My Electric Avenue pushes ahead with electric car trials
The project is focusing on the potential problems that can arise when a large number of EVs charge in the same street at the same time, and is the first trial that directly controls domestic EV charging to prevent underground cables and substations being overloaded. The project aims to prove a solution that would avoid the costly, time-consuming and potentially disruptive alternative of digging up roads to install higher capacity electric cables.
Under the Technical trials programme, each individual in a cluster (or one street in many cases) will lease an all-electric Nissan LEAF at a subsidised rate for 18 months, with the aim of trialling “Esprit”, a new technology developed by EA Technology to monitor and control the electricity used when the car is being charged.
EA Technology has developed and is delivering the £9m project, as well as providing the technology used as part of the trial. The project has also included a number of other SMEs, including Fleetdrive Electric and Zero Carbon Futures.
Commenting on the success of the project, Stewart A Reid, SSEPD’s future networks manager, said: ‘This project is critical for us as we move towards a world where electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are the norm. Learning how to charge a large number of EVs in the same street without having to replace the cables and substations is key if we are to keep customers’ bills down.
‘The efforts of the team in recruiting customers have been excellent, but for me the most significant learning point so far is the “relative” ease with which these clusters have been created; to me this says that we are very close to the “tipping point” in the UK where EVs will be a significant part of the mix.’