Electric car. Possible charging cuts this winter

RTE, the operator of the French electricity network, plans to disable public charging points for electric cars during the winter rush hour if the demand for electricity is too high. Energy voltages will increase with decreasing temperatures.

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Max K

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Some charging points may be interrupted during peak periods this winter.

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The current pressure on energy, due to rising costs and supply uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine, will logically increase with the approach of the coming winter due to more important areas of heating and lighting. Electricity will be particularly affected, and users of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles may be affected beyond their wallets. Deactivation of charging points is planned by RTE (Electricity transport network).

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If everyone sets their car to charge at the same time, one must fear a peak in electricity demand.

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Different scenarios investigated

The EDF subsidiary responsible for the operation of high-voltage lines on the French mainland has just published a forecast report on the management of the electricity network in the winter of 2022-2023. This includes several scenarios that differ from variables such as temperatures, the availability of the nuclear fleet, the level of gas imports, but also the measures that individuals, companies and communities can take to limit consumption peaks. Among these is the use of charging points in the low season, especially at night, when electricity demand is lowest nationwide.

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Renault Zoe EDF power plant

The capacity of the network this winter will depend in part on the progress of work on certain nuclear reactors that are currently closed.

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The times from 8:00 to 13:00 and 18:00 to 20:00 should be avoided. In particular, the early evening corresponds to the time when a large number of motorists returning from their workplace are likely to charge their vehicles simultaneously. ” Out of the more than 700,000 electric cars in the French fleet in 2021, if 100,000 electric cars switched from natural charging to low-load charging (…), this would reduce the average power demand by almost 0.1 GW between 18.00 and 8. in the afternoon. “, the company provides.

Public terminals may be closed during peak hours

In addition to these recommendations, RTE could ask operators of public charging stations to disable these during peak periods if the demand for electricity is expected to be too high in relation to the suppliers’ supply capacity. “ The use of electric vehicle terminals in car parks of tertiary buildings may be restricted to emergency use between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and between 18.00 and 20.00. (…) A way of “forcing” in case of an urgent need is perhaps to be expected “, we can read in the report.

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car park charging stations

Terminals installed in car parks managed by companies may be disabled from time to time.

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Ecowatt, the wise bison of electricity

To encourage users to optimize their consumption, as well as to decide on these possible cuts, RTE intends to rely on its Ecowatt platform. This website, which will soon be supported by a mobile application, is presented as a “river weather report”. In particular, it is possible to consult RTE’s three-day forecasts for electricity demand on a map. Each geographical area can be displayed in green, orange or red. Temporary restrictions will be applied in the event of a red weather forecast.Given the three days’ notice provided for the color of the Ecowatt days, needs should be limited (the vehicles will have been able to recharge during the previous night) ” says RTE.

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Ionity station night snow

Especially this winter, best to charge at night.

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People who recharge their vehicles at home will not face cuts. RTE announces: On Ecowatt rouge days, owners of electric cars whose charging is not automatically controlled during the low season are encouraged to recharge their vehicles after 20.00 or on the previous/following days. It is assumed that 100,000 equipped households respond positively. “For the others, the risk of terminal deactivation remains limited. In 11 of the 16 scenarios considered, less than 5 applications of restrictive measures will be necessary during the winter. In the worst case, the restrictions could be put in place 28 times.

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