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Electric Nation seeks EV drivers for smart charging trial

Drivers buying or leasing a new electric car are being invited to join a major trial into a smart charging solution that could help local electricity networks cope with increasing numbers of EVs.

Electric vehicle owners with vehicles

The Electric Nation project is recruiting owners of a range of makes and models of electric vehicles to assess whether a smart charging solution can help local electricity networks cope with increasing numbers of EVs

Launched today (14 September) at the LCV2016 event, the Electric Nation project is seeking 500-700 drivers for the trial, which will investigate the use of a smart charging solution between domestic charge points and the local electricity network to allow the numbers of electric vehicles in the UK to increase without the cost and disruption of upgrading the local electricity infrastructure.

The project covers a range of makes and models of electric vehicles, including pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and participants will get a free Evolt smart charger installed.

Run by Electric Nation, the customer-facing brand of CarConnect, a Western Power Distribution (WPD), the project will initially take place in the Western Power Distribution network areas in the South West, South Wales, West & East Midlands.

Ben Godfrey, innovation and low carbon networks Engineer, WPD, said: “The Electric Nation project will provide the data, and the real-life experience, to enable us to introduce smart charging to manage potential capacity issues due to clusters of EVs charging at peak times. This is predicted to save around £2.2bn, as well as helping to avoid disruption to customers.”

The trial follows the previous My Electric Avenue project, which tested monitoring and control technology by recruiting clusters of EV users; all people in a cluster were fed by the same local electricity substation feeder, and just one type of electric vehicle was involved in the project.

Gill Nowell, senior consultant – smart interventions, EA Technology, added: “My Electric Avenue showed that around 32% of local electricity networks will require intervention when 40% – 70% of customers have EVs. Electric Nation is now addressing this challenge by trialling a smart solution with a diverse range of plug-in vehicles and charging rates.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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