A new system to get the electricity network ready for widespread use of electric vehicles (EV) is being tested in London.
Between December and April, the flow of electricity to certain public EV charge points will be stopped briefly at peak times.
Three sites have been selected for the trial, including five public charge points in the City, ten in Beckton and 50 of the most popular points in London.
The aim is to show that drivers will still get enough charge.
New software will provide live data showing electricity demand from the cluster of charge points and how much demand could be reduced, if curtailed.
If and when electricity starts replacing petrol and diesel as a main fuel source for transport, ‘smart’ systems will be needed to stop the network being overloaded by huge demand.
Digging up main roads to adjust the network would be expensive so a short suspension of power could be a cheaper solution.
Michael Clark, Low Carbon London programme director said: “Success in these trials could reduce the cost and disruption associated with building new power infrastructure to support the expansion of EV charging systems, benefiting consumers across the country. We believe this is the first trial of ‘active network management’ involving electric vehicles in Britain.”