German green power provider Lichtblick is testing the country’s utility laws to encourage the overnight—instead of evening—charging of electric vehicles, thereby stabilizing the country’s power grid against sudden surges in demand.
The idea is fairly simple, RenewEconomy explains. “Store power in batteries at night, when wind power production can be fairly high but demand is always at its lowest. Otherwise, people will come home from work and plug in their cars around 6 or 7 PM, when power demand peaks,” threatening to destabilize the electricity distribution grid.
Few German utilities offer differential power rates at different times of day, and consumers in the country have resisted the installation of smart meters to implement them. But Lichtblick says its incentives for charging electric vehicles between 9 PM and 6 AM could lower households’ power bills by 30%, saving them up to €200 a year.
Rolling out its currently planned pilot program nationally may prove challenging, however. To extend the offer to all German consumers, “Lichtblick would have to negotiate complex agreements with each of the almost 900 distribution grid operators in the country,” Morris writes.