Elon Musk: New EV charging software could help electric car owners charge cheaply

Tweet from Elon Musk suggests new software for electric car owners to reduce electricity bills.Tesla EV giant Elon Musk.

Tesla head Elon Musk says new EV charging software could help electric car owners charge their cars at the cheapest rate.

According to a Musk tweet, Tesla vehicles could refer to time of use electricity rates at their location. Using built-in software, they could then charge themselves automatically when the rate was cheapest.

As a result, EV owners could charge their vehicles at the cheapest time of day and save on electricity bills.

However, for solar power system users, the solution is much easier.

Electric cars improve with smarter EV charging software

Currently, it can be hard for EV owners to remember the cheapest time to charge their cars.

That’s because retailers around Australia and overseas have many different electricity rates depending on package, location and time-of-use.

This prompted RPM, an American accessories supplier for Tesla cars, to tweet:

EV charging: Elon Musk tweet suggest time of use rate based charging

In reply, Musk suggested an alternative: “Would be good to look up electricity rates by location & optimize cost automatically.”

If put into practice, the idea could enable an electric car to automatically charge itself when a household’s or business’s electricity tariff is cheapest.

Challenges involved with proposed EV charging software

According to Electrek, Elon Musk’s suggestion could be viable. However, an efficient system would depend on data collection.

Tesla would need to collect data on every electricity retailer, in every location. The company would then have to update these details at regular intervals.

The EV company would also need to factor in the car owner’s electricity plan.

Electrek suggests this could be done by crowdsourcing rate information. Otherwise, retailers could input their own details. Tesla could even partner with them to offer discounts for charging at certain times.

Solar battery systems: Solution to EV charging problems

Meanwhile, EV owners already enjoy cost benefits. According to Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council:

  • EVs are four times cheaper to run than traditional fuel-powered vehicles.
  • They cost less to maintain with fewer moving parts.
  • EV battery cost has fallen 75 per cent in nine years.
  • EVs can be charged at home with a rooftop solar installation and Tesla Powerwall home battery.

Charge your car at home while the sun shines or store your energy in a home battery like the Tesla Powerwall 2 or Enphase. Then you can charge your car at the lowest rates, even while you sleep.