What is a Smart EV Charger? |The Ultimate Guide

What is a Smart EV Charger? 

To break it down into its simplest definition, Smart EV chargers are chargers that have the ability to connect to the grid via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. 

What this means is, when your vehicle is plugged in, the charger communicates important information to the operator so that you can do things like: 

  • Control how much energy to give the EV
  • Prevent charging operators from going over the energy capacity 
  • See data about the local grid to regulate their energy use
  • Pay via an app when away from home

Thus, installing a smart EV charger enables homeowners (and grid operators) to regulate  and optimise how much energy they’re consuming to release pressure from the local grid.

To take it one step further, more intelligent smart EV chargers can coordinate with renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines around the home to achieve maximum efficiency. 

How Does It All Work? 

In practical terms, smart EV chargers send this important data to a centralised cloud-based management platform. This then helps the charger to make automatic (or smart) decisions about the best time to start charging based on the local area and surrounding electric vehicles. 

Registered EV chargers can use a mobile app to start charging their car, and you’re ready to go! 

Benefits of Using a Smart EV Charger

Let’s take a look into how smart chargers can benefit EV drivers compared to regular chargers: 

A More Sustainable Option

Opting for a smart EV charger helps you do your bit in protecting the environment. 

By collecting data on the local electricity grid, average consumption hours and maximum energy capacity, smart EV chargers let you optimise your charging time to reduce the effects on planet Earth. 

You can schedule your smart charger to begin charging during the lower energy consumption hours to release pressure from the grid at typically high usage times.

Much More Cost Effective

As we talked about above, you can schedule your charging sessions which has a huge advantage in terms of saving money. 

Tariff rates are a lot lower during off-peak times (typically overnight) so by setting the charging event to a weekly night schedule, you can easily avoid higher prices and make the most of your smart EV charger without breaking the bank. 

(It’s always good to note that you should weigh up the upfront cost of the entire purchase compared to the long-term savings.)

Safer Than Regular Chargers

Smart EV chargers are a safer bet than regular chargers because they test the connection between your car and the device before the charging sessions to make sure everything is good to go. All sessions are also monitored and controlled remotely. 

Use of Mobile Apps for Drivers

No need to worry about where local charging stations are when you’re roaming around. Smart EV chargers are supported by a mobile app that lets you view charging history, available charging points in the area and information about the grid. 

Smart EV chargers put you in the driving seat (literally!) with all technical aspects of your vehicle.

Disadvantage of Smart EV Chargers 

While smart EV chargers are generally a great way to save money on energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and be less of a burden on the grid, there is one disadvantage to consider.

Charging sessions can slow down or be stopped if the demand on the grid is too high. Your charging event (though rare) can change automatically and you may not notice until the morning! This isn’t a likely situation but definitely something to bear in mind. 

Smart EV Charging for Businesses

Businesses who offer EV charging points for their employees at the office can benefit massively from smart EV charging. It means they have a better chance of regulating the facility's power usage and controlling the energy capacity. 

Smart EV chargers can help business owners avoid high demand, peak pricing charges, aiding them make the most of their charging points and maintain an eco-friendly ethos. 

Buying Considerations for Smart EV Chargers

If you’re looking to purchase a smart EV charger for your home or commercial property, there’s a few things you’ll want to consider: 

  • Make sure your Wi-Fi signal is strong enough: You’ll need to ensure that the home Wi-Fi signal can reach the external area where your charger is, whether that’s the garage or a driveway. If the connection isn’t great, we’d recommend getting a Wi-Fi extender which you can plug in closer to the charger to improve performance. 
  • The unit’s cable should be long enough: Ensuring that the charging cable can reach your car is a must. Check out this article about tethered and untethered chargers to find out more.
  • The cost of the charger: Things like the location of the smart charger, charging output and Wi-Fi extenders are all factors that affect the price tag. Check out our EV charger cost guide to know what to expect!
  • Professional installation: It’s important that you only hire a qualified tradesperson to install your EV smart charging point. When booking an EV charger installation with Rezigo, you can rest assured that your chosen tradesperson is fully qualified for the job to avoid unsafe installations. 

Smart EV Charger - Summary

We’ve covered everything you’ll need to know about smart EV chargers before making your purchase decision. 

Remember, to ensure your smart EV charger is installed correctly it’s important to choose a professional tradesmen who knows exactly what they’re doing! Grab up to three quotes on Rezigo and get your EV smart charger fitted today.