Plans are being drawn up to create a charging task force to prepare for large scale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs.) The proposals include the support in principle of major UK based automotive manufacturers, alongside electricity distribution network operators (DNOs), and the National Grid.
The task force is being brought together in response to the results of long term EV neighbourhood trial My Electric Avenue (MEA). This saw clusters of EV users dotted about the country to see how the electricity network would cope with mass EV charging at similar times.
Manufacturers Nissan, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin have all backed the plans for an automotive utilities project, being set up by electrical asset management company EA Technology.
Dave Roberts, Director of Smart Interventions at EA Technology refers to the task force as being: “an essential next step in ensuring that EVs and electricity networks work in harmony to facilitate expected uptake. Critically, MEA has demonstrated that the automotive and utilities sectors need to work together. There is a crucial overlap between these two industries; the lack of capacity in some local electricity networks for EV charging needs to be addressed, and it is a cross-sector issue. Ultimately this initiative will work to ensure that the road ahead is a smooth one, for the future of the EV.”
The MEA findings showed that networks will largely be able to cope with the extra demand placed upon them by charging EVs, but further investment will have to be made as EV uptake increases.
The use of demand technology Esprit was also trialled which can prevent the overloading of electricity networks when it detects that there is too much drain from EVs. The trial was successful and could help save more than £2 billion worth of network investment in the future as electricity is used more intelligently.
With a number of new plug-in models due in the next 12 months, the demand placed on the national grid is only set to increase, though it is expected that the infrastructure can deal with it for at least the next five years.