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MGE Partners with Electric Vehicle (EV) Drivers to Test New Technology

MGE can now communicate directly with EVs to manage charging through vehicle telematics.

Charging an EV at home has many advantages—no more trips to the gas station, a warm car in the morning and lower "fuel" costs. New technologies are making charging even easier. In addition, MGE can now communicate directly with EVs to manage charging through vehicle telematics. Managed charging is important as more and more customers make the transition to EVs. If MGE is able to move charging to times when capacity is available on the grid, it can help to lower costs for all customers. 
 

Exploring vehicle telematics

To test this new technology for managing charging, MGE recruited 16 Tesla drivers to participate in a technology demonstration project. The goal was to evaluate the software that communicates with a vehicle's on-board modem.
 

How it works

Through a driver app, customers provide a need-by-time so MGE knows when they want their vehicle fully charged and ready to go. In addition, the software has insight into the vehicle's battery capacity. Behind the scenes, MGE can shift charging to times when the grid is less busy. The set-it-and-forget-it approach is appealing to customers and helps ensure a positive charging experience.
 
MGE tested the following:
  • Shifting 80% of ch​​​​arging to off-peak times when fewer customers are using electricity
  • Turning off charging during peak times when more customers are using electricity
 
Customers received a monthly PayPal reward if charging was optimized to off-peak times. Customers also could benefit from energy savings if they were enrolled in MGE's Shift & Save rate.
 

The results

The results were very positive! MGE was able to move about 95% of charging to off-peak times. And only about 2.7% of customers "boosted," meaning they initiated charging so they could get their battery filled before their need-by time. We also learned that 80% of charging happens at home, which is consistent with national charging data. 
 

There's a lot to discover—and a lot to love—about EVs. Learn more about EVs at mge.com/LovEV. And, for news and features about EVs, stay plugged in to the EV Rider section of mge2050.com.
 

 
 
 
 

published: Nov-12-2021