Electric Vehicle Charging Research

Electric Vehicle Charging Research

by Jonathan Clensy |
posted 10 March 2017

Electric Vehicle Charging Research

It seems all well and good to welcome a future of electrically powered motoring. But, research suggests that some of the UK’s local electricity networks will not be able to cope with the demand for motorists to charge Electric Vehicles at home at peak times.

A project called ‘Electric Nation’ is trialling a smart charging solution to this problem. Electric Nation has been set up by Western Power Distribution, funded by the Network Innovation Allowance with EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and the Transport Research Laboratory as partners.

The project is looking to recruit between 500 and 700 people who are either buying or leasing a new electric vehicle to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Data shows that across Britain at least 32% of electricity supply cables, 312,000 in all, will require intervention when 40% to 70% of customers have electric vehicles. Smart technology is a far better and cheaper solution.

All makes and models of electric vehicles would qualify for the Electric Nation project, whether pure electric or a plug-in hybrid. And, trial participants will get an opportunity to have a free smart charger installed.

Smart Technology a Better Option

In return for being given the smart charger, participants will provide charging data to the project to help electricity distribution companies better manage electric vehicle charging. This is necessary, because unless a solution is found, at least £2.2bn would need to be spent by 2050 to upgrade local electricity infrastructures.

It's a challenge that Dave Roberts of EA Technology's Director of Smart Interventions understands only too well. “Increasing awareness about the impact that many vehicles have on our air quality is one of the key issues that is resulting in car manufacturers bringing more electric vehicles to market. However, many local electricity networks serving our homes were never designed to cope with the demand from large numbers of high capacity electric vehicles.”

Motorists buying or leasing a new electric vehicle are invited to become part of the Electric Nation community. Initially the trial will take place in the WPD network areas in the Midlands, South West and South Wales. It is hoped that Electric Nation will provide a much cheaper option than costly and disruptive upgrading work to cables and substations.


Jonathan Clensy
Jonathan Clensy

Jonathan is part of the web development team at Money4yourMotors. With almost 20 years development knowledge he is closely involved with our on-going suite of website upgrades designed to give the best possible user experience to all our customers.