UK Power Networks launches time of use smart EV charging trial


UK Power Networks has launched a smart charging trial that will incentivise electric car drivers to charge at times that best suit the local grid.

The DNO hopes to recruit up to 1,000 EV drivers for the trial in London and the South East, alongside partners Octopus Energy, Ovo-owned Kaluza and charge point provider Pod Point.

The ultimate aim of the Shift project is to develop a smart charging platform that could be rolled out nationally, enabling the power system to accommodate a significant increase in demand without requiring massive increases in network and generation capacity.

The trial will use different technologies to work out how to best unlock flexibility from EVs. Kaluza’s platform, for example, will manage 300 of the charge points, combining price signals from UKPN with time of use data from the cars to initiate charging when demand is low.

UKPN’s previous Smart Car innovation trial examined different smart charging models, from DNO controlled to free market approaches.

“The conclusion was the market-approach was generally favoured by customers,” Adriana Laguna, senior innovation strategy manager at the distribution network operator, recently told The Energyst. “So the next phase of the project aims to test what a market signal looks like, working with suppliers, operators and owners to see how efficient that is.”

Recruitment for the Shift trial will begin next month.

Interested in EVs, smart charging and vehicle-to-grid? Download our free 2019 EV report here.

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