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Tesla wants to help you save money on your electricity bill

One of the first questions a potential electric car buyer asks is, "Sure, I will not buy gasoline anymore, but how high will my electricity bill be?" The answer is, almost everywhere, that an electric car is an electric car cheaper to drive, but sometimes it's hard to figure out how much.

It is a complex question to answer as there are different electricity tariffs, lifetime use rates and fluctuating gas prices across the country. But last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested that Tesla could install software in their vehicles to answer that very question – and help owners save money. The idea came, as many have, in a late-night response to a tweet.

RPM Tesla's Twitter account, a replacement part of Tesla, suggested that Tesla could add the option to stop charging at a certain point in time, the car would not be charged by high-speed periods. It is currently possible to set a start time for charging using Tesla's in-car software, but an end time can not be set.

This is common in electric cars, and most cars have something (even my) Roadster Power 2008). The reason for this is the service life tariffs, which allow discounts on electricity tariffs for recharging late into the night. These are popular with EV owners because EVs consume a lot of energy but can be charged overnight when rates are low.

Musk responded to this request by suggesting that Tesla could achieve even better results:

The thing is, almost nobody has any idea how high their electricity tariffs are, unless they already have an electric car or solar power system on their home. Most people can get an idea of ​​how much they pay for their electricity bills, but not for the kWh.

While many EV owners have looked at their electricity tariffs and know when to charge their best to get the electricity bill Best Deals, there can still be a lot of complexities in understanding rates. The utilities offer different tariffs. Fares vary according to the season (winter prices are higher at night and summer prices are higher during the day due to heating and cooling). The tariffs may change depending on the power consumption. used in the month.

Taking into account all these concerns and variations, the presentation of supply price tables can be quite daunting for a novice:

Although the loading process looks complex, it is not too difficult for a single owner to understand at least the best time to plug in. In that case, you typically want to start charging after 20:00 and stop charging at 10:00 – but on weekends, there are low rates throughout the day.

Some utilities provide a better graphical representation of the insertion time:

But that's just right – every utility company sets its tariffs a little differently. To implement such a program, Tesla would need to collect data on each utility anywhere, and group it all together in one program. This information would have to be regularly updated, it would have to know what plan an owner is on (including grandfather plans such as the one I am on), and this would have to be done by navigating through different pay scale structures from utility to utility ,

Similar ideas have been circulated earlier. At the LA Auto Show last year, we spoke with Nissan about a partnership with Fermata Energy that allows owners of a commercial Leaf fleet to benefit from their cars' battery capacity by acting as distributed network storage. This is possible because Leafs have the Vehicle-to-Grid feature that Teslas does not yet have, although they have already thought about it.

It's a fascinating idea (so much so that we at Electrek have rejected one) Interview with Margot Robbie to share with some engineers about peak loads on shaving and demand. This could be both profitable and environmentally friendly. Smoothing the power grid at peak times, where electricity is usually generated in a smoother way, could significantly clean up the power grid. However, this is more focused on the commercial market than on residential real estate.

If Tesla wants to make this idea even more complex, it could go further and work with utilities to provide financial incentives to owners to charge fees at specific times. One company, OhmConnect, is already working with California utilities to provide customers with a financial incentive to save energy at peak times. Perhaps Tesla might be able to subscribe to a system like this and let a network operator be controlled when the car is being charged by using the car's internet connection.

Electrek's Take

While I love this idea and this thinking It would be very helpful for owners, it seems to be a much more difficult task than a short tweet suggests. As already mentioned, the electricity tariffs are so complex that Tesla seems to have to put in a lot of effort to implement them.

But it is not impossible. You could ask for crowdsource rate information (with a kind of error checking) or utilities to enter the information yourself, or implement it for large utilities. With all these approaches, owners and sellers can simply say, "Do not worry, your car will find out for you." This is similar to Tesla's long-distance travel approach, where all you have to do is say the car, in which you drive, and it will find out when and where and how long you charge it.

Even though we at Electrek and many of our readers have no problem figuring out the arcane electricity rates, offering a simpler experience for customers is very powerful in terms of broad acceptance. Especially for potential buyers who do not know the difference between one kilowatt and one kilowatt hour.

And while Musk's idea does not save money compared to an optimal charging strategy (unless an OhmConnect-like idea is implemented), this greatly facilitates optimal charging and gives owners more tools to save money. That's always good.

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