My Electric Avenue is looking for 100 neighbourly drivers to trial electric cars

4th June, 2013

In a UK first, ten groups of neighbours are being sought to drive electric cars for 18 months as part of a new trial that will look at ways of managing their impact on the local electricity grid. The pioneering ‘My Electric Avenue’ project aims to find ten clusters, each of at least ten community-minded people, to drive an all-electric Nissan LEAF, and in doing so they will be helping to trial technology which will enable much faster adoption of electric vehicles.¹

My Electric Avenue project is hosted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), and led by EA Technology, an innovation technology deliverer. The £9m project is part of Ofgem's Low Carbon Networks Fund programme, which supports projects sponsored by network providers to explore innovative, commercially-oriented technology.

It is the first time that neighbours all from the same street – or very close – are being sought for such a trial, so that a more realistic analysis of its effect on their local electricity substation can be made. Enthusiastic people, who are interested in being an electric car driver for the next 18 months and have neighbours who are also interested, are asked to get in touch via the project website www.myelectricavenue.info.

Each applicant will benefit from savings on their monthly fuel bills, with zero petrol or diesel costs, no road tax, zero emissions, and will enjoy a new and common interest amongst themselves and their neighbours as ownership progresses.
Other partners in the project are Nissan, the vehicle supplier; Fleetdrive Electric (electric vehicle rental programme management), and Zero Carbon Futures (charging point network developer).  The University of Manchester and De Montfort University will provide support and technical verification and, as the scope of the project broadens geographically, Northern Powergrid will be making its electricity network available as part of the trial.

Dave A Roberts, Future Networks Director, EA Technology Europe, comments: "Plug-in vehicles are seen as one of the key ways for the UK to significantly reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from road transport by 2050. We therefore need to ensure that the local electricity grid can support the recharging of greater numbers of electric vehicles. In aiming to simulate a 2030 scenario, My Electric Avenue will provide essential learning about potential adjustments which will have to be made to networks into the future, and will also trial a proposed technical solution which will support faster adoption of electric vehicles."

Stuart Hogarth, Director of Distribution for SSEPD explains why the company is excited about the project: “We want our customers to be the best served in the country and an important part of this is making sure we are at the forefront of trialling the latest technologies. My Electric Avenue is the first time in the UK that a network operator is testing the ability of its local grid to cope with the recharging of electric vehicles in such close vicinity to each other, and that's something we're really looking forward to. The information we gather will help us as we go about future-proofing our network and ensure we keep the lights on for all of our 3.5 million customers as the ownership of electric vehicles continues to grow.”

Ends

¹ Participation in My Electric Avenue is subject to eligibility and availability.  

Notes to Editors
 

About My Electric Avenue
My Electric Avenue project is led by EA Technology, a trusted third party innovation technology deliverer, with 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) and Northern Powergrid (participating DNO). In addition there are two academic partners, the University of Manchester (providing network modelling support), and De Montfort University (providing socio-economic modelling support). Ricardo is providing independent technical verification to the project.
The project is looking for ten ‘electric avenues’ – groups or ‘clusters’ of ten people or more – where each person will drive an electric car for 18 months to trial a new technology which will monitor and control the electricity used when the car is being charged.

Initially, only certain geographical areas will be eligible to apply to take part in My Electric Avenue trials, depending on the local Distribution Network Operators (DNOs).
As well as providing essential learning about managing the strain on the distribution network from the anticipated increased uptake of electric vehicles, My Electric Avenue project will also deliver a cost-effective solution to DNOs that reduces the need for network reinforcement and allows a faster uptake of EVs.

My Electric Avenue is the public-facing name for the project which is officially titled ‘I2EV’. The I2EV name references that there are two strands of innovation to this electric vehicle project: technical and commercial. The technical innovation is the technology which monitors and controls the demand on the local electricity network from the recharging of electric vehicles. The commercial innovation is that this is the first time a non-Distribution Network Operator will lead and manage a Low Carbon Networks Fund project, and it will create a blueprint for how DNOs and third parties can work together in the future.

Project partners

EA Technology
EA Technology is an employee-owned organisation offering high-tech instruments, software, electrical services and technical consultancy to the operators of power networks around the world. Through its Future Networks division it delivers innovative end-to-end solutions to facilitate the introduction of low carbon technologies to future proof electricity networks, resulting in lower cost connections, prompt adoption and reduced risk to business.
www.eatechnology.com

Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution
Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Ltd and its subsidiaries Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, Southern Electric Power Distribution and Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, are all members of the SSE Group. Through its Power Distribution business, it transmits and distributes electricity to over 3.5 million businesses, homes and offices in central southern England and the north of Scotland. It owns and is responsible for maintaining one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. SSE Power Distribution Limited is also delivering a range of innovative projects, notably the £30 million Thames Valley Vision project, which aims to ensure the UK has a high quality and affordable electricity network in the future.
www.ssepd.co.uk

Nissan
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year, Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 528,000 vehicles - including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Japanese brand in Europe.
www.nissan.co.uk

Fleetdrive Electric
Fleetdrive Electric is the UK’s leading lease provider of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. It is a division of Fleetdrive Management Ltd which provides cars and vans and associated services to SMEs in the UK.
www.fleetdrive-electric.com

Zero Carbon Futures
Zero Carbon Futures is a recently established consultancy in North East England set up to deliver a range of local, national and international programmes all geared up to advance the region as a European leader in the production of low carbon vehicles. The company has a range of experience in the low carbon sector and is currently developing a centre of excellence for the LCV sector in Sunderland, North East England which will house pioneering research in energy storage and smart home technology.

The company successfully managed the North East England’s Plugged in Places programme, Charge Your Car, which has installed the UK’s most comprehensive regional EV charge point network throughout North East England, and is now developing a national UK Pay as You Go EV charge point network with its partner Elektromotive. For more information on our work, contact us at zerocarbonfutures@gateshead.ac.uk.

Northern Powergrid
Northern Powergrid is the electricity distribution business for Northeast England, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire. The company is responsible for delivering power safely and reliably to the 3.9 million electricity domestic and business customers in this area and operates through its subsidiaries, Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Ltd and Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc. Northern Powergrid is a wholly owned subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. Northern Powergrid’s network consists of more than 31,000 substations, 29,000 kilometres of overhead line and 62,000 kilometres of underground cable, covering an area of more than 25,000 square kilometres. Northern Powergrid is leading moves towards a low carbon electricity network through the UK’s largest smart grid project, ‘the customer-led network revolution’. Information on Northern Powergrid is available at www.northernpowergrid.com.

Contact
Gill Nowell, Senior Consultant
EA Technology Limited, Capenhurst Technology Park, Capenhurst, Cheshire CH1 6ES
T. +44 (0)151 347 2359
gill.nowell@eatechnology.com
www.eatechnology.com

Photograph caption (image can be downloaded from the website)
At the launch of My Electric Avenue at the IET, London with a Nissan LEAF electric vehicle.
From left to right project partners: Mike Potter – Fleetdrive Electric, Dr Colin Herron – Zero Carbon Futures, Robert Davis – EA Technology, Stuart Hogarth – Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution and Simon Enstone – Nissan.
 

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Photograph caption: At the launch of My Electric Avenue at the IET, London with a Nissan LEAF electric vehicle.
From left to right project partners: Mike Potter – Fleetdrive Electric, Dr Colin Herron – Zero Carbon Futures, Robert Davis – EA Technology, Stuart Hogarth – Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution and Simon Enstone – Nissan.

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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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