SnT Researchers’ Solution To Boost EV Use Without Disrupting Energy Supply

Dr Maxime Cordy, pictured, is part of the INDUCTION project (Photo: Jess Bauldry)

If Luxembourg is to reach its goal of having 49% of all cars on its roads fully electric, electricity demand risks exceeding supply, potentially pushing up energy prices and leading to outages. This Luxembourg researcher has developed a solution.

Funded by the Enovos Foundation, INDUCTIVE is a two-year research project examining how to introduce greater flexibility into EV charging. 

Cars may not need to always be fully charged to cover every distance, for instance. Smart charging solutions can exploit this flexibility to optimise energy use by making charging recommendations to EV owners based on market prices, power-system conditions and their own mobility needs. 

INDUCTIVE, which is developed by the Security, reasoning and Validation and Digital Financial Services and Cross Organisational Digital Transformations teams at the SnT, explored how to incentivise customers to become more flexible in their charging habits and examined ways to scale these optimisations for energy providers. 

Customer surveys found that to help customers overcome charge anxiety, EV owners need a manual control to overrule any charging recommendations and a guarantee of a minimum charge. Financial incentives and smart charging literacy were also found to ease acceptance of smart charging systems. The study also found that EV flexibility could also reduce energy procurement costs without much loss of user comfort. 

The team behind the Induction project has developed  a proof of concept algorithm and app designed to optimise smart charging based on customer preferences, energy constraints and energy pricing. 

They are now seeking energy partners who wish to implement the technology solution into their networks. “There are multiple directions to consider,” said Dr Maxime Cordy, a research scientist working on the project said at a press conference on Wednesday. “We could pursue valorisation, meaning we transform this into something ready for market. The other is to do open science, meaning we make all our results and the proof of concept available to the public.”

80% EV Fleet Within A Few Years

Luxembourg Energy minister Claude Turmes praised the initiative, saying that it aligned with his ministry’s goals to decarbonise passenger and freight vehicles through electrification. He expects the consumer vehicle fleet to become 80% electric within a few years thanks to the tax incentives for electric company cars (which represent around 50% of the fleet) offered from January 2025. “That will help to drive the rest of the [non-company car] EV market, which today is at 15-20%,” the minister said, adding that it will create a stress on the energy infrastructure. “Your research comes at the right time to help us optimise on a market which will carry the electric market,” the minister said. 

What next for electric charging in Luxembourg?

Today, Luxembourg is ranked second place in Europe for EV charging stations per kilometre. In the next 18 months, it will open 1,600 new charging points.

On the sidelines of the press conference, Minister Turmes said that Luxembourg would in coming years introduce a test phase for bi-directional charging of vehicles, meaning that electric vehicles with a battery would be able to charge other devices. “Our idea is to develop the test case of maybe 400- 500 cars, which in an early phase speed test is bi directional on a small market like Luxembourg where it has a higher impact than say 500 cars in France,” said Turmes.

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