Smart charging trial demonstrates 80% peak demand reduction

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Project Shift is demonstrating the potential of smart charging with over 1,000 electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the UK.

Project Shift undertaken by UK Power Networks, the retailer Octopus Energy, as well as energy platform providers Kaluza and ev.energy has demonstrated an average reduction in charging demand of 80% during the 6-9 pm evening peak across the customers in the trial.

This finding has emerged from over 48,000 managed charging sessions delivering 900,000kWh of energy conducted over 8 months during 2020.

The average vehicle plug-in time was 14 hours – overnight from 18h00 to 08h00 in the morning – with the average charging duration ranging from 1-3 hours. The average consumption per session was 18kWh with an average weekly consumption of 59kWh in an average of three charging sessions.

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The trial is using ev.energy’s smart charging app with a reward scheme offering reward options including a choice from some free miles of home charging, some free rapid charging, Amazon or Starbucks vouchers or carbon removal credits.

“Electric vehicles are coming, and we have a responsibility to provide the capacity needed to ensure our customers can charge when and where they wish,” says Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks.

“Smart charging has an important role to play in making sure we get the most efficient use out of our existing infrastructure, and where we do invest it is in the right place at the right time.”

10,000 EVs aggregation

In addition to project Shift, ev.energy is involved in a new project with UK flexibility provider to aggregate over 10,000 EVs to trade as a virtual power plant to National Grid ESO.

Participating EV drivers set a ‘ready by time’ on ev.energy’s smart charging app to ensure their car is always ready when they need it. During the time before their car needs to be fully charged, ev.energy’s smart charging platform and Flexitricity’s automated platform work in unison to ensure that the optimal charging strategy is deployed.

ev.energy’s latest coup is for its platform to be integrated to the Energy Systems Catapult’s Living Lab testbed of almost 200 homes, where it will be available for innovators to test new EV services for the grid.