Would you and your neighbour like a ‘free’ electric car?

Would you like to drive an electric car without having to fork out the cash? Do you wish you had the chance to trial one and see what the fuss […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Would you like to drive an electric car without having to fork out the cash? Do you wish you had the chance to trial one and see what the fuss is all about?

If your answer is yes, this new programme might just be the one for you.

Partly funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund, the £10 million ‘My Electric Car Avenue’ initiative is seeking 100 drivers to be part of a new trial that will look at ways of managing the impact of EVs on the local electricity grid. It aims to understand how groups of EVs in the same neighbourhood would have an impact on electricity networks using new software built by EA Technology.

Drivers must, however, be part of the same street or a close community that are on the same electricity feeder. Participants will get the EV (pictured) for only £100 per month and expenses such as road tax and insurance will be paid for. Charging the car overnight will cost between £2-£3, which lasts for up to 100 miles.

The trial will run for 18 months and users expected to save up to 85% on their monthly fuel bill.

Dave Roberts, Future Networks Director at EA Technology, Europe told ELN: “The electricity network has to be flexible enough to allow different loads and different consumers for different demands they’re going to have on the system. Whether it’s the new forms of electric vehicles or whether its photovoltaic that people are putting on to the network, that is all causing a change to what was the conventional or traditional way of power flowing from very large centralised power stations to the end user. We’re looking at how that network can be as flexible as it can without essentially digging up streets.”

He added: “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.”

The project is a venture between EA Technology, Nissan, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, Nissan, Fleetdrive Electric, Zero Carbon Futures and Northern Powergrid.