London Test Free Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Points

  • Posted on: 31 October 2012
  • By: chw staff

UK Power Networks, one to the companies selected by OFGEM to participate in its UK Smart Grid Projects is to fund the installation of free Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points in London for residents and businesses. The trial is design to study the effect of EV charge points use on Britain’s electric grid infrastructure and to enable the vehicles to be recharged conveniently in London, both at home and on the street.

Other project partners include the Low Carbon Networks Fund, which has set aside £500 million for these projects and Transport for London. The funds were secured through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) Plugged in Places scheme.

The global vehicle-to-grid market is projected to grow at a blistering growth rate during the forecast period 2012-2020, said Research and Markets. UK Power Networks will monitor the charge points to provide key information that will help engineers design the electricity networks needed to support electric vehicle expansion.

"Low Carbon London has brought together funding from Government and the private sector to incentivise take-up of EVs so that ultimately we can study the drivers' charging habits and prepare for the future," said Liam O'Sullivan, Low Carbon London programme director.

With some 22 per cent of carbon emissions coming from transport in London, electric vehicles are seen as a key part of the carbon reduction jigsaw and electricity networks must cater for them. UK Power Networks is exploring the future impact which mass use of EVs will have on the electricity networks it owns and operates across a quarter of Britain.

Electricity networks need to adapt to enable, and not impede, the expansion of electric cars, other low carbon technologies, and the Low Carbon London research is exploring the best way to do this, said UK Power Networks.

The pilot is expected to run until 2014 for EV users in UK Power Networks' London footprint. During this time UK Power Networks will study the charging habits of EV drivers across the London area. EV drivers who join the pilot will receive a free 16-amp charging unit, which typically takes about six hours to charge a family car. Each charger will securely transmit the time and duration of each recharge to the research team, to study the data.