EU’s buildings directive should give EV owners the right to a smart plug

(EurActiv, 5 Nov 2021) Smart EV charging receives little attention in the debate around the energy performance of buildings. However, with a ‘right to plug’, buildings can spearhead the transition towards clean mobility, write Luka De Bruyckere and Jaap Burger.

Luka De Bruyckere is programme manager at ECOS, the Environmental Coalition on Standards. Jaap Burger is senior advisor at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), an independent organisation promoting the transition to clean energy.

The electrification of mobility is in full swing. As electric vehicles (EV) become ever more popular, public charging points are spreading – their numbers have doubled in the last two years in the EU. But public charging points alone will not be enough to power the transition to electrified mobility, we need more (smart) connections in buildings.

Most users charge their vehicles at home or at work, where cars are parked most of the time. Long parking times offer great potential to optimise EVs’ electricity use through ‘smart charging’. This means charging cars when it is most beneficial for the driver and the grid – for instance, when overall energy demand is lower or cheaper renewable energy is available.

Smart charging can help prevent the transition to an electrified mobility system from requiring massive, costly reinforcement of grids, or worse, from fuelling the temptation to fire up gas plants to deliver the additional electricity needed at peak times.

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EurActiv, 5 Nov 2021: EU’s buildings directive should give EV owners the right to a smart plug