A project has been launched to assess the impact plug-in electric vehicles (PIVs) will have on grid stability as more come on stream to beat European emission regulations.
The three and a half year CarConnect project aims to help power providers better understand how charge at home vehicles will affect fluctuations in the electricity grid.
The findings will determine if PIV demand control services that will reduce, stop or even reverse charging at certain times of day, can be delivered while meeting drivers’ needs.
The UK project is hosted by distribution network operator (DNO) Western Power Distribution (WPD), and delivered by EA Technology, Drive Electric and Lucy Electric Gridkey.
Roger Hey, Western Power Distribution’s future networks manager, said: “In our own homes an extra 3kW or 7kW is a significant, but manageable electricity load, no more than what a kettle or double-oven might use – it’s the time that a vehicle is charging that makes the difference – a full charge for a high-end plug-in-vehicle could take 8-10 hours, even with a 7kW charger.”
In the last two years the UK has seen a 716% increase in PIV registrations as OEMs flex their ‘green’ credentials to pass ever tightening emission targets.
By the early 2020s there could be as many as one million ultra-low emission plug-in-vehicles on UK roads which will have an impact on grid stability, especially in the evenings as car owners return from work.
The project will outline key areas where WPD network will be most susceptible to plug-in-vehicle loads, and allow it to develop a method for monitoring the effect of plug-in-vehicles on low voltage networks.
Mike Potter, managing director of Drive Electric Ltd, said: “As ever more desirable electric vehicles become available, their widespread adoption is now almost certain.
“The smart technology and expanded understanding of PIV charging this project will develop helps ensure PIVs have a positive role in the energy network.”