Smart Charge NY Pays EV Drivers To Charge During Off Peak Hours

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If you drive an EV, wouldn’t you like to get cash back when you charge your electric car? Of course you would. What a silly question. Ev.energy is a Certified B Corporation whose mission is to make EV charging greener, cheaper, and smarter for utilities and their customers. Its end-to-end software platform wirelessly connects to 90% of all electric vehicle chargers to intelligently manage EV charging while working with utilities to put cash back in customers’ wallets for charging at grid-friendly times. The company manages more than 150,000 EV charging events every day.

Recently, Con Edison and Orange & Rockland — the two utility companies that provide electricity to the greater New York City area — announced they are partnering with ev.energy and its new SmartCharge New York program to provide cash incentives to EV drivers who charge their vehicles in Con Edison or Orange & Rockland service areas. With more than 5,000 vehicles already enrolled in the program, SmartCharge New York is currently the largest EV charging program in the U.S. and paves the way for New York State to meet its clean transportation goals.

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The transportation sector is responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in New York. The State of New York has announced plans to restrict the sale of passenger cars and light duty trucks powered by internal combustion engines beginning in 2035. Con Edison and Orange & Rockland will utilize ev.energy’s wireless technology to connect to electric vehicles and chargers across the New York metro area to offer EV drivers incentives to charge their EVs during grid-friendly times. Using the existing internet connection in their vehicle or charger, EV drivers are able to quickly enroll in SmartCharge New York and begin earning cash back on their EV charging.

“New York State has set ambitious targets to get more EVs on the road and ensure cleaner air for everyone,” said Joseph Vellone, the head of operations for ev.energy in North America. “Con Edison and Orange & Rockland have taken a major step in helping the state meet its goals with their new SmartCharge New York program. We at ev.energy are honored to be partnering with them to deliver this program, and are looking forward to delivering a seamless and rewarding experience for New York’s EV drivers.”

To further incentivize EV owners to charge sustainably, SmartCharge New York puts cash back into EV drivers’ wallets for charging during “grid-friendly” times, such as the midnight-to-8 am window, or avoiding charging during hot summer afternoons. The program is open to a broad range of home charger brands representing over 90% of the market within the Con Edison and Orange & Rockland service areas, which include the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester County, Orange, and Rockland Counties, plus parts of Sullivan County. Participants receive their cash back each month through their choice of Venmo or PayPal payments

“Through our partnership with ev.energy, we are offering increased incentives and enhanced features for EV owners who participate in our popular SmartCharge New York program,” said Raghu Sudhakara, Con Edison’s vice president of distributed resource integration. “We urge all EV owners who charge in the Con Edison and Orange & Rockland service areas to check out SmartCharge and the upgrades we made in response to customer feedback. We are doing all we can to make it easier for drivers to switch to electric vehicles, which will play an integral role in creating the clean energy future New Yorkers want.”

Orange & Rockland’s Section Manager of EV Programs Andrew Farrell said, “As our customers transition from traditional gasoline powered cars to EVs, it’s O&R’s role to be thinking about how to help make this an easy, seamless, and rewarding experience. The SCNY program will empower our customers to charge off-peak and pay them cash for helping ensure the grid stays reliable for everyone. It’s a great addition to our suite of EV offerings.”

The ev.energy App

EV charging
SmartCharge app, courtesy of ev.energy

The ev.energy smartphone app puts complete control of your charging in the palm of your hand. Once downloaded and installed, drivers can automatically charge their vehicles with the least expensive and cleanest electricity available in their area. The app allows them to save money on their energy bills, track their charging costs and the number of kilowatt-hours used as well as claim cash rewards for Smart Charging. For those who have rooftop solar on their homes, the app also allows them to manage the output of their solar systems so they use free energy from the sun to charge their cars.

Reassuring The Doubters

A couple of weeks ago, a neighbor approached me to express his concerns about EV charging. Let’s say he himself has no interest in driving an EV, but recognizes that things are changing and that there are likely to be plenty of electric cars on the road in a few years.

He worries that all those EVs are going to crash the grid, cause the local utility company to build expensive new generating capacity, and overload the electrical panels in the all the condo buildings and private homes in our community. To meet the demand, he envisions the local utility will need to rip up all our streets to install new supply lines throughout the community.

Be patient, dear reader. There are plenty of such people out there and their concerns are real to them even if we, the enlightened ones, know better. Recently, a representative of the our local utility company met with me and several owners who want to install EV chargers. He assured me that no ripping up of roadways would be required.

At most, he said, the company might have to upgrade the transformers throughout the community — something it would do at no charge to us. They are in the business of selling electricity, after all. Higher demand is not scary to them. In fact, they rather like the idea.

He also said something else to me that should calm the jangled nerves of those who worry about the fallout from the EV revolution. The odds of everyone who owns an electric car plugging in at the same time is infinitesimally small. Just as everyone doesn’t turn on their coffee pots, microwave ovens, stoves, dishwashers, stoves, air conditioners, or hot water heaters at the same time, not everyone will charge at the same time.

The final piece of the puzzle is demand response mechanisms like the ev.energy app that allows utility companies to manage charging in such a way as to avoid sudden spikes in demand that might overwhelm the local grid. In the future, instead of constructing new generating facilities, utility companies will manage demand seamlessly using digital tools and internet connected control devices.

We don’t have to fear that parking garages all around the world will suddenly start collapsing because of the weight of electric vehicles and we won’t have to worry about the demand for charging overwhelming the utility grid. These sorts of things are Chicken Little distractions promoted by those who don’t want to see the EV revolution succeed. We can choose to ignore such silliness and just get on with the job of working to keep the planet habitable for a few more millennia.


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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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