The highly successful ‘My Electric Avenue’ project, which has been testing a new technology to help manage the UK’s power distribution to support EV charging, is drawing to a close this month. Analysis of the real-life EV usage data that has been collected has provided a much better understanding of how the local electricity network is likely to cope as sales of plug-in vehicles continue to rise.
Importantly, in areas where there may be capacity challenges, the project’s tested technology provides a solution that will help minimise the need to upgrade some networks that which forecasts suggest could save to up to £2.2 billion of reinforcement costs up to 2050.
Robert Davis, Chief Executive Officer, EA Technology tells us; “The headline outcomes from My Electric Avenue are impressive (the full report will be published later this week). However the actual journey down My Electric Avenue has also been very interesting.
“When we first presented the idea for My Electric Avenue – including the need to recruit 100 neighbours to drive an electric car for 18 months as part of the trial – many people believed that it could not be done. But the project did indeed find 100 people who were interested to trial an electric car and associated new technology to control their charging. In fact many thousands of people expressed interest in taking part via the website.
“A huge thank you needs to go to the ‘cluster champions’, who played a key role in leading the recruitment of the groups of neighbours who took part. Their enthusiasm about the concept of an ‘electric avenue’, which they passed on to the people they helped to recruit, helped to ensure the project was such a success.
“Thanks to this pioneering project, we now understand more about the ability of local electricity networks to cope with charging clusters of electric cars at peak times, but that doesn’t mean that our work is done.
“We now know that there is an issue, and EA Technology will continue to work with industry – the energy industry and the automotive industry – to ensure we can charge the ever-growing numbers of plug-in cars and also keep our lights on.”
An event is taking place on 3rd December at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, where the project partners will share the full findings and the announce the learning outcomes for the future. Speakers from Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, EA Technology, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Cenex and Nissan will also bring the day alive with insight and comment on the future outlook of low carbon vehicles on our electricity networks.