The next phase of the UK EV charging project ‘Electric Nation’ has been launched, with new Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) trials starting across the Midlands, South West, and South Wales. Participants are to receive free smart chargers for evaluation.
The project is run by Western Power Distribution, which will utilise the new EV trial to recruit domestic V2G users by offering free installation of smart chargers worth £5,500 to Nissan EV drivers. Prerequisite to receive one of the smart chargers is owning a Nissan electric vehicle with a battery size of at least 40 kW, as well as living in the regions covered by Western Power.
The aim of the current phase is to find 100 participants for the evaluation. This is somewhat complicated amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, as the UK and Wales have different restrictions and time schedules for their loosening.
“The energy industry has to plan long-term, so it is urgent that we continue working to find the practical solutions to meet the government’s net-zero target,” says Roger Hey, WPD’s DSO Systems and Projects Manager, before adding: “V2G charging has the potential to transform how networks approach the challenge of keeping millions of EVs charged and moving. To introduce up to 38 million EVs to the UK network over the coming years would create a great strain on the system, the equivalent of adding the electrical energy of London 14 times.”
Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge, complements: “Vehicle to grid charging is a great concept, but it hasn’t yet been trialled sufficiently on Britain’s electricity networks to enable it to be rolled out on a country-wide basis – hence the need for this project.”
Initially, the Electric Nation project ran from 2016 to 2019 in the UK, describing itself as “the largest smart charging project in the world”. During the first phase, a total of 673 smart chargers were installed in participants’ homes as part of the project researching the controlled charging of electric vehicles. More than 40 different electric vehicles were involved in the project, including everything from plug-in hybrids to vehicles with range extenders, as well as purely electric cars.
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