Electric Nation is seeking to recruit over 500 electric vehicle (EV) owners (including pure electric and plug-in hybrids) to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Participants will charge their cars at home using a smart charger which can manage when and how their vehicle battery charges. The findings of the trial will help electricity network operators to manage the effect of the additional load caused by charging EVs on the local electricity network. This is essential for the security of electricity networks in the future and the decarbonisation of the transport sector which is responsible for approximately 21% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
We are looking for up to 700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles to take part in a trial to ensure the UK can charge electric vehicles at peak times as the numbers of EVs rise.
Trial participants will get a free smart charger installed, benefits include:
The smart charger is yours to keep after the end of the Electric Nation trial.
For the first six months of the project (at least) the trial will only take place in certain geographical locations: the WPD network areas in the Midlands, South West and South Wales.
After six months the trial may broaden out to the rest of Britain if there are still places free.
A certain mix of vehicle technologies is required, including EVs and Plug-In Hybrids (PHEVs).
* If home charge scheme grant is NOT available customers can still participate, however additional costs will be incurred.
Participants will use their EVs normally, and be provided with a smart charger to allow them to charge their vehicle at home. We’ll use the charger and a secure communications unit (connected to the internet via home broadband) to collect data about their car charging habits (when they charge, what rate, how much energy was used and when the car is plugged in). For some participants we will also gather information about the length of journeys that they are undertaking and their battery charge state. This will be gathered from the electric vehicle.
Some customers will receive an app that will receive notifications when their charging has been controlled as part of the trial. The app can also be used by the participant to provide preference information that will help ensure that their car is charged when they need it.
Part of the trial will involve the simulation of network events that may require the car charge to be paused or the charging rate altered. This will take into account the customer’s needs, and when they require their electric vehicle if this information is available. This may result in a customer’s electric vehicle not receiving a 100% charge, however the smart charging system will endeavour to provide a charge level suitable for use.
We’d like to understand how participants react to the smart charging system, so participants will also be asked to complete a number of customer research questionnaires during the trial.