Electric vehicle charging points are being given away free to drivers in London as part of a trial to get a better understanding of the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity network.
As part of the £30 million Ofgem-funded Low Carbon London programme, the trial is being supported by UK Power Networks and Transport for London (TfL) with investment from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) Plugged in Places scheme.
Engineers will monitor the charging points and the habits of electric vehicle drivers to get an idea of how best to design electricity networks of the future to support more electric vehicles on the road.
The 16 A charging units, which recharge a typical family-sized electric vehicle in six hours, will transmit the time and duration of each vehicle recharge to the engineering team, where data will be analysed and scaled up to produce a picture of the effects of widespread electric vehicle use.
To date, most funding in London has gone towards the installation of charging points in car parks and on the streets, so this is one of the first trials of home chargers in the capital.
The trial will run over the next year and drivers will be able to view an online record of their charging details and energy use, as well as keep up to date on the findings of the trial. Once the research is completed in 2014, drivers will be able to keep their charger.
“This research will enable us all to not just discover the future impact that charging cars at home and at work could have on the electricity network but also to encourage the uptake of more electric vehicles in the capital,” says Nick Fairholme, responsible for the Source London initiative at TfL.
Source London, supported by partners including POD Point, aims to provide at least 1300 charging points around the capital by 2013 open to members for an annual fee.
“What we need to ensure is that car charging is staggered to prevent a surge of demand at peak times, when people arrive at work, or when they return home,” says Erik Fairbairn, chief executive of POD Point, which supplies home and workplace charging points.
In other good news for electric vehicle drivers, Source London have to come to an agreement with Source East so that users can have access to both networks of charging points for a membership fee.
For further information:
Greentomatocars to put all-electric minicabs on the road in London (25-Oct)
British Gas plugs UK drivers into Mitsubishi Motors’ i-MiEV (23-Oct)
E-Car Club signs up Nissan LEAFs for hire in Milton Keynes (11-Oct)
Mayor of London switches on electric vehicle scheme (27-May 2011)
31 October 2012