How to manage increasing energy demand from EVs in buildings

Mike Doucleff

Schneider Electric provides end to end energy management and industrial automation solutions for efficiency and sustainability. They are present in more than 100 countries with around 130,000 employees globally. Recently they were recognized as the most sustainable company in the world by Corporate Knights Global 100 Index.

We talked to Mike Doucleff, Global Head of eMobility at Schneider, about how the transition to electric vehicles will impact buildings and infrastructures.

Vast increase in energy demand
Norway reached in September 84% of EVs market share, keeping the title as global leader in switching to electric vehicles. The pace is slower in the rest of the world but still accelerating in all the geographies, especially in other European countries, US and China. This is happening because Governments are investing in eMobility to reach sustainability targets and since the EV prices are decreasing and will reach parity in 2- 5 years maximum.

Around 90% of the charging for all those vehicles will be in buildings and this will increase the energy demand up to 40% according to analysts and experts, says Doucleff.

This vast increase in energy demand is a huge challenge. According to Mike Doucleff, the solution is energy management through smart charging and digitization technologies connecting all the elements in an eMobility solution, from the connected switchboards and chargers to the real-time load management system on premise, with services resulting of adding EV software for a better operation and more efficient charging experience. – And of course, it’s very important to integrate renewable energy, to guarantee power availability and resilience, and for a more sustainable mobility. Because we cannot forget that everything we do at Schneider, we do with the goal of bridging progress and sustainability for all, he says.

Two ways to meet the EV charging needs in existing buildings
Many existing buildings weren’t built for the future need for electricity. – It’s critical that the charging infrastructure has a limited impact on the existing building power distribution, comments Doucleff, who continues: – There are in principle two options: either to retrofit and upgrade the electrical distribution system or, more efficient and less costly, apply smart energy management solutions to enable this electrification. He explains how algorithms can rationalize supply versus demand using appropriate and innovative software, and how microgrids can balance peak demand, leveraging the integration of renewables (solar, wind) and energy storage.

In short, energy management enables the rightsizing of infrastructure and ensures safe, reliable, efficient, and cleaner power to solve the forecasted rise in energy demand.

Scalable and flexible solutions in new buildings
A home builder wants to deliver an entry level EV charging infrastructure compliant with local regulations, that are mostly oriented to achieve sustainability targets. The challenge is that regulations and standards are quite different from one geography to another. In addition, they are constantly changing to be more ambitious around sustainability.

-They need a solution that is scalable and flexible, able to adapt to new needs in the future, including the connected power distribution, and the energy management capabilities mentioned earlier, to avoid any costly electrical installation upgrades, Mike Doucleff tells us.

Schneider Electric’s solution
Schneider Electric, leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, provides end to end EV charging solutions which go beyond the charger infrastructure and start with the consulting, to find the best solution for our customers based on their specific needs, Doucleff explains. He is convinced we will see more innovation, more services, and more partnerships in the future and that Schneider Electric will extend their offer to even more countries.

Schneider Electric is a partner at Nordic EV Summit and Evolve Arena and you can visit them on stand B02-08.