The Role of EV Charging Infrastructure for Making A City Smarter
Written by Sidharth Sabyasachi and Sumanjit Das
The definition of smart cities evolves over the last five years with the implementation of emerging technologies and socio-economic development across smart cities. The prospective of advancing in society development across a smart city involves both quantitative and qualitative way is changing. As a result, different approaches are attempted to solve any type of economic, political or social issues. The modernization of transportation is a result of technological development in a wide range of areas from energy efficiency to more efficient mobility, and it is the center of focus in EV charging for smart transportation while shaping a smart city. To provide the best facility to the people of a smart city, various modes of transportation should be availed which must be environmental-friendly and economically viable. Electric Vehicle (EV) are the best choice for it and fulfills the goal of a smart city. A major obstacle while implementing EV is the charging infrastructure. As huge power requirement is necessary for charging high power batteries in EV, and the charging infrastructures are sourced by power grid. But due to heavy demand of electricity in a smart city, power shortage normally happens which must be taken care by implementing bidirectional power flow option i.e. Vehicle to Grid (V2G) charging system. This article discusses various strategies in the implementation of bidirectional power flow-based charging infrastructure into the planning of smart city and how it is benefited to the city administrative as well as the people living in the city.
We are living in a society where changes are the natural phenomenon in every term of our life as cities are made smarter. The efficiency in infrastructure development involving communication, transportation, social impact, economical environment, education system, politics, as well as various other attributes are very much inter-related to each other. These have a substantial impact on how smart cities are developed. Along with the improvement in our lifestyle by applying latest technology as a part of our life through various electronics gadgets, living in a traditional city is also improving by converting them into metropolitan and smart cities. We can get anything within a short time period without going out from home due to e-commerce industries. For a single product, we have various options to choose based on our requirements. The IT (Information Technology) industry and semiconductor industry are helping in a wider way for such type of rapid growth and development. We are therefore improving our materialistic society to improve our quality life and future. Smart city is the game changing plan which includes everything in one package. It is like an embedded system of the society where we can include any technology for the benefit of human being . Initially, it was leading by government officials and authorities from political point of view to show the growth in the society. Researchers are therefore drawn to focusing on a particular problem and number of possible solutions when trying to make a city smarter. Several recent research papers are coming out to explore the opportunities to strengthen the Smart City idea [2-4]. Smart cities involve the people, economy, governance, transportation, sustainable resource management, city architecture, quality of life for the improvement in each and every section.
Role of Electric Vehicle in Smart City
Transportation is one of the key elements where both economical and environmental factors are involved. Each and every second, both government and private sectors make profit from the transport business. The conventional Internal Combustion (IC) engine vehicles have a very bad environmental effect which cannot be included in the Smart city project. So, the most suitable alternative is the Electric Vehicle (EV) which again a debatable topic in the form of environmental-friendly solutions to be designed and implemented. Before reaching to any conclusion, as of now, EV has been accepted as an alternative to IC engine. EVs are available in every category of vehicles starting from two wheelers to heavy goods vehicles and passenger vehicles.
EV Charging Infrastructure
The source of energy for an EV is the battery, which is rechargeable and require a sufficient amount of electrical energy to recharge the battery. When all conventional vehicles are replaced by EV, a huge demand of electrical energy will need to be fulfilled, which is impossible with the current infrastructure. Unlike conventional fuel station which is centralized in nature, the EV charging station is distributed and can be charged in the parking place itself. Since the parking system is included in the smart city project, it is a great opportunity to convert the parking system into the smart parking. Small EVs, like e-two-wheelers and e-three-wheelers, require less power to recharge the battery because of low power rating of battery in the range of 1.5 to 3 kWh, whereas large EVs like e-four-wheelers, e-buses, and e-trucks, where battery capacity usually in the range of 100 to 200 kWh, require huge power to recharge the battery. To fulfill the different power requirements, multiple solutions are required. All possible parking places need to be converted into charging stations. The existing fuel stations need to be converted into EV charging stations. The buildings are also best place to converted into charging stations. The smart building is playing an important role in terms of generating renewable energy. As a result, some energy requirement can be fulfilled by them. It must be ensured that the EVs, which need to be involved in the development of Smart city, they must be fitted with the bidirectional charger so that power can be transferred in either way from grid to vehicle and vehicle to grid to manage the power requirement. The role of local government is also vital to support EV users in terms of subsidies and taxes. Governments should encourage the use of public transport by implementing various schemes like 24-hours transport facilities, subscription-based payment systems, payment using smart cards, implementing air-conditioned vehicles and so on. Every household should be involved to generate electrical energy in terms of solar energy and wind energy where the overall power demand can be managed. The payment system in the charging station needs to be digitalized. The automatic system should be involved so that once a vehicle gets fully charged, the charging system can be used by other vehicle with minimum intervention of users.
EVs are becoming increasingly more popular in recent years, and they are required to help a city become smarter in terms of eco-friendly transportation system, low-cost transportation, lower sound pollution, alternative power sources (EV can supply power to the power grid or any electrical load) etc. By using EV, there is a reduction in carbon dioxide gas which improves the quality of air. Health issues caused by air pollution can be reduced drastically . A good working environment can be built within the city. The economy can be improved when the dependency on crude oil is over. We can make a better and healthier future for our society.
- G. Mylonas, A. Kalogeras, G. Kalogeras, C. Anagnostopoulos, C. Alexakos and L. Muñoz, “Digital Twins From Smart Manufacturing to Smart Cities: A Survey,” IEEE Access, vol. 9, pp. 143222-143249, 2021.
- Kirimtat, O. Krejcar, A. Kertesz and M. F. Tasgetiren, “Future Trends and Current State of Smart City Concepts: A Survey,” IEEE Access, vol. 8, pp. 86448-86467, 2020.
- J. Yang, Y. Kwon and D. Kim, “Regional Smart City Development Focus: The South Korean National Strategic Smart City Program,” IEEE Access, vol. 9, pp. 7193-7210, 2021.
- M. Masera, E. F. Bompard, F. Profumo and N. Hadjsaid, “Smart (Electricity) Grids for Smart Cities: Assessing Roles and Societal Impacts,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 106, no. 4, pp. 613-625, April 2018.
- S. P. Sathiyan et al., “Comprehensive Assessment of Electric Vehicle Development, Deployment, and Policy Initiatives to Reduce GHG Emissions: Opportunities and Challenges,” IEEE Access, vol. 10, pp. 53614-53639, 2022.
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