The need for the project
As sales of electric vehicles increase there is a need to assess the potential impact that a cluster of EVs may have in a local area served by one electricity substation. In the event of all EVs being recharged at the same time, and without any preparation, the load on the local electricity network may exceed the substation capacity.
Objectives of the project
The project will provide essential learning about managing the strain on the electricity distribution network from the anticipated increased uptake of electric vehicles. It will also deliver a cost-effective solution to Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) that reduces the need for costly and disruptive network reinforcement, allows a faster uptake of EVs, and demonstrates a new delivery framework for Ofgem Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund projects by a third party project lead.
The local electricity network
The project focuses on the electricity network that supplies homes and small businesses - the Low Voltage (LV) network. Electricity networks are built to provide energy to customers in a secure, reliable, and sustainable way. The project will trial and demonstrate practical and cost-efficient solutions to alleviate the potential impact of clusters of EVs being charged on a local network. Find out more at: http://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/Electricity/AboutElectricity/
Can the local electricity network cope with the recharging of a cluster of electric vehicles?: UPS Case Study
UPS, the largest express carrier and package delivery company in the world, bought 20 electric Modec six tonne collection and delivery vehicles between 2008 and 2010 and deployed 18 of these in its UK central London facility in Camden (the other two being deployed in Barking).
Despite the fact that the vehicles are in the Camden operating centre overnight for longer than the required eight-hour recharge time, the local substation has not been capable of providing the necessary power output to recharge all the vehicles at the same as well as meeting the needs of other electrical items such as the sorting conveyors and lights.
Consequently the vehicles have to be recharged in shifts. To overcome the complexity of doing this and to allow for a further expansion of EV's in Camden, UPS is working with the local power company UK Power Networks under the auspices of the EU's FREVUE (Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe) programme to upgrade the substation.
The electric Modecs were bought to perform normal package pick-up and delivery work for UPS, just like their diesel counterparts, as part of UPS's commitment to alternative technologies. They joined a UPS alternative fuel/technology 'rolling laboratory' fleet that now numbers overs over 2500 globally.
The Modecs perform well operationally in terms of range, payload, driver appeal and body layout, and of course achieve zero tailpipe emissions - in many ways demonstrating how electric vehicles are ideally suited to urban logistics.
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.