Northern Powergrid will implement three key initiatives this year to engage their 2,500 employees with EV technology across several of its 28 sites. The DNO will observe both how its employees interact with the EVs and the resulting impact on the network.
These findings may then impact their services for EV owners and the supporting infrastructure. As part of the initiative, Northern Powergrid is installing EV charging points at 11 of its sites.
This will be supported by a second initiative to install on-site vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging points that will also contribute to a trial of best use of V2G in fleet operations. Installation for the first of 16 V2G chargers will begin this month.
Furthermore, Northern Powergrid will begin a process of fleet electrification, starting with its pool cars. Moreover, the utility is undertaking a survey of EV ownership in the business to ensure the growing EV driver base has the right infrastructure.
“We have to get hands on and lead by example. We are starting small to begin with, bringing on five Nissan Leaf EVs that will be available for our people to use,” explains Jim Cardwell, Head of Policy Development at Northern Powergrid. “Although colleagues frequently have to take our vehicles to places where there is no electricity, there is huge internal appetite to decarbonise as much of our fleet as possible, as soon as is practical.”
Over the past year Northern Powergrid has been engaged in EV projects. These include a £9.8m collaborative project led by Nissan, that will see 1,000 V2G charging points added to the UK’s network (we reported). Substantial support comes from the UK government as it wants to demonstrate the viability and also potential attractiveness of V2G solutions.
2017 also saw Northern Powergrid and Nissan sign a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake projects that will look at how EVs, batteries and other technologies can support energy networks.