Western Power Distribution launches searchable EV capacity map


Western Power Distribution has launched a new, searchable map that enables anyone planning to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure to check whether capacity is available.

Constraints on distribution networks are a key consideration for those installing EV chargepoints, particularly faster chargers.

Firms have told The Energyst determining where infrastructure can be sited is often a frustrating, time consuming process akin to “battleships”. According to Engenie, which is undertaking a national charging rollout for pubco Marston’s, grid connections and capacity are a major obstacle at about one in four sites.

WPD’s map – which is searchable by licence area, local authority, postcode or substation – should ease some of those challenges, enabling more informed decision-making around where to site charging infrastructure.

“Our capacity indication is based on 7kW domestic type chargers and assumes the diversity we would expect to get from these units. We published the map to show that in many cases we already have enough capacity at our sites to keep ahead of the development of EVs,” said WPD DSO development manager, Paul Jewell.

“There are some caveats to this data, as the charge events would need to be smoothed for this to be achieved and no account is taken for local work required to upgrade service cables to properties, for example. We expect the tool to be the most useful for local authorities who are planning public charging, giving them the early view of which streets are better or worse than others with regard to local capacity.”

Northern Powergrid is also due to rollout an EV mapping tool early in the New Year.

See WPD’s electric vehicle map here.

Earlier this year, WPD published its EV strategy report, which outlines the cost and lead times associated with different types of charging infrastructure, ranging from nothing and immediately for slow (3kW) domestic chargers, to £120,000 and 16 weeks for a 130kW super charger or multiple rapid chargers. See the strategy here.

Related stories:

WPD outlines EV infrastructure it can handle, costs and lead times

Do EV chargepoints require a supply licence? Maybe, says Ofgem

EVs: Understand grid constraints before diving in

Free EV report: What businesses need to know

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