Kjell Ivar Tungland
published in New to EV
How to start smart charge your electric car
Did you know that you don't need a smart charging box or other equipment to start smart charging? All you need is an app.
What exactly is smart charging?
With smart charging, you can reduce your charging costs by up to 20%, but how does it actually work? If you look at the electricity price over a 24-hour period, you will quickly discover that there can be wide variations. Smart charging ensures that your car automatically charges in the “price troughs”, i.e. when electricity is cheapest.
Now it’s easier to charge smart
You are no longer dependent on a smart charging box or other gadgets to charge smart. The My Fortum app connects directly to the car and controls the charging completely automatically.
“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to reduce their charging costs,” says Kristina Hoff Wanderås, product manager for Fortum Smart Charging.
A technicality when it comes to smart charging is which electricity contract you have. There are different variants here, but the most important thing is to have an account that is billed by the hour. That means that the electricity price you pay tracks the market price hour by hour.
“There are also electricity contracts that are based on average prices. That means that our charging algorithm cannot move charging so efficiently to the hours when electricity is cheapest. So you get far more out of smart charging with an hourly-billed electricity contract,” says Wanderås.
To get started with smart charging, you therefore need an electric car (naturally enough), the My Fortum app and an hourly-billed electricity contract.
A made-to-measure electricity contract for electric car owners
“From close dialogue with our customers and users, we can see that electricity and charging, particularly smart charging, can be rather confusing. That’s why we have put together a complete package that makes it easy to reduce charging costs,” says Wanderås.
With Fortum’s Smart Charging package you get a favourable spot price agreement (the type of contract recommended by the Norwegian Consumer Council) and access to smart charging, not to mention a 15% discount on charging on the road with the Charge & Drive app.
The technical details
When you dig down into it, charging an electric car is quite complex. This has been taken into account in the charging algorithm, so you can be sure that the car is always charging in the optimum way.
The car is always charged to at least 20% capacity before smart charging starts. That means that the car is ready if you suddenly need to go to the grocery store or something like that.
If the temperature is low, charging is in longer blocks, so the car charges most efficiently. The ability of the battery to take on a charge depends on the temperature.
You can choose when the car should be fully charged, with a default setting of 07:00 every morning.
Electricity prices are retrieved continuously. The charging algorithm also uses knowledge of future data and the electricity price for the next 24 hours, to ensure that charging takes place when the electricity price is low.
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