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Smart Charging Infrastructure: AI’s Contribution to EV Charging

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By: Akihiro Ueda, CEO, Terra Motors India

The electric vehicle sector has gained notable momentum in the past few years, driven by the Indian government’s vision to promote e-mobility in the country. In addition, EVs have found a place among the common people due to the growing awareness of their environmental perks and tangible technological advancements that make the riding experience smooth. Regardless, the transition to electric vehicles and the road to reaching the government’s goal of 30 percent sales market share for electric vehicles by the year 2030 is fraught with some challenges due to the lack of efficient charging infrastructure in the country.

As of July 2023, 9,113 public EV charging stations, with 15,493 electric chargers, were operational in the country. However, the number is too low to cater to the burgeoning demand for EV charging, and India needs more advanced setups to optimise its charging efficiency. In this regard, advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide solutions to help resolve the common challenges in charging infrastructure and battery management.

What is AI’s contribution to EV charging?

Here’s how AI is helping mold the advanced EV charging ecosystem in the sector 

  • Developing fast-charging batteries

Artificial Intelligence coupled with Machine Learning (ML) has enhanced the process of evaluating the performance of EV batteries. Similarly, integrating AI has helped optimise the overall battery development process, including its design, chemistry, size, and manufacturing.

Today, advanced technological innovation is used to reduce test duration, saving time and cost. Further research and integration of AI can bring down years of testing into a matter of a few days. Analysing early data through AI can also help manufacturers estimate how long batteries would last, allowing them to enhance the battery manufacturing cycle significantly.

  • Predicting users’ charging behavior

No two EV owners have the same charging preference or requirement. The AI weighs on an EV owner’s key patterns to offer personalised charging suggestions and incentives. Typically, AI uses a ML algorithm to predict their charging behavior, ensuring they have charging stations nearby when they need to power up.

Such a development also helps charging hub operators with load management. To elaborate, AI uses real-time data analysis with predictive modeling to allocate charging resources based on energy demand, consumers’ requirements, peak hours, and the overall grid capacity. This approach allows charging hub owners to reduce energy wastage and take care of issues of overloading the power grid during peak hours.

  • Optimising charging schedule

AI can be efficient in managing charging schedules, which directly allows to ensure there is always a steady power supply during both peak and slow demand hours. Typically, AI uses factors like the time-of-use tariffs to adjust energy rates as per the power availability. This way it enables the charging station owners to optimise their charging schedule.

AI analyses the real-time condition of the EV charging power system to identify the best possible and most cost-effective charging schedule as per the location, grid load, time, and estimated energy requirements. This helps avail of dynamic pricing, which further incentivises EV riders to charge their EV during low rush hours.

  • Optimising charger installation

AI can help companies identify the best location for setting up their charging stations in a given region. It is adept at analysing data from multiple sources, including traffic patterns, the area’s population density, existing charging infrastructure, and anticipated EV adoption rates for the region. AI uses the collected data to accurately recommend advantageous locations to set up new charging stations. This helps the concerned entities to optimise their EV charger placements and save money on the cost of installation.

While the benefits of integrating AI into charging infrastructure are many, the cost of such an upgrade is quite high. In addition, advanced charging hubs such as the ones powered by AI need an expert team to manage their systems accurately. Since AI uses customer data to run charging stations smoothly, concerns related to users’ data privacy are quite prevalent. However, it is expected that more investments in Research and Development and an increase in charging infrastructure development can help address these concerns and allow the community to benefit from AI-powered EV charging stations. Incorporating AI into the charging technology would offer smart solutions to customers and enable them to manage their charging requirements more efficiently, paving the way for a sustainable tomorrow.

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