Downloading a free app that lets you save and earn money for charging your electric car is pretty unique. How is this possible? In this post, we tell you more about our business model, and our Smartest Charger of the month in June gives you some useful tips.
There are two trends that strongly influence how the electrical grid is balanced. First, as more people are starting to drive electric cars, more people are also plugging their cars in to charge in the early evening. This leads to an increase in the demand for electricity at this time. Second, the world is using more sustainable energy, but we cannot control when the sun shines or when the wind blows. Therefore, the amount of energy that is available from these renewable sources fluctuates; at any given point there may be more or less energy accessible via the power grid. This is important because balancing the supply and demand of energy is necessary to prevent a grid outage.
In the Netherlands, the grid’s balance is maintained by our nationwide network operator, Tennet, at an annual cost of almost €400 million. To a certain extent, that balance, based on the supply and demand of energy, is predictable. We know, for example, that there is always an increase in demand when people, after coming home from work, turn on their lights and start cooking dinner. However, for other, less predictable fluctuations in supply and demand, the energy supplier has to be flexible. In practice, the shifts in supply and demand mean that electricity costs can be higher or lower at specific times. This leads to increased costs for energy suppliers and more CO2 emissions if suppliers turn to power plants using fossil fuels to meet the increased demand. At the other end of the spectrum, if a solar or wind farm happens to generate an excess of sustainable energy, then that farm may be made temporarily inactive, so as not to overload the grid.
Jedlix offers a solution. Electric cars require a substantial amount of energy to charge. Jedlix takes the demands and supply on the energy market into account and makes sure that electric cars connected to the platform stop charging when there is a peak in energy demand. This way Jedlix creates flexibility for energy parties (such as Tennet and energy suppliers) in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way. The energy partners reward Jedlix for the created flexibility. These revenues per Smart Charged kWh Jedlix shares with you as a user. After all, our users are the ones who enable this flexibility by adapting the charging moment of their electric car to the demand and supply of energy.
Jedlix offers a prize for the person who smart charges their car the most in a single month. In June, our Smartest Chargers were Matthijs Rademakers and his wife Christine Schakelaar. They received a sustainable aluminium Jedlix water bottle. Next month, our Smartest Charger will win a pair of sustainable Mud Jeans worth €119!
Matthijs and Christine have been proud owners of a Tesla Model S since 2017. In June 2019, they earned a whopping €21 euros by smart charging their car with Jedlix. Below you will find their smart charging report for the month, as well as our interview with Matthijs, in which we discuss how he and his wife get the most from the Jedlix app.
Jedlix: When did you start Smart Charging?
Matthijs: After buying our Tesla, I heard something about smart charging with Jedlix from another Tesla driver. I liked that I was able to download the app and start smart charging immediately, without having to become a member or anything.
Jedlix: What do you do to use Smart Charging as much as possible?
Matthijs: At home, we made a deal that the one who has to drive the most kilometres to work should be the one who drives the Tesla. I have noticed that, in practice, there is no downside to being flexible. Since my wife worked on a project that was a hundred kilometres away, she would drive the Tesla and we would charge it every day. We would set the ‘charging start time’ to 23:00 and set the ‘direct mileage to be charged’ to zero. By 7:00 each morning the Tesla would be fully charged. There were never any problems with it.
Jedlix: What do you do if you have to go out in the evening sometimes?
Matthijs: Usually we are able to plan for such things. But if I really need to leave there is usually enough battery power left to do that. If I know that I’m going to see a friend, then we will connect the car at 19:00 and set the departure time for 21:00. Usually, the car has enough range by the time we want to leave at 21:00.
Jedlix: Why did you start using smart charging?
Matthijs: I like it because it’s about numbers. It’s sustainable and you can earn money with it. I also check what my solar panels have yielded every day.
Jedlix: We’re also going to offer an award for the Smartest Charger of 2019. Will it be you?
Matthijs: That is a good question! It might be a challenge. On the other hand, we almost never use Super Chargers and we charge mostly at home. I also live across from a public charging station (where you can use Jedlix to smart charge publicly). Sometimes I charge there, just for fun.
When you first buy an electric car, your energy bill will increase, but you can earn money back by choosing the right time to charge your car’s battery. Jedlix trades with energy partners based on the times when you charge your battery. In this way, we create flexibility for our energy partners, and they reward us financially. We share this reward with you for every kWh you smart charge your car. Will you be our Smartest Charger for the coming month? If you are, there’s a great prize in it for you!