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Random charging for a large number of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) can have a negative impact on the power network operation with peak load and imposes technical and economical challenges to the electric power utilities. In this paper, we address this issue by applying and proposing three smart PEV charging modes, i.e. the valley-searching, the interruptible and the variable-rate charging patterns. The suggested approaches are studied through numerical simulation experiments for a range of scenarios by using the random charging as the comparison benchmark for a residential area. The result shows that the demand dispatch of PEVs based on smart charging has many significant advantages over the random charging in terms of graceful load profile (peak shaving and valley filling) as well as the improvement of the user satisfaction.