Flexibility from electric vehicles (EV) is to play a significant role as countries across the globe decarbonise, supporting the grid while also providing cost and climate benefits to drivers.
As the COP26 climate conference continues, Current± caught up with Nick Woolley, ev.energy’s CEO and co-founder, to discuss how the company is delivering a great user experience and how the UK is 'leading the way' with smart charging regulations.
What makes ev.energy’s offering unique?
Everything about owning an EV is better - it looks better, it's faster, it makes you feel good doing better by the environment; the issue is everything to do with charging. The anxiety is crippling - when/where to charge, how much it's going to cost, what happens when it breaks …
There are so many great companies rolling out more and more EV technology every day, but sometimes it brings complexity and doesn’t always have the most user-friendly experience. What we decided to do, making us unique, was start with the EV owner from the very beginning. Simplify EV charging at every step. Producing a great user experience and making EV charging as simple as plugging your car in.
With new smart charging regulations on the horizon, how can ev.energy help to support charging manufacturers?
The UK is really leading the way with the upcoming smart charging regulations coming into effect next March. I think many other nations will be looking to the UK as a leader in the EV charging space. Despite the regulations being in place to protect drivers and the grid, they do present challenges that charger manufacturers need to meet.
ev.energy has been providing personalised tariff optimisation for users for over 3 years now, ensuring that we are constantly responding to price, carbon and grid signals for an optimal consumer experience. At the heart of this is a simple configuration experience.
We have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the future - providing demand response services, having done many large-scale trials and pilot programmes across the US, as well as being able to provide a secure platform that is regularly tested for threats against cyberattacks. We are constantly keeping up to date with the latest security requirements.
With the share of renewables rising, how do you expect this flexibility demand to change in the coming years?
A household’s energy consumption effectively doubles with the purchase and use of an EV, so I'm sure we'll see people taking a lot more interest in their energy supplier, cost and usage in the coming years.
What's more, as we commit to more renewable energy supply, we have to share an inconsistent flow of energy to our grid. Renewables means we are dependent on the forces of nature.
Right now, we have a standoff - building demand for energy and an infrequent energy supply. We need to be more flexible and recognise our interdependence on each other. Like the climate crisis, we need to work together to be effective, as well as appreciate the requirement to be flexible. Opening ourselves to a flexible energy grid is compulsory if we want to move to a zero carbon future.
How big of a possibility do EVs hold for flexibility services?
Adopting EV flexibility services is the first real test of our generation to demonstrate a real solution to the climate crisis. An ecosystem that is dependent on reacting to the natural supply of energy on our planet, and a mass-shared approach to its consumption.
How will ev.energy help nations deliver on their COP26 pledges?
Looking at the headlines around COP there is a lot of pressure on governments to stop talking and start acting. Action has always been at the core of what we do at ev.energy and we are offering a real-world solution that will accelerate the decarbonisation of transport globally. With the continued and rapid adoption of EVs, we will soon have tens of millions on our roads and the energy that powers these cars will have to be from renewables. This mass-movement of green electrons will need to be managed by platforms such as ev.energy, and this is how we can contribute to helping nations reduce their impact.
ev.energy is one of the hundreds of solutions that help both EV drivers and governments reduce their carbon outputs. But we need to see more. Governments across the world should be setting ambitious goals to tackle climate change and we pledge to support them in achieving their targets.
What’s next for ev.energy in the UK and the USA?
We are rapidly expanding across the US right now with many brilliant utility programmes launching in the next 12 months alongside general ev.energy adoption. We're looking forward to helping some large utilities and charger manufacturers bring smart charging solutions to EV drivers at scale.
What markets beyond the UK and USA do you think are particularly exciting at the moment?
Germany is exceptionally exciting. Our partners Elli and the Volkswagen Group are leading the charge for providing smart tariff solutions, and the government incentives for drivers is really pushing EV adoption to the early adopter stage.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Firstly, I would like to say thank you to the 40,000 drivers who are using our technology for a smarter way to charge. Secondly, we are also hosting a summit to help charger manufacturers, grid services and governments prepare for and learn about the upcoming smart charging regulations. You can register for the summit here.