What is Private EV Charging?

Private charging refers to EV charging with controlled access that is not available to the general public, as is the case with public EV charging.

Application of Private EV Charging

Private EV chargers are not available to the general public but are only used by the owner or whoever the owner allows to charge. Private charging includes different sub-categories, including residential, workplace, and destination charging. Locations where private charge points (CPs) are installed, vary and include private homes, private parking, office buildings, and any other place where the charger is only accessible for private use.

Some sites may offer both private and public charging. Managing such a combination of uses can be easily done through a charge point management system (CPMS)—a software solution that allows charge point operators (CPOs) to remotely and in a single place monitor and manage the stations within the charging network. 

More precisely, the CPMS can control access to chargers based on pre-set criteria like the time of day, electricity rates, and availability of charging spots. There are many more functions that a CPMS can perform, and these solutions are adaptable to user needs. With such software, the charge point owner or operator can set different and customizable tariffs and charging schedules as necessary for public and private charging.

The most typical reason a charger may be private is when EV owners buy a charge point for home use. These tend to be installed in garages or other places on private property, which explains why most owners want to keep their chargers private. Charge points for private homes do not need a CPMS as they can be easily managed with an app.

Businesses can also choose to keep their charging stations private, for example, to make sure that they are always available for the needs of the business and also when the CPs are installed at a controlled access area (e.g., a company’s parking lot that’s closed to the public).

Importance of Private EV Charging

Private EV charging is of significance because it gives 24/7 charging access to EV owners and EV fleets. Public charging infrastructure is already struggling to meet demand in many markets, and so counting only on public charging is unfeasible. In addition to that, unlike private charging, which is always available to the owner, public charging means waiting in line when chargers are not available and also dealing with sometimes unreliable service or out-of-service networks. Adding to that is the inconvenience of having to drive around to find a convenient charging spot.

On the other hand, private charging leaves maintenance and reliability to the owner, meaning they have control over their charging experience. Even with private workplace charging, where the employer/company controls charging, it is still easier to maintain an uninterrupted and quality charging service than to do so on a public scale.

For now, private charging is how most drivers charge, with public charging only accounting for a small but important fraction of overall charging sessions. This explains why private charging is so important from a business perspective for companies in the EV charging industry, like charge point operators (CPOs) and electric mobility service providers (eMSPs)—it offers them an excellent opportunity to serve a sizable portion of the EV charging market. Nonetheless, the prevalence of one type of charging over another is subject to socio-economic, demographic, and other location-specific factors.

Practical Examples of Private EV Charging

  • A private citizen can install an EV charger for home use and keep it private. Alternatively, they can make it available for public use, for example, to neighbors, earning a side come.
  • Businesses with controlled access to their private parking can install charge points that are only available to employees, fleet operators, or another segment of the workforce as deemed appropriate.
  • Restaurants, cafes, retailers, and other customer-oriented businesses can install CPs that are only available to customers.

Additional Information About Private EV Charging

  • Private charging is an encompassing term, and so it comes with many considerations around planning, installation, operational and maintenance, electricity tariffs, and grid capacity. 
  • There are numerous opportunities to offset the money invested by installing charge points through public and private initiatives such as grants, incentives, and rebates. Regarding cost-efficiency of having a charger, making use of dynamic electricity rates, smart charging, dynamic load management (DLM), distributed energy resources (DER), and energy storage solutions are all ways that can work on their own or in combination to make EV charging more efficient.
  • Private charging is something that many EV stakeholders can consider. Private EV-owning citizens, owners of multi-unit dwellings, housing associations, fleet operators, and customer-facing businesses are only a small portion of the people and organizations that can benefit from private EV charging. With so many solutions available on the market, there’s a possibility to serve every need—from individual homes to large-scale businesses—and to have a single charging station or build an entire network of charging stations customized to the customer’s preferences.

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