What are the characteristics of a smart charging station? How much does it cost?

The market for electric cars and plug-in hybrids has experienced strong growth in France for several years among individuals, but also professionals.

For environmental issues, but also for budget since electric mobility is much cheaper to use than gasoline or diesel vehicles. Who says electric car, says charging system so that this type of vehicle is autonomous and allows its users to travel a certain number of kilometers freely. There are different types of charging stations which are distinguished in particular by their power, which determines the charging time in particular. But progress in charging station models is also important. There are more and more so-called “smart” charging stations on the market. What are we talking about ? What are the characteristics of a smart charging station? How much does it cost ?

The particularities of a smart charging station

A charging station, or wallbox, is a box that is installed on a wall or on a dedicated stand, indoors or outdoors, and which connects to the electrical network of a private home, a business, a a condominium, etc.

The function of a charging station is to recharge the battery of an electric car with electricity to which it is connected using a specific cable, most often provided by the car manufacturer.

There are different models of charging stations that differ mainly in their power. For individuals, these charging systems most often have a power between 3.7 kW and 22 kW. The higher the power of a charging station, the shorter the charging time of an electric car.

The different types of charging stations are also made to adapt to the many models of electric cars available on the market, and in particular to their batteries.

Today, with the enormous progress made in this area, it is also possible to equip yourself with a smart charging station, a charging station that has characteristics that conventional charging stations do not. What are the characteristics of these smart charging stations?

The ability to remotely control your charging station

A smart charging station is first of all a charging system connected to the Internet via wifi or via Bluetooth which allows its user to be able to control it remotely, generally via a smartphone and a mobile application or a dedicated platform. This option gives the possibility, for example, of starting up your charging station installed at your home even if you are absent, in particular with the aim of taking advantage of attractive rates from your electricity supplier, such as those off-peak hours.

Controlling your smart charging station remotely also guarantees that you always have an electric car ready to use.

Better control your electricity consumption

Another feature of a smart charging station: its ability to record and report its exact electricity consumption in real time. A good point for its user who can thus better control his energy expenditure or, for example, for a company which provides its employees or visitors with charging stations, to know the exact cost of this service.

Note: for individuals or professionals who have solar panels coupled to a normal electricity network to supply themselves with electricity, a smart charging station can draw the electricity it needs from one or other of these sources according to their respective capacities, or essentially solar energy. Smart charging stations are thus completely part of a 100% renewable approach, in the same way as electric cars.

An optimal security guarantee

Smart charging stations have a very interesting feature compared to conventional charging stations. They are in fact capable of monitoring in real time the state of the total electricity consumption of a house, or any other place where they are installed, and of adapting their operation according to the electrical power available from the network to which they are connected. Thus, an electrical network is never overloaded with the guarantee of avoiding overheating which can be the cause of fires in particular.

How much does it cost to equip yourself with a smart charging station?

Given its very specific characteristics which, among other things, allow you to better control your electricity consumption, to recharge your electric car remotely at the most inconvenient moment, to benefit from maximum security, a smart charging station logically costs more than a classic charging system.

It is generally necessary to count on starting prices around 900 or 1,000 euros for the less powerful. To this purchase cost of a smart charging station should be added the cost of its installation, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician with the mention “Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (IRVE)” for the charging stations of a power equal to or greater than 3.7 kW.

But, like all charging stations, their acquisition and installation can be financed in part thanks to aid put in place by the public authorities (a tax credit, the ADVENIR bonus, in particular for professionals and residents of buildings collectives).

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