FAQs

What’s the problem that needs solving?

The forecast growth in EVs is expected to cause an increase in peak-time demand for electricity; this effect will be seen both locally and nationally. At the local level there is a risk that low voltage cables could become overloaded if multiple EVs are connected for charging at the same time and during the normal daily peaks in electricity demand, e.g. the early evening peak at home when people return from work, or working during the day at work.The local substation could become overloaded, resulting in problems with the electricity supply to people’s properties. This situation may result in costly and disruptive cable reinforcement (i.e. digging up the roads).

How is the project funded?

The project has received support from Ofgem through the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund. The Fund supports projects sponsored by the DNOs to try out new technology, operating and commercial arrangements. The objective of the fund is to support projects that help DNOs understand what they need to do to provide security of supply, at value for money, as the UK moves to a low carbon economy.
 

What are the channels of communication for the project?

For any queries or concerns relating to the Nissan LEAF, rental payments, maintenance, etc please contract Fleetdrive Electric on 0330 303 2020. For any queries regarding the installed charging point, please contact Zero Carbon Futures on 0191 490 2483. For any queries or concerns and Esprit technology, or the project itself, contact EA Technology 0151 339 4181 or via the project e-mail address myelectricavenue@eatechnology.com

What is the aim of My Electric Avenue?

My Electric Avenue is an important trial to learn about managing the strain on the electricity distribution network from the anticipated increase in electric vehicles (EVs). It will also deliver a cost-effective solution to Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), who own and maintain the electricity network. It reduces the need for expensive, disruptive network reinforcement (that we would ultimately pay for in electricity bills) and allows a faster uptake of EVs.
 

What is unique about the project?

This is the first time a private company, EA Technology, rather than an electricity company (i.e. a Distribution Network Operator or DNO) will lead and manage an Ofgem Low Carbon Networks Fund project, and it will create a blueprint for how DNOs and third parties can work together in the future.

What subsidies and support have been provided?

All of the funding for project delivery comes directly from Ofgem. Project partners are providing significant ‘in-kind’ support – we have brokered a unique deal with Nissan for reduced rental (which Ofgem is then subsidising further); Ofgem simply wouldn’t pay for the entire subsidy. The charging points are being paid for directly from the project budget. The full costs breakdown can be found in the bid paperwork, in the ‘Project Library’ section of the website.

What’s happening elsewhere in the UK – other projects?

There have been no UK trials to address the issue of future network overload – ie. the issue that My Electric Avenue is looking to address. There have been other trials of electric vehicles in the UK, primarily to assess people’s experience of using electric vehicles. The most significant trials have been conducted through the Technology Strategy Board, see: http://www.green-car-guide.com/trial-shows-electric-vehicles-already-satisfy-our-daily-needs.html

What’s the approach of the project?

1. To test the monitoring and control technology by recruiting ‘clusters’ of EV users, both residential and business; all people in a cluster must be fed by the same local electricity feeder. The 'Cluster trials', i.e. those participating in the trial as a group, aim to simulate a 2030 network. As a general guide, one substation feeder may supply one or two streets.

2. To monitor EV users as individuals rather than clusters (‘social trials’) for behavioural and socio-economic data – e.g. their driving and charging habits will be recorded.

The results of these trials will be of interest and will be communicated to the GB electricity industry, to UK government, to the energy and transport industry and to the general public. We will begin to understand what an ‘EV ready’ street of the future may look like, and what the implications might be for our electricity network.

What’s the proposed solution?

EA Technology has developed monitoring and control technology. This solution will delay, and in some cases avoid, the need for additional electrical infrastructure - which would be costly and disruptive, as well as taking significant time - to accommodate the forecast increase in EVs.

Who are the project partners?

My Electric Avenue is led by EA Technology, with the following project partners:

– Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited (SSEPD) (the host Distribution Network Operator, or DNO),
– Nissan (EV supplier)
– Fleetdrive Electric (EV rental programme management)
– Zero Carbon Futures (charging point network developer).
– Northern Powergrid (a collaborating DNO)

In addition there are a number of supporting partners:

– The University of Manchester (providing network modelling support)
– De Montfort University (providing socio-economic modelling support)
– Ricardo (providing independent technical verification)
– Automotive Comms (specialist in EV communications)

Who is responsible for different phases of the project?

EA Technology is the project lead and responsible for customer engagement and all ‘usual’ project management elements. Fleetdrive Electric will manage the rental programme; Zero Carbon Futures will install the charging points; De Montfort University will be in touch to do the surveys.

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.

For details of My Electric Avenue's legacy iniatives, visit the webpages for the Smart EV Project and the EV Network Group

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