Electric Nation has been launched at Cenex LCV 2016, with the project looking to sign-up 500-700 EV drivers to be part of the world’s largest electric grid trial.
Buyers of new electric vehicles – both plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and pure electric (EVs) – will be invited to join the project which follows on from the My Electric Avenue trial by looking at the effect a large number of EVs being charged would have on the local and national grid.
Those that join Electric Nation will have a free smart charger fitted at home and the findings will help electricity networks manage the additional load that will be placed on the grid once EVs become more common.
Speaking to the Transport Research Laboratory’s (TRL) Head of Low Carbon Vehicle and ITS Technology, Denis Naberezhnykh, he said: “The infrastructure is not in place for everyone to charge at home. This project will look at managing charging to delay the cost of upgrading the infrastructure.”
The results of the My Electric Avenue project showed that almost a third of electricity supply cables across Britain will need upgrading or smart intervention when 40-70 per cent of customers have EVs. Intervention using smart technology – rather than digging up roads to install new cables – has been estimated to save around £2.2 billion by 2050.
The findings of the Electric Nation trial will help electricity networks manage additional load on the grid caused by EVs, while still allowing the electric vehicle market to expand.
Mike Potter, managing director of DriveElectric said: “Motorists who are in the process of buying or leasing a plug-in vehicle are encouraged to visit the Electric Nation website and become part of our project. They will get a free smart charger, but most importantly, they will be helping to future-proof Britain’s electricity networks to facilitate the continued uptake of EVs.”
Those buying or leasing a new EV are invited to become part of the Electric Nation community, with the trial initially taking place in the WPD network areas in the South West, South Wales, and West & East Midlands.
A collaboration between TRL, Lucy Electric, Drive Electric EA Technology, and Western Power Distribution, participants can find out more at the Electric Nation website, or visit Zap-Map’s Charging pages for more information on EV charging.