Bastian Gierull, CEO Octopus Energy

eMove360° guest article: Intelligent charging software as a driver for the mobility transition

The narrative is quickly put together: Artificial intelligence is a threat that is eliminating entire professions and making people untrained to think. Far too rarely is the downside discussed, the enormous opportunities that intelligent technology brings with it. Especially when it comes to major challenges such as the energy transition, we are now reaching milestones that we would have had to work towards for decades without technical help – a time saving that we can really use in view of the rapid progress of climate change.

When switching to electric cars, for example, we are faced with the question of how we can meet the increasing demand for charging power in Germany while we switch to cheap but volatile renewable energies. One solution is dynamic electricity tariffs that optimize charging processes with the help of intelligent software. They help to charge when there is a lot of green electricity in the grid and smooth out peak loads when the power grid is particularly stressed. Thousands of electric cars, all plugged in at the end of the day at the same time, become controllable consumers who then take electricity when it is cheapest and the grid can supply it. When this happens depends on factors such as local network utilization, the weather, the time of year and much more: Ideal control is impossible for a human, but with the right technology it is child’s play. It handles the constantly growing number of consumers such as electric cars or heat pumps as well as the increasingly scattered production of electricity, i.e. thousands of solar systems and wind power plants. This means that the network not only remains stable, but also becomes significantly more efficient and can in many places make the costly expansion of reserve capacities in the network superfluous.

For consumers, this means above all that they no longer have to worry about anything and have no uncertainty about the charging costs. The technology takes over the control, taking into account their pre-defined charging preferences and optimizing so that customers achieve the best possible savings. Electric vehicles in particular, which often use more electricity than a two-person household, offer an intelligent way of making electricity consumption more flexible.

A simple example of the possible uses of energy flexibility is the dynamic e-car tariff “Intelligent Octopus Go”. Customers plug their e-car into the wallbox and specify when it should be fully charged the next day. During each charging process, the charging service connects to the car and creates an individually adapted charging plan. Data points such as price or weather forecasts, but also the car’s charge level are used to optimize the charging process. Intelligent Octopus also bases its charging on the current share of green electricity in the grid. The software then optimizes the charging process in the background – without human help. This means that customers receive electricity at a fixed low price.

Another plus point: Dynamic tariffs can make it easier to integrate e-cars into demand response programs and make them valuable assets for grid management. Through bidirectional communication between vehicles and the grid, EVs can adjust their charging rates in real time to grid signals, thus helping to balance supply and demand. Simplified: Grid operators inform energy suppliers when bottlenecks are imminent and pay them to shift charging processes out of these time slots. Energy suppliers like us give the proceeds back to customers – the price of electricity drops again.

A look at the possibilities of intelligently controlled e-mobility solutions shows: The potential of dynamic tariffs and charging systems is unbeatable! By using smart technology, dynamic tariffs offer a way to optimize the grid, increase the integration of renewable energies and increase flexibility in managing the charging of e-cars. By harnessing the potential of these charging solutions today, we are not only accelerating the transition to sustainable mobility, but also paving the way for a smarter, more resilient energy future.

The author Bastian Gierull has been CEO of Octopus Energy Germany since July 2023. In his role as Germany boss, he has set himself the goal of revolutionizing the German energy market together with Octopus Energy. As a former Director of Product, Marketing and Technology, Bastian Gierull has been with Octopus Energy since its entry into the German market in 2020. Before that, he drove companies in the eCommerce and telecommunications sectors as a marketing and product manager and also founded his own start-ups.

First published in eMove360° Magazine 02/2024 in german language. Download for free or order the print version in the eMove360° Shop.

03.07.2024   |  

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