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The future of EV charging: The tech powering what's next

From vehicle-to-grid to charging while driving, the EV space is overflowing with exciting new developments
A woman charging her electric car at a parking lot.

It's been 20 years since Tesla Motors began development on the Roadster, and that car rode the cutting edge of electric vehicle technology at the time. But EV tech hasn’t stood still in the past two decades... far from it. Today's EVs have greater range, lower price tags, and a whole host of advancements that make the Roadster seem positively ancient.

Of course, improved tech has reached more than the cars. Charging technology is changing so fast that understanding the future of EV charging has become as important as understanding the vehicles themselves. So here’s where the charging industry is heading.

Power management

​​Power management technology helps keep your electrical infrastructure efficiently distributed and balanced. Many elements in your network likely have power metering capabilities. A power management system takes this a step further by accounting for the max amperage of your service and dynamically balancing loads. 

The result is that you don’t have to pay to meet customer charging demand at one station when you have energy to spare at another. 

Expanded effective capacity

Most residential and commercial buildings don't have the electrical capacity to power multiple charging stations at once, and upgrading infrastructure to accommodate that increased demand is very expensive. With power management in place, operators can safely balance demand and supply without needing to build more capacity. That raises your existing site’s total energy capacity, which can create savings you can put towards adding more electric vehicle charging stations in the future. Because you’re going to need them. 


Power management can help mitigate grid-wide failures by flagging instability or unavailability. When those warning signs crop up, it can automatically activate local batteries or generators to maintain charging availability even in the middle of a blackout.

Increased efficiency

Power management can identify trends in your power use to raise overall efficiency. For example, if your infrastructure sees very low demand during certain hours, your power management system can curtail your power use down to demand levels, saving you money.

By the same token, power management can set your chargers to use less power when utility companies are charging the most for energy. Then, as those costs shift downward over the course of the day, you can open the throttle. Customers still get to charge whenever they want, but you get to save some money in the process.

To learn more about power management, including key features to look for in power management software, read What is power management?


Typically, EVs draw power from the grid, but the future of EV charging means they might also give it back with vehicle-to-grid technology (or V2G). Today, when an EV charges, it turns the grid's alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) and stores it. An emerging technology called bidirectional conversion technology lets the charger convert back from DC to AC.

In practical terms, this could turn every EV on the road into a battery for the grid. When a bidirectional conversion-enabled EV connects to a V2G-enabled charger, it will charge its own battery to full. If the car is still plugged in when demand on grid jumps, its battery can be tapped for energy. Alternatively, if an EV is set to charge overnight but only requires a few hours to charge, its charger can slow the charging process down to avoid using power during peak demand. That helps keep the whole grid stable.

Why is V2G important?

One of the main reasons EVs are good for the environment is that they let us shift more of our consumption to renewable energy sources. The energy those sources generate is highly cyclical—you're only getting solar during the day, for instance, so it either has to be used immediately or stored in batteries. There are only so many of those batteries, and the materials they require (such as lithium) are the same as those used in EV batteries.

Rather than force manufacturers to choose between making stationary batteries and EV batteries, V2G effectively makes EV batteries into energy cells for the grid. That means we can store more renewable power for moments when supply and demand are out of alignment. The result: more efficient renewable energy, lower energy costs, and more emergency backup batteries in the event of a power outage.

To learn more about vehicle-to-grid technology, including the hurdles it will need to clear, read What is vehicle-to-grid?


As adoption grows, ever-increasing convenience will likely define the future of EV charging. Plug-and-charge, also known as ISO 15118, is a critical step in that process. It aims to jettison all the external factors that currently go into charging an EV—the fobs, logins, and other cumbersome authentication methods—and replace them with vehicle-based authentication.

With plug-and-charge, billing information is tied to the car when it's bought or leased. When the owner plugs their EV in to charge, the charging station and EV will use asymmetric cryptography to verify each other's identity. That means pairing a public security key with a private one, neither of which can be decrypted without the other. The result is a highly secure payment method that (best of all) requires no extra input from the EV owner. Just as the name describes, they simply plug in and start charging.

Benefits of plug-and-charge

  • Convenience: Plug-and-charge stations ask next to nothing of their users. Plugging a legitimate vehicle in will be all it takes to charge—even less work than swiping a card at a gas station.
  • Security: The asymmetric cryptography used in plug-and-charge is safer than carrying around a fob you can lose or having a single password that bad actors could steal.
  • Efficiency: Plug-and-charge will help drive adapter standardization and make it easier for EV drivers to find compatible adapters. That will raise the number of vehicles a station can service, lower charge times, and reduce points of failure.

To learn more about plug-and-charge and its road to wide adoption, read What is plug-and-charge?

Wireless EV charging

Mobile phones, headphones, and computer peripherals have all trended toward wireless technology, and EV charging is next in line. Using electromagnetic induction coils and receivers installed on the bottoms of EVs, it's now possible to charge a car without using a physical connection. Not only does that make stationary charging much more convenient, but it also opens up the world to charging while you’re driving. 

Pilot projects around the world have demonstrated the potential of dynamic charging, in which coils under a stretch of road charge EVs that drive overtop. This has incredible potential for getting more EVs on the road and keeping them there longer before they need to pull over to top off.

There are three main challenges facing this technology right now:

  • Charging speeds: Wireless charging has yet to achieve Level 3 charging speeds.
  • Cost: Installing induction coils underneath existing roadways is time-consuming and expensive.
  • Demand: Because so few wireless charging stations exist, consumers have yet to demand (and manufacturers have little reason to manufacture) EVs with wireless receivers.

Wireless charging of the future

Wireless charging is progressing rapidly. SAE International finalized its first standard for the technology in 2022, and it's preparing to deliver another standard for heavy-duty vehicles soon. Having standards to design toward will make it easier for developers to install wireless charging stations in their buildings. Plus, the heavy-duty vehicles standard is expected to include specifications for 500 kilowatt charging, which could unlock wireless Level 3 charging.

As for cost and demand, public investment may be the answer. Metro areas across the U.S. have started projects to create wireless charging stations and roads, primarily for public transportation in the form of electric buses. Not only will that help raise awareness for the tech, but it will also start to build demand for it among consumers. That, in turn, will push manufacturers to start equipping their cars with receivers.

For more on wireless EV charging and how it will develop in the future, read EV wireless charging is coming, at home and on the road.

Electric vehicle roaming

One of the key drivers behind range anxiety is the lack of universal charging for EVs. Owners don't want to manage an entire suite of apps, memberships, and fobs to charge their cars over the course of a road trip. EV roaming aims to solve this problem.

With EV roaming, charging networks would be able to communicate with each other. That would enable EV drivers with any network to charge at another in the same way mobile network roaming allows you to use your phone with a different network.

EV roaming support has two main paths to widespread adoption. The first is direct agreements between charging networks. The second (and perhaps more likely) path is widespread adoption of the open charge point interface (OCPI). OCPI would let hardware and software components from different networks communicate and allow for automated transactions even between networks without existing agreements.

Benefits of EV roaming

  • Greater charging access: When drivers aren't tied to a single network of charging stations, they can easily charge at more locations. That makes owning an EV more convenient and can reduce range anxiety.
  • Increased EV charging market: Expanding the number of drivers who can use a charging station increases the pool of potential customers. Plus, being a roaming-friendly network can help you stand out against other charging networks.

To learn more about EV roaming, including how to bring it to your charging network, read EV roaming and why it matters.

Lead the pack with ChargeLab

All of these new technologies represent incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start their own charging business. Partnering with an expert in the space like ChargeLab can set your venture up for success. So can studying the field as it lies—and it just so happens that ChargeLab can help with that, too. For the lowdown on the current EV market, read our free driver survey ebook.

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If you're looking for software to help build your EV charging business, contact ChargeLab today.

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