February 15, 2023

How Amp X integrates with EVs to maintain grid flexibility

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

Learn how the grid edge platform, Amp X, uses Smartcar’s API to communicate with EVs and proactively shape charging demand. Amp X’s integration with Smartcar powers a smart charging solution that lowers EV charging costs and maintains the stability of electric grids.

At a glance

🚧 Problem: Amp X wanted to cover the widest possible user base of EV drivers spread across different vehicle brands and models.

💡 Solution: Smartcar saved Amp X a significant amount of time in building a smart charging feature that can integrate with over 60 EV models in Europe.

📈 Results: With Smarcar’s integration, Amp X retrieves timely vehicle telematics data to power its smart charging feature. The reliability of the feature has helped Amp X reduce EV charging costs for users by 33%.

📺 Watch a replay of our webinar with Amp X on March 9 2023, Navigating the EV transition: Ensuring a cleaner and more efficient grid.

Tackling the 4 Ds of energy change

We’re in the middle of a global energy transition.

If targets for electric vehicles (EV) adoption are met,  an estimated 0.9 barrels of fuel can be displaced every day by 2025.

But this same target would also result in five times more electricity demand.

To keep our energy systems balanced, researchers have identified four principles that utilities and organizations can commit to. These are also known as the 4Ds of energy change:

  • Decarbonization: Committing to net zero emissions targets
  • Decentralization: Increasing distributed energy resources (DERs) at the edge of the grid
  • Digitalization: Leveraging the millions of digital devices that come online each day to power grid flexibility efforts
  • Democratization: Creating an environment where consumers can trade energy and flexibility within the energy marketplace.

Amp X, the technology arm of Amp Energy, aims to advance these principles by using technology to build user-friendly products for consumers to manage their energy consumption and effectively use renewable energy sources.

Their products include a smart transformer for distributed energy resources (DERs) and a platform to manage front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter assets.

The platform integrated with Smartcar to power its third product, a user management system with smart charging capabilities called ALICE (Agent for Lifestyle-Based Intelligent Control of Energy). It has been successfully deployed in the UK and will be going live in Australia.

"EV smart charging unlocks domestic flexibility by bringing monetary and environmental benefits to users all while helping maintain grid stability.

Smartcar successfully allows us to communicate with and control the charging of any connected EV."

— Dr. Irene Di Martino, Head of Amp X

Using Smartcar’s API to help EV owners save money

Amp X’s smart charging feature lets users shift their EV charging periods during hours with lower-priced energy — which is also when electric grids are less stressed with large volumes of energy demand.

Today, there are two main pathways for smart charging services to communicate with and control EV charging: through EV chargers or through direct communication with EVs themselves.

“After researching the technology and the market, we came to the conclusion that communicating directly with the EV was the most versatile and efficient path,” says Di Martino.

Amp X searched for a solution that could make direct EV communication resource-efficient and easy to scale. They work with Smartcar because this allows them to integrate with over 100 EV models using a single API via the ALICE app.

“Utilizing Smartcar integrations saved us a great deal of time to achieve the desired smart charging features in our ALICE application,” Di Martino adds.

How AmpX evaluated Smartcar as their EV API platform

🔋 EV brand coverage

Smartcar is compatible with over 100 different EV models across 25 brands in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

🧰 Comprehensive API platform

Amp X is able to work with a collection of SDKs,standardized integrations, enterprise-grade security, and a pre-built consent-based OAuth2.0 flow.

📞 Quality of communication with the Smartcar team

Smartcar collaborated closely with Amp X to ensure a smooth and efficient implementation period for all vehicle integrations.

🤝 Customer support

Smartcar's dedicated technical support and Customer Success teams are ready to help through email, phone, or live chat.

Using Smartcar’s pre-built user authentication flow, EV owners are brought through a software-only onboarding process that allows them to:

  1. Link their vehicle to the ALICE app
  2. View the exact data that the app will be requesting from their EV
  3. Consent to that data being shared with Amp X

Amp X uses Smartcar to retrieve standardized data from EVs on battery status and capacity, charge status, location, and the ability to start and stop charging remotely. Amp X kicked off the Smartcar integration to test and deploy their smart charging feature, within a dynamic tariff scenario, to a cohort of trial users at the UK’s Living Lab.

The Living Lab is a community of residents around the UK who volunteer their homes to test new energy initiatives. This gives participating energy programs real-world data — real usage patterns from real people going about their day-to-day activities.

The feature was successfully rolled out to Living Lab residents in 2021 and 2022. The Smartcar-powered EV integration provided vehicle owners with a stable and reliable method to optimize charging schedules for lower energy prices without any after-market hardware or in-person operations using EV chargers.

On average, our users charged their EV eight times per month and saved about 33% of their typical charging costs.

— Dr. Irene Di Martino, Head of Amp X

Removing barriers to actively manage EVs

The Household Energy Price Index reports that electricity bills across 33 European capitals increased by 49% from November 2021 to November 2022.

“We believe that in the coming years, variable tariffs are going to be made widely available to the public,” says Di Martino. “This, in conjunction with the rise in EV adoption, will result in the need to manage EV charging so that it can be as financially convenient as possible [for consumers].”

Amp X expects EV telemetry to become the preferred pathway for smart charging, and the team is prepared to expand and accelerate efforts as EV ownership grows.

By strengthening its infrastructure with Smartcar, Amp X can easily deliver more value by expanding its geographic coverage, spending less time on API maintenance, increasing app uptime, and improving the quality of features with more granular EV data.

Visit the Amp X website to learn more about their grid-edge digital energy platform.  

Vehicle brands, logos, and model names belong to their respective trademark holders and do not indicate endorsement or affiliation with Smartcar or AmpX.

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