Ricardo to provide technical verification of major UK electric vehicle initiative

Ricardo to provide technical verification of major UK electric vehicle initiative
26 March 2013

My Electric Avenue project gets the green light from Ofgem

My Electric Avenue, an innovative project that aims to provide a solution to the potential impact that the recharging of electric vehicles (EVs) may have on the local electricity network, is now officially underway following final sign-off by Ofgem of the Customer Engagement Plan and Data Protection Strategy.

As sales of electric vehicles increase, there is a need to assess the potential impact that a cluster of EVs may have in a local area served by one electricity substation. In the event of all EVs being recharged at the same time, and without any preparation, the load on the local electricity network may exceed the substation capacity.

My Electric Avenue is an exciting project which promises to deliver real, significant benefits on both commercial and technical levels through the engagement of customers, DNOs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and companies new to the electricity industry, whilst pushing the currently accepted boundaries of innovation.

The project is therefore looking for ten ‘electric avenues’ – groups or ‘clusters’ of ten people or more – where each person will drive an electric car for 18 months to trial a new technology which will monitor and control the electricity used when the car is being charged.

My Electric Avenue project is led by EA Technology, a trusted third party innovation technology deliverer, with project partners Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited (SSEPD) (the host Distribution Network Operator, or DNO), Northern Powergrid (collaborating DNO), Nissan (EV supplier), Fleetdrive Electric (EV rental programme management) and Zero Carbon Futures (charging point network developer). In addition there are two academic partners, the University of Manchester (providing network modelling support), and De Montfort University (providing socio-economic modelling support). Ricardo is providing independent technical verification to the project.

My Electric Avenue demonstrates a unique and pioneering approach – it’s the first time that a DNO has empowered a third party (EA Technology) to develop, manage and deliver a network innovation project on its behalf; to test a possible approach and to help shape the design and delivery of future network innovation competitions.

My Electric Avenue project will provide essential learning about managing the strain on the distribution network from the anticipated increased uptake of electric vehicles. It will also deliver a cost-effective solution to DNOs that reduces the need for network reinforcement and allows a faster uptake of EVs.

Initially, only certain geographical areas will be eligible to apply to take part in My Electric Avenue trials, depending on the local Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). The host DNO participating in this project is SSEPD, however My Electric Avenue project has been conceived by, and will be managed by, a non-DNO, EA Technology.

The project is contractually obligated to achieve a number of deliverables or ‘Successful Delivery Reward Criterion’ (SDRCs). The first of these SDRCs is delivered through a report that has just been published, where the experience gained whilst progressing the project from Initial Screening Process (ISP) through to the signing of the Tier 2 Project Direction is recorded. Key learning points that were identified through the process are outlined for consideration with a view to considering recommended improvements in the process where applicable. View the full report here: http://www.eatechnology.com/key-projects/my-electric-avenue .

Other essential learning will continue to be shared by the project as it progresses.

The project partnership/collaborative approach to date has been a significant success; this is testament to the relationship of trust and confidence in delivery between EA Technology and SSEPD.

The project has received support from Ofgem through the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund. The Fund supports projects sponsored by the DNOs to try out new technology, operating and commercial arrangements. The objective of the fund is to support projects that help DNOs understand what they need to do to provide security of supply, at value for money, as the UK moves to a low carbon economy.


A full copy of this press release is available from the link at the top right of this page.