About the Project
Electric vehicles (EVs) are starting to become more commonplace on our streets, and small pockets, or ‘clusters’, of EV owners are already forming, placing more demand on the local electricity network.
Whilst there’s plenty of capacity to deliver power for EV charging across the UK, if the charging requirements are concentrated in small areas and during peak demand, local feeders can become overloaded. With the development of even faster charging times, this problem shows no signs of fading.
The full size and scale of the problem that EV clusters could cause will only become apparent to Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) when they are already on the network, demanding costly mitigation measures in short timescales.
EA Technology and Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) are working together with partners under the Ofgem Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund to develop a ready-made low cost solution. EA Technology is developing an EV charge control system to balance out the charging cycles of EVs at times of network stress.
To test the system the trial is simulating a future EV network, and to do this, clusters of EVs have been ‘created’. To encourage customer participation, neighbours were offered a ‘group’ deal; where they were given a very low rental price for an EV for 18 months, if they all signed up together. In return, participants allowed their EV charger to be controlled and their EV data to be collected, and they provided feedback on their experience. Recorded data includes the times of day they charge their EV, and how far they drive between charging. Experience has been captured using surveys. In particular, participants were asked about the degree of ‘range anxiety’ they experienced, if any, from not having complete control over the charger.
The success of this trial has relied on close working between DNOs, technology developers, communities, EV manufacturers, academics and car leasing companies.
My Electric Avenue aims to simulate a 2030 electricity network in order to provide essential learning about managing the strain on the electricity distribution network from the anticipated increased uptake of electric vehicles. It is also delivering a cost-effective solution to DNOs that reduces the need for costly and disruptive electricity network reinforcement, allows a faster uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), and demonstrates a new delivery framework for Ofgem Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund projects by a third party project lead.
Find out more about the Trial results
The My Electric Avenue Project was delivered between January 2013 and December 2015 by EA Technology on behalf of Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) as part of the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund suite of innovation projects. As the Project is now complete, this webpage will no longer be updated, however you can learn more about the work undertaken by EA Technology at www.eatechnology.com and SSEN at www.ssepd.co.uk/Home.