In the short space of ten years, the way we live has transformed dramatically. From mobile phones to central heating, almost everything in our lives is connected. It is estimated that in 2016 the number of global smartphone users surpassed 2 billion, which means for the first time, more than one-quarter of the world’s population was carrying a smart device.
In 2017, the idea that a phone is just for calling is a distant memory as people now use their mobiles for anything and everything. A typical day for most starts with an alarm going off and immediately grabbing their smartphone to silence it before checking how many hours of sleep they’ve had. They then check the weather forecast for the day and before leaving the house they turn the thermostat down via their smart phone. Throughout the day a Fitbit monitors their activity and syncs with their phone app, letting them know how active they’ve been. I could go on and on but I am sure you can see where this is going.
It’s evident that we’re a society that likes to track our data on the go – so charging our cars shouldn’t be any different. Recent news tells us that Europe now has more than 500,000 electric cars on the road – so having access to the right kind of charging for our cars is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a necessity.
It is strange to think, but most EV users currently plug their cars into normal wall sockets they have at home. What these users don’t realise is if they switched to a cloud-connected smart charger they could actually charge their EV up to eight-times quicker and save energy.
As well as these benefits, smart chargers are also safer than charging via a wall socket – no overheated wiring or electrical shorts. Feels like a no brainer really.
So, why should you drive smarter?
Most people don’t keep much track on how much money they spend on petrol a year. However, maintaining and running a car can be pricey and when it comes to needing a service or MOT the costs can quickly rack up. People who drive EVs and charge with a smart charge point are able to keep an eye on electricity usage, allowing them to plan how to get to their nearest charge point, track costs and load balance power requirements.
Moving towards future proofing car travel
Just how smartphones have transformed the way we go about day to day routine – EVs are changing how we drive. New technology is allowing us to track our movements in a way we were previously unable to and this is having a major impact on the way we think about getting around and how we plan to in the future.
Ultimately this will change the way we perceive the costs associated with driving and as EVs are considerably cheaper to run than traditional fuel cars it seems obvious that they will continue to rise in popularity.
For example, the typical total cost of fuelling a Honda Civic requiring around 11.9 litres of petrol for 100 miles (combination of city and highway driving) is £13.80. Whilst a Nissan Leaf costs £2.18 to charge 24kW of electricity for the same distance of 100 miles.*
In the UK people drive an average of 7,900 miles per year (RAC Foundation, 2015). Annual charging will cost you £172 per year if you drive a Nissan Leaf. However, if you are driving a Honda Civic this same distance will cost you £1,090 per year to fuel your car. From this, it is easy to see that driving an EV could save approximately £900 a year on fuel.
The benefits of EV driving don’t stop at saving on fuel costs though and one of the biggest benefits is the insight and control drivers get through using cloud-connected smart- charging solutions.
Companies like NewMotion offer a single view to provide customers detailed insight into charging data through their online portal and are able to use the data collected to provide a better service to users helping them save time and money.
Moreover, drivers who use their EVs for business through a smart charge point can automatically reimburse energy costs and if they charge in a shared parking location in a housing complex or block of flats, split billing can be enabled to ensure you are only paying for their charge sessions.
The future is ‘smart’ – no doubt about it. Imagine: 10 years from now your alarm rings, you wake up by tapping your smartphone to get coffee brewing and then tap again to see an alert: your car battery is 85% charged. You remotely activate your charge point using the electricity generated by solar. By the time you leave for work the battery is fully charged so you swipe your phone to unlock the charge cable, jump in your self-driving car and head out for the day. Just like plugging in a mobile phone when you go to sleep – charging your car becomes a part of everyday life.
*Data sources: Car fuel data (2016), UKPower (2016) and GlobalPetrolPrices (2016).
Article by Sander van der Veen, UK country manager, NewMotion