The project, which is trialling a smart charging solution to the capacity challenge presented by increasing numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) on local electricity networks, was launched in September 2016 at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event.
The aim is to recruit a total of 500-700 people buying new EVs – both pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, of all makes and models. Trial participants have to live in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales. Participants get a free electric vehicle home smart charger installed*, which has a number of benefits including the ability to receive updates remotely, as well as being faster than many ‘dumb’ chargers.
Electric Nation is ahead of schedule with the installation of smart chargers and also with the recruitment of participants – over 1,700 enquiries to take part in the project have now been received. Mark Dale, Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer, Western Power Distribution, comments: “At a time when sales of electric vehicles are rising at a faster rate than many people predicted, WPD’s Electric Nation project is setting out to show that costly reinforcement of some local electricity networks can be avoided by smart charging. I’m delighted that so many EV owners are signing up for the trial, so helping to allow EV numbers to grow further in the UK, along with ensuring that the local electricity networks can accommodate them.”
Electric Nation is a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partners in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and TRL.
Places on the trial are now filling up fast, so any new EV owners who want one of the latest smart chargers installed free of charge are advised to apply as soon as possible.
For more information and to check eligibility visit www.electricnation.org.uk
* Subject to eligibility and conditions