Today’s mobility landscape is changing rapidly, with a growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). This transition to more sustainable mobility is accompanied by a growing demand for recharging infrastructures. Among these infrastructures, charging stations, particularly those at home, are gaining in popularity. However, this expansion is accompanied by technical and logistical challenges that demand careful attention. According to recent data from La Tribune, France passed the 100,000 mark in installed electric charging stations in May. The deployment of charging stations is set to accelerate even further. President Emmanuel Macron has set the next milestone at 400,000 charging stations by 2030, with an estimated need for between 330,000 and 480,000 charging points by the end of the decade.
Sizing delivery points: a major challenge
The central question that emerges is that of sizing delivery points. With the addition of charging stations, power requirements increase substantially at a single delivery point. Network operators are therefore faced with the complex task of sizing these points to meet the specific needs generated by charging stations. To illustrate, let’s take the example of a residence with a delivery point sized at 6 kW, to which a fast-charging station is to be added. This situation requires a doubling of power to meet demand. However, increasing power is not the only possible solution.
Technological solutions and consumption shifting
Innovative technological solutions can be considered. Among these, consumption shifting shows promise. This approach involves intelligent management of recharging, so that when a vehicle is plugged in, it does not require the full power available. This clever method optimizes the use of existing infrastructure without necessarily increasing the power delivered. In this way, the costly implementation of a new delivery point can be avoided, simplifying the transition to electric mobility.
Intelligent management and control of charging stations
Managing charging points is becoming crucial for professionals with several vehicles to charge. It is essential to set up a control system to monitor and regulate power consumption. This implies the possibility of selectively switching off certain terminals to keep the total power of the site below its maximum capacity. This proactive approach ensures a balance between recharging needs and supply capacity, preventing any unwanted overruns.
The future : Bidirectional charging stations for network stability
Looking ahead, the future of electric charging stations could be marked by the introduction of bidirectional charging stations. Although proofs of concept currently exist, large-scale deployment has yet to materialize. Bi-directional charging stations have the capacity not only to charge vehicles, but also to draw energy from the batteries and redistribute it to the grid when required. This innovation could lead to the creation of a virtual “mega-battery”, enabling the grid to manage fluctuations in demand more effectively, particularly during peak hours.
According to Alric Marc, founder of EFICIA
“At EFICIA, we are able to modulate the power delivered by charging stations, offering a pragmatic response to maximum power constraints.
And with the exponential growth of electric vehicles, the expansion of charging points needs to be approached systematically and innovatively.
The intelligent sizing of delivery points, the use of technological solutions for consumption shifting, and the emergence of bi-directional charging stations are all solutions that will help to meet the challenges posed by this transition to electric mobility.
It is imperative that the players involved, whether network operators, terminal manufacturers or piloting experts, work together to build a robust and resilient electric charging network capable of supporting the future of sustainable mobility.“