Picture of man recharging his Eleectric Vehicle at a charge point installed in the Electric Nation project

First Electric Nation charge point installed

Published:  23 March, 2017

The first electric vehicle (EV) charge point has been installed at a residential property outside Nottingham for the Electric Nation trial.

The project, which is funded by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance, aims to find a smart charging solution that will better manage local level power distribution at peak times.

Research suggests that some of the UK’s local electricity networks will need intervention to enable motorists to charge EVs at home at peak times. That research indicates at least £2.2bn would be needed for local electricity infrastructure upgrades.

The Electric Nation project is providing new electric car owners with a free smart charger. In return, the project will have access to charging data to help electricity distribution companies better manage electric vehicle charging.

Matt Tupper, who has had an eVolt smart charger installed for free at his house near Nottingham said: ‘I believe more and more people will buy electric cars in the coming years, so it’s really important that we can all recharge them. I would certainly recommend anyone buying an electric car to sign up to the project.’

EA Technology is responsible for trialling the system and delivering a modelling tool that will enable WPD to identify which parts of their network are susceptible to EV loads.

Dave A Roberts, director of smart interventions at the company, said: ‘Many local electricity networks serving our homes were never designed to cope with the demand from large numbers of high capacity electric vehicles.

‘To avoid costly and disruptive upgrading work to cables and transformers, a smart solution, as being trialled by Electric Nation, could provide a much cheaper option to ensure we can charge our EVs.’

Justin Meyer, general manager of eVolt UK, said: ‘The problem has been identified and the industry is coming together to find an appropriate and cost-effective resolution.
‘Electricity capacity has to develop side-by-side with EV and charge point innovations, and we are very happy to have been chosen as one of the two EV suppliers to enable this.’

The trial is seeking 500 – 700 EV owners to install a smart charge point. These units are subsidised by OLEV and eligible households are initially required to be in South West England, South Wales or the Midlands. OLEV grants are only available to people with an EV who have not previously received OLEV funding for a charge point for that vehicle.

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