a price-oriented, short-term optimization of the charging profile so that charging processes can be moved to favorable times of the day. To achieve this, Energie Steiermark decided to make use of enspired’s price optimization services, resulting in initial energy cost savings of 20% with applicable restrictions already taken into consideration. In a first step, enspired’s partial optimization ensured that vehicles would be available to drivers after a maximum two hours of charging.
The remaining capacity was then optimized more efficiently throughout the night and into the early morning hours, following which enspired conducted a simulation to showcase the potential of the project without the two-hour directive. Instead of a general adherence to restrictions, the second phase individualized optimizations for every single vehicle. The subsequent savings of 30% initiated the introduction of special tariffs for organizations with e-fleets. But it doesn’t have to end there. The concept makes it possible to analyze charging behavior based on the ID map of a given charging point to predict desired availabilities.
With this additional data, even better models can be developed to estimate available flexibility. In the final stage of development, drivers will be able to use an app to align preferred states of charge with selected times of the day. “This partnership has proven that an intelligent integration of electric vehicles into the grid is already possible today,” says enspired CEO and co-founder Jürgen Mayerhofer. “Just imagine,” he continues, “what we can do once a market for V2G technology has been established. A big shoutout to Energie Steiermark for taking the initiative on this!”
"Thanks to the collaboration with enspired and has·to·be, we can now offer our customers tailored tariffs and smarter charging setups. We are very grateful to be part of such a revolutionary team effort, which has shown that an ecosystem of electric fleets is economically feasible."Christian Purrer
Executive Spokesman of Energie Steiermark
The environmental edge
Beyond facilitating the expansion of renewables through grid relief and supply of flexibility, the sustainability fine print of the collaboration is best summed up in the words of Energie Steiermark's Executive Spokesman Christian Purrer: "Thanks to the collaboration with enspired and has·to·be, we can now offer our customers tailored tariffs and smarter charging setups. We are very grateful to be part of such a revolutionary team effort, which has shown that an ecosystem of electric fleets is economically feasible."
"This partnership has proven that an intelligent integration of electric vehicles into the grid is already possible today. Just imagine what we can do once a market for V2G technology has been established. A big shoutout to Energie Steiermark for taking the initiative!"Jürgen Mayerhofer
CEO & Co-founder of enspired