Electric Nation in Autocar

The Electric Nation project has been featured in this week’s edition of motoring magazine Autocar. Written by Jesse Crosse, the article explains how smart charging could prevent the need for a costly overhaul of the nation’s electricity infrastructure to cope with the widespread adoption of EVs.

The story explains about the trial of Alfen and eVolt smart chargers, provided free to 700 users of EVs, in return for access to their charging data. Jesse Crosse interviewed Mark Dale from Western Power Distribution (WPD) for the piece, with Mark explaining that the worst time for local electricity networks is cold winter evenings when people put the kettle on during football matches on TV. Although the networks can cope with this, adding electric vehicles onto networks as well – which can double the electricity demand from houses – is when challenges can start to happen for distribution network operators (DNOs). The Electric Nation project is trialling a smart charging solution to this issue, which will allow demand management on networks if needed.

Autocar pulled out some headline data from the Electric Nation project so far: 48% of electric vehicle users plug their cars in between 5pm and midnight, vehicles are plugged in for an average of 12 hours, yet the vehicles are only charging for an average of two hours.

Smart charging is included in the Government’s Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which had its first reading in Parliament on 18 October (no debate), with the second reading (with debate) on 23 October.

Electric Nation being featured in Autocar comes at the end of a high profile two weeks which have seen the project being presented at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Gill Nowell from EA Technology being interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mark Dale from WPD being interviewed on Radio Wales, and the project also enjoyed a 2,000 word feature in Energy World.