Cheaper electricity through smart charging of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as a technology with major benefits for climate, air quality and noise nuisance. In addition, use of vehicle batteries can help balance out peaks in the availability of solar and wind power (smart charging) and/or to accommodate peaks in electricity demand (smart discharging, ‘vehicle-to-grid’).

This exploratory study, carried out for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, identifies two main synergy benefits:

  1. Cost savings on electricity production and grid reinforcement through a reduction of peak demand and better use of peak supply.
  2. Accelerated penetration of EVs and solar panels through growth of either.

CE Delft used two models (CEGRID and CEFLEX) to make an initial rough estimate of these synergy benefits, running six scenarios with a range of assumptions on trends in EV fleet size, solar-PV/wind power, battery capacity and extent of smart charging and discharging. The results were compared with the literature.

The total cost savings accruing from the quantified synergies for the Netherlands as a whole through smart (dis)charging are estimated to be around 100-200 euro per EV per year. Particularly with ‘vehicle-to-grid’, cost savings from these synergies may in fact be considerably greater, because some synergy benefits could not yet be quantified.