In the UK, Western Power Distribution (WPD) has just released the details of its updated EV strategy. In order to enable the faster rollout of charge points across the UK, WPD is focussing on making the connection process easier for charge point operators.
The network operator plans to do this by offering EV charge point operators back-to-back leases, where this proves appropriate. Overall, the update in e-mobility strategy builds on the utility experience from trials such as the Electric Nation looking into residential smart charging as early as 2016 or the DC Share trial. With the latter, they aim for a novel solution to use latent capacity in distribution networks to power fast-charging hubs more evenly.
WPD’s DSO development manager Paul Jewell said: “Our updated strategy details how we are making EV charger connections on our network easier and quicker. Over the next 12 months, our planned innovation projects will see the roll-out of industry-leading charging solutions for both domestic and non-domestic settings.”
This includes developing the Electric Nation – PowerUp project during 2020, where WPD is to monitor around 100 V2G chargers.
For further residential charging, WPD has also updated its strategy outlining plans to develop new charging solutions for domestic customers. This will involve investing in a series of network improvement projects to meet demands for home charging installations. Then, to allow room for the growth of on-street charging, WPD will change the way it provides electricity supplies to existing street facilities such as streetlights.
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On the non-domestic side of things, WPD is teaming up with motorway service operators to develop charging solutions at roadside fuel filling stations. During Phase 1 of the Department for Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ Project Rapid, WPD helped to roll out rapid charging solutions at motorway service stations in the UK, providing the electrical capacity for 48 chargers to be installed across its network. As part of Phase 2, WPD is aiming for further EV charger installations. A trial project is planned in cooperation with Moto Services at one of their motorway service areas. The focus here utilising rapid charging with new technology that requires significantly less space than current chargers.
Commenting on the release of the updated strategy, Jewell said: “Our estimates suggest that, in order to reach the charging capacity required to meet the decarbonisation of transport, the UK needs to install 2,700 charge points a day. Our EV strategy shows we have the solutions to make EV charging quick and effective for customers. We are working hard alongside industry, Government and stakeholders to ensure that everyone who wants an EV charger can get one.”
Scenarios that were worked through by WPD suggest that the number of electric cars in the UK could reach around 15 million units by 2032, rising to over 38 million by 2038. At the same time, current projections suggest that around 217,000 chargers will be connected to WPD’s network by 2023.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey, UK.
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