Electric vehicles are coming. The Irish government set a target of having 200,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020. Where there are electric vehicles, there also need to be EV Charging stations. Ireland has invested a large amount in public EV charging stations across the country, however despite this, most EV charging will still take place at home.

Home-fit EV chargers are widely available and often subsidised with the purchase of an EV. This presents a big challenge for the electricity networks as people continue to add high-load charging devices to the network, with little or no requirement to notify the network operators. If 5 households on a single street purchase EVs, the peak load on that network segment could increase by 35kW on more almost overnight.

Combined with this the consumer demand trend for charging is likely to favour discrete time slots around the work day – with most people likely to plug in their car for charging when they arrive home from work. This will compound the peak load issues on the network.

In order to help electricity networks better predict and plan for the ubiquity of EV chargers and the demand profiles they will present, we have created the ‘Charge!’ application.

Charge! is a social platform designed to incentivise EV owners to both share information about their EV charging habits and also share their EV charging stations with other users.

Charge! Allows users to offer their EV charging station up to the community in a reciprocal manner, earning and spending charging credits across the network. This will provide networks with details information about the charging habits of consumers.

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