/  Antti Hämmäinen

How electric vehicle smart charging reduces CO2 emissions


As the world continues to address the issue of climate change, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular options for people looking for more sustainable transportation solutions

For instance, over 48 percent of consumers in Finland have gone fully electric to reduce carbon emissions. Broader research in countries like the US shows that seven in ten consumers would choose to go electric for environmental reasons. However, an aspect that should be discussed more widely is that how clean the EV charging depends on the electricity sources and that solutions like EV smart charging are needed for people to charge their EVs when electricity production is less carbon-intensive. 

This blog addresses ways electric vehicle smart charging can reduce CO2 emissions and help balance the grid.

What is EV smart charging?

Electric vehicle smart charging is an automated process that allows EVs to be charged in an energy-efficient way at home. Smart charging considers various factors, such as vehicle type, battery capacity, spot-price cost of electricity, and charging times, and uses this information to determine when and how to charge the vehicle to reduce electricity consumption, costs, and CO2 emissions. For instance, early testers of Synergi’s smart charging app feature saved 100€+ in less than two months on EV charging at home. 

Why do electric vehicles and smart charging go hand in hand?

One of the biggest challenges of the energy grid is how we can accommodate such a drastic amount of new electricity consumption when thousands and thousands of EVs replace the old gasoline and diesel vehicles. This matters because energy supply (generation) and demand (consumption) must be in balance at all times. Overloading the grid with a sudden peak in demand can cause power outages for consumers. For these reasons, it is super crucial that EVs are charged efficiently and sustainably, preferably during low-electricity demand hours.

Smart charging is a crucial part of this process, as it allows electric vehicles to be charged in a way that reduces the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit, mainly during the nighttime. One can say that electric vehicle smart charging is a grid-balancing technology, and those using EV smart charging today are helping keep the grid stable and enjoying lower costs on their EV charging.

How does EV smart charging reduce CO2 emissions?

Smart charging has a multitude of benefits. Firstly, it allows EVs to charge when electricity is available from renewable sources, such as wind and nuclear, and solar.

A study conducted in 2022 found that optimized charging could result in the equivalent of ≈400 kilograms of carbon dioxide saved per vehicle annually. This depends significantly on where you live and the typical energy mix. In Finland, for example, you can see the CO2 intensity of the grid changes a lot from day to day and from hour to hour.

By just looking at the image below, we can see that the grid CO2 intensity ranged from 40g CO2 /kWh to over 110g CO2 / kWh. If you had charged your car full (let’s assume its battery is 50 kWh) with 40g instead of 110g, you would’ve saved 3.5kg of CO2 only with one Synergi smart charging session!

Secondly, EV smart charging is good for your wallet as you pay less for the same electricity than you would’ve paid if you would’ve just instantly charged. This naturally applies only to households with a spot-priced contract, but if you have an EV and fixed-price contract, seriously consider changing to spot-price to benefit from the cheap hours. Finally, EV smart charging takes away manual labor and worries about electricity prices.

EV smart charging is great for your wallet and the environment

Electric vehicle smart charging is essential to making the transportation industry more sustainable. Smart charging can reduce emissions by allowing EVs to charge when renewable energy sources are available and saving you a hefty sum of money. Finally, smart charging is vital for reducing CO2 emissions from electric vehicles and should be considered by all EV owners when charging from home. Should you want to learn more about how smart charging works we have a comprehensive guide on the topic! 

Get the Synergi app and start saving on your electricity bill! Here’s how:

  1. Get the app and connect your devices: Download the Synergi app and connect your devices. You don’t need any extra equipment.
  2. Change settings and preferences: Set up and use the smart features you want! Set preferences for smart charging, set limits for home heating & cooling systems, and more coming to the app soon!
  3. Enjoy the savings: Sit back and save money as Synergi adjusts your electricity use to cheaper times.

Download the app in Apple App Store or Google Play Store

Antti Hämmäinen