New project offers EV equipment free of charge

A new research project is offering to install free smart chargers at electric vehicle (EV) owners’ homes. The Electric Nation initiative aims to test for possible capacity challenges by studying usage patterns to see […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A new research project is offering to install free smart chargers at electric vehicle (EV) owners’ homes.

The Electric Nation initiative aims to test for possible capacity challenges by studying usage patterns to see whether infrastructure upgrades are needed.

The scheme is funded by Western Power Distribution and the Network Innovation Allowance.

The UK power grid has enough capacity to deliver power to the EVs currently on the nation’s roads.

However, as the technology becomes more widespread, clusters of the green vehicles being charged at peak times could mean some local networks need reinforcing.

The technology being trialled could itself offer a solution, as it allows interaction between domestic charge points and local electricity networks to help control demand and balance the load.

It could potentially minimise or avoid entirely the cost and disruption involved in upgrading local electricity infrastructure, according to Electric Nation.

One of the first Electric Nation participants, Clive Harding from Worcester, has had a smart charger installed for his Nissan LEAF.

Mr Harding said: “I now have a smart charger fitted that is faster than a standard charger and every time I charge my car, the data will help to ensure that the UK’s local electricity networks can cope with the predicted increase in the number of electric vehicles.”

All EV owners are invited to apply, regardless of the type, make or model of their particular car.

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