The Charging Experience in California

This week I’m part of a Dutch delegation (including GreenFlux, ElaadNL, and APPM) which is visiting California. Our main topic is Smart Charging, and we want to strengthen the cooperation between the US en Netherlands (as part of the Coast to Coast E-Mobility program) form knowledge sharing and networking into projects at both sides of the ocean. I’m involved in E-Mobility since 2010 and the attitude  towards this subject was never this big before. Since last year (and maybe the introduction of the Model 3 in 2016) we achieved a tipping point. There is a big growth in awareness for electric driving and many federal and regional governments are setting clear goals to achieve zero emission transportation in 2030 (Netherlands), 2035 (India) and 2040 (UK, France, California).

BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ZERO EMISSION MOBILITY

Last years incentives, like tax exemption, rebates, access to HOV lanes and free parking for electric vehicles were pushing the market growth in leading countries/regions like Norway, the Netherlands and California. Today we expect – based on the billions of investments announced by lots of OEMs – a big uptake of electric vehicles in many countries. We can conclude that there is a bright future for zero emission mobility. However, we have still some challenges to overcome, and one of them is the availability of an adequate charging infrastructure. For EV-drivers charging their vehicles with renewables, it should be as easy as possible. In the Netherlands we’ve developed a ‘Dutch approach’ for the roll out of (public/on street) charging infrastructure. We’re using open standards, stimulating interoperability for payments and identification as much as possible and are encouraging competition between market players with public tenders for charging infrastructure. On the other hand, charging electric vehicles must be done with renewable energy, this requires smart charging solutions. Smart charging uses smart technology to charge electric vehicles off peak, when energy prices are low and lots of renewables are available.

THE ‘DUTCH APPROACH’

I’ve contributed to many charging infrastructure projects in cities and regions in several countries and have learned that the roll out of chargers is not as easy as it seems to be with the ‘Dutch approach’. For many organizations e-mobility is still a new topic which they need to understand before making long term decisions. With the lessons learned in The Netherlands we can contribute to decision makers worldwide. We love to share our experiences and contribute to a faster introduction of e-mobility in cities, regions and countries who are struggling with the charging issue. On the other hand, we have set our goal to make Smart Charging ‘a new and global standard’ for charging electric vehicles. We’ll already have a quite good understanding of the technologies needed within many organizations and companies in the Netherlands and California. In California there are already some very in testing Smart Charging pilots with a focus on developing a rate design that is stimulating off peak charging and using renewables. So, we’re building up experience in charging infrastructure and smart charging at both sides of the ocean already.

COOPERATING IN REAL PROJECTS

Experience in the roll out of charging infrastructure and the development of Smart Charging can be, and must be, developed together. We strongly believe that cooperating in real projects, with charging project approach, data, research questions and cooperation between the EV-experts is fruitful to speed up the introduction of zero emission mobility and smart charging. And this is the reasons why today’s announcement for the Living Lab Smart Charging is so important; this is the first project where Californian and Dutch companies, DSOs, researchers and others start collaborating to gain the charging experience and design our bright e-mobility future.

This blog is published at the website of Living Lab Smart Charging.