Fleet News

EV growth sparks concerns

APT Technologies is warning fleets that they could face disruption to their electrical supply when their use of electric vehicles (EVs) increases in the future.

Initially, concerns were raised as to whether the grid as a whole could accommodate thousands of EVs being charged during the day and overnight.

However, research undertaken by a consortium led by Jaguar Land Rover, as part of the Range Extended Hybrid Electric Vehicle (REHEV) project allayed those fears.

Assuming a 10% market penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles in the UK vehicle parc, it showed a daily peak increase of less than 2% for uncontrolled domestic charging.

Meanwhile, off-peak domestic charging increases electricity consumption throughout the night without any detrimental effect and would have no impact on the peak daily demand.

It’s the effect that the multiple charging of EVs will have on an individual organisation’s supply and its other electrical devices that face being starved of sufficient capacity which is now causing concern.

“We fear fleet managers are unaware are unaware of the potential effects multiple EV charging will have on the supply to that specific building or organisation,” says Justin Meyer, business development manager at APT Technologies.

“Most EV fleet organisations are trialling EV’s in small numbers and are just plugging them into the existing supply.

“However, once fleet managers start increasing the number of EVs they will become aware of the potential disruption.”

Charging on a single phase electrical supply will cause the biggest problem as this type of consumption causes a large amount of electrical distortion – the so-called third harmonic.    

However, the use of an active filter will avoid the potential for very high peaks in currents and subsequent overheating, as well as improving the efficiency of any EV charging installation.

Meyer says: “An unfiltered supply will also have a long term impact on the battery of the electrical vehicle thus reducing its life expectancy.”

It is therefore important fleets are able to monitor, manage and control the energy being used and, in doing so, monitor, manage and control the costs.

APT Technologies has recently teamed-up with CircControl in Spain to bring its established technology to the UK Market under the Evolt brand, which includes charging posts for EVs.

But it is its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software, which avoids any possible overload of the network by managing its capacity whilst at the same time allowing optimised charging, that will be of real interest to fleets considering EVs.

The fleet manager will be able to access a wealth of information on-screen, such as real-time electrical consumption, power quality and status of all charging units and distribution cables.

It can also provide a gramme per kilometre CO2 emissions figure for each individual vehicle based on the source of the electricity supply. 

Overall, the drill down data available is wide-ranging with personalised reporting enabling the fleet manager to review data on numerous parameters.

“Fleet managers who are aware of our product are very impressed with the technology’s ability to counteract possible disturbances to the electrical supply and the intelligent software system which assists with managing the fleet,” says Meyer.

“We are also speaking to various ‘Plugged in Places’ consortiums across the UK in developing an intelligent charging infrastructure.”

A final decision as to who has been awarded funding for this project has yet to be determined, but a decision on the successful regions is expected this month.

Elsewhere, it has just recently won a project to supply 22 charge points for a multi-story car park in Scotland.

Read a case study of Barcelona based company Urbaser who implemented the technology.

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