Smart charging project Electric Nation launched

Electric Nation to use Evolt smart chargers


Electric Nation has revealed that Evolt will provide smart charging points required for its electric vehicle project, which is looking at the impact home charging has on local power distribution networks.

Evolt will provide half of the smart chargers to the 500-700 members of the trial currently being signed up. The free units will be subsidised by OLEV Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme grants – for those who haven’t already received one – and Western Power Distribution, which is funding the project.

As the world’s largest such EV trial, the Electric Nation community needs smart chargers to monitor and evenly distribute the electricity demands of a neighbourhood with a significant number of EVs charging at the same time. Current electricity infrastructure in large areas of the UK will not be able to deal with whole streets charging their EVs overnight for example, without either costly upgrades or a smarter way to charge.

The precursor to Electric Nation – My Electric Avenue – found that almost one third of the the UK’s electricity supply cables would need to be upgraded when between 40% to 70% of a network’s customers have EVs. The upgrade programme is estimated to cost £2.2 billion, without the roll-out of smarter charging infrastructure, which manages the load placed on the grid.

My Electric Avenue was a smaller trial and used one type of EV and charge point, while Electric Nation has a broader scope in terms of both vehicle and charging unit. The first six months of the trial will take place in the South West, South Wales, and the Midlands.

Gill Nowell, Senior Consultant – Smart Interventions at EA Technology, one of the project’s partners, said: “Electric Nation’s scope is far broader than the previous My Electric Avenue project, and is the world’s largest trial of its kind.”

“Evolt’s capability to provide smart chargers that stream information via the cloud was key to its selection. It also provides well-known, easy to use and reliable products that are installed throughout the length and breadth of the UK. Having proven systems that are trustworthy was also a central aspect to its selection.”

Justin Meyer, General Manager of Evolt, said: “We need to ensure that our local power distribution networks can cope with the increasing demands of EV charging. We know that when everyone charges at the same time there is increased pressure on the grid. But by working together we can find the right way of optimising the grid’s availability and protect the future of EV charging as demand continues to rise.”

Those interested in taking part in the Electric Nation trial can find out more at the project’s website. For more information on EV charging, click here.