The rising concerns about global warming and environmental pollution are increasingly pushing towards the replacement of road vehicles powered by Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs). Electric Vehicles (EVs) are generally considered the best candidates for this transition, however, existing power grids and EV management systems are not yet ready for a large penetration of EVs, and the current opinion of the scientific community is that further research must be done in this field. The so-called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) concept plays a relevant role in this scenario by providing the communication capabilities required by advanced control and Demand-Side Management (DSM) strategies. Following this research trend, in this paper the communication requirements for the DSM of EVs in urban environments are discussed, by focusing on the mobile communication among EVs and smart grids. A specific system architecture for the DSM of EVs moving inside urban areas is proposed and discussed in terms of the required data throughput. In addition, the use of a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) solution—the Long-Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) technology—is proposed as a possible alternative to cellular-like solutions, by testing an experimental communication infrastructure in a real environment. The results show that the proposed LPWAN technology is capable to handle an adequate amount of information for the considered application, and that one LoRa base station is able to serve up to 438 EVs per cell, and 1408 EV charging points.
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