Blog by Jonathan Woodthorpe, head of e-mobility at npower
As we approach the end of 2013 and thoughts turn towards the coming new year it is often helpful to take stock. As someone heavily involved in the electric vehicle market, the progress made over recent times to convince both the public and the business community as to the merits of electric powered transport is heartening.
But more needs to be done.
The need for an ongoing education programme, driven by all parts of the electric vehicle market remains, particularly when it comes to explaining the options becoming increasingly available to fleet managers wishing to investigate and implement an electric vehicle strategy.
A critical element in the education debate is the issue of charging capability and how it will support a growing electric vehicle infrastructure.
The number of charging points for EVs across the UK is growing fast, with more than 1,500 currently. With EU proposals potentially compelling the UK to install 122,000 by the end of this decade, npower is one of the companies involved in the implementation of charging points in the UK, using ‘smart charging’ technology.
The development of a standardised approach to smart charging, which has the acceptance of all major European and American vehicle manufacturers, is essential for the future. This standard, ISO IEC 15118, pioneered by RWE - npower’s parent company - has meant businesses can protect themselves by ensuring they invest in a charging infrastructure, which provides the flexibility to adapt to their future charging needs.
For the first time, ‘smart charging’ has been defined and characterised and technology developed by RWE meets the requirements of this forward-looking standard. Technology meeting this standard leads the way to fully automated and standardised communication between the vehicle and the energy charging infrastructure – enabling all aspects of the charging process to be captured, managed and controlled easily.
I believe if fleet managers are increasingly aware of the flexible and beneficial smart charging capability now to hand, they can begin to educate their boards to enable widespread electric fleet adoption across businesses.