Buying an electric vehicle today is a decision that involves looking at different factors such as EV brand, range, battery performance, price, and technology, which are some of the main specs potential owners keep in mind when making a decision. However, it is rare to select an EV based on all digital services at the disposal of EV drivers today. These can vary significantly per brand because some electric vehicle brands have higher digital capabilities than others. At the ultimate end of the spectrum, certain car manufacturers have poor or almost non-existent capabilities. These differences are crucial in smart charging and the overall digital experience.
In this blog, we’ll cover the best and not-so-good EV brands for smart charging. Let’s get started:
Connections and reliability of EV’s cloud are the most important factors
Connections and cloud services include data storage and processing to remote control and monitoring. The reliability and stability of these services are fundamental to the success of smart charging. However, for these features to work effectively, the cloud services that manage them must be trustworthy and reliable.
Reliable cloud services are also necessary for managing other aspects of the electric vehicle experience, such as software updates, remote diagnostics, and maintenance notifications. These services are essential for keeping the car running smoothly, detecting issues early, and installing the latest software updates. Without dependable cloud services, external parties like Synergi cannot connect and send commands to the electric vehicles.
Tesla, Volkswagen, and BMW are some of the best EVs for smart charging
Several EV brands support smart charging perfectly. In addition to Tesla, VW, and BMW, all Volkswagen Group brands, such as Audi and Porsche, have excellent smart charging capabilities. Of course, there are minor differences between brands. In general, these EVs can receive smart charging information within a short timeframe of seconds.
In the big picture, all that matters is the reliability of how well these cars stay awake and take control regardless of the time and place. Should you have or consider buying Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Jaguar, or Ford – to name a few – you’re in a smart position.
Some older models from Renault and Nissan have limited capabilities
While Renault’s and Nissan’s newer models support Synergi’s smart charging, their older models are challenging to control occasionally.
For example, Renault’s Zoe models have a 3-year free software license that enables users to see the car’s location. After the subscription ends, users and we at Synergi cannot send smart charging commands to the vehicle. This is an unfortunate blocker for saving on charging costs. As another example, while we support Nissan Ariya, the widely driven Leaf model cannot be controlled by us. Even though the Leaf model has been a best-seller for a decade, the software system still needs to be updated – yet we are not counting on that 100%.
Current blockers for smart charging Mercedes Benz and most Volvo EVs
Unfortunately, there are some fundamental reasons why it’s currently practically impossible to charge some of the most loved EVs in a smart way. Out of all the EVs, there are only a few brands that Synergi doesn’t support – yet 😉. This short list includes Mercedes Benz, Volvo BEVs, Opel, Peugeot, and Citroen.
So, what’s blocking us from helping these brands’ drivers charge smarter?
For Mercedes Benz electric vehicles, the manufacturer (MB) blocks all the external players from controlling the charging when the SoC (state of charge) is below 50%. Their intention is good, but for us, starting and stopping charging is only possible sometimes. Therefore, we are unable to smart charge Mercedes Benz currently.
For Volvo BEVs (battery electric vehicle), on the other hand, the “newer” operating system requires a Bluetooth connection when setting up the connection to the Volvo cloud. As we’re sitting at Synergi HQ, it is very challenging for us to confirm the connection via Bluetooth, and therefore we are still exploring other ways to control charging.
Lastly, for the beloved French EVs (Opel, Peugeot, and Citroen), their cloud systems must be more mature to send start and stop charging commands. We are waiting for the France based car-makers to step up their cloud game, enabling us to help EV drivers save money.
Synergi smart charging supports 90% of all EV brands
Even when we support most EV brands out there, it is still important to understand the limitations some brands present when you want to give Synergi smart charging a try! We hope this blog gave you a realistic overview of the capabilities and limitations for smart charging your EV.
With the Synergi app you can optimize your electricity consumption to when it’s cheapest and produced from sustainable energy sources without additional hardware.
- Log in and link: Start with Synergi by linking your devices (EVs, heat pumps, or solar panels). No extra hardware is needed* – it’s as easy as it gets!
- Set up your preferences: With Synergi, you’re in control. Set your preferences for smart & solar charging, set usage limits for home heating & cooling systems, and others!
- Enjoy the savings: With Synergi, you can reduce your energy bills in no time. Sit back and enjoy the savings while our platform optimizes your electricity consumption to happen when it makes sense.
*Some heating & cooling units might require an additional air conditioning controller.