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SP Energy Networks seeks fleets for electric vehicle charging trial

Plugging in electric car

SP Energy Networks is seeking fleets to take part in an electric vehicle smart charging trial across Cheshire, Merseyside, North Shropshire and North and Mid-Wales.

The company is also keen to hear from developers and chargepoint operators (CPOs) who are currently considering the installation of chargepoints.

The trial is part of the Charge Project, an initiative from SP Energy Networks and its partners EA Technlogy, PTV Group and Smarter Grid Solutions, which aims to accelerate the roll-out of public EV charging infrastructure in the region.

Geoff Murphy, lead for the Charge Project at SP Energy Networks, said: “Creating a comprehensive EV charging infrastructure is vital to helping our communities achieve their net zero carbon goals and a key part of the ‘green economic recovery’ of the UK post-Covid-19.

“To make that happen, we need to safely and effectively manage the demand on the electricity network that increased EV charging will create.

“We believe that smart charging connections are a vital part of the solution – the results from this trial will improve our understanding of how they work in real-world scenarios.”

A smart charging connection can automatically detect if the CPO need to reduce chargepoint capacity during periods of peak demand, ensuring the electricity network does not become overloaded.

It can also increase chargepoint capacity during off-peak periods or when power from alternative sources such as solar PV is available.

By managing demand in this way, a smart charging connection can enable the installation of more chargepoints in a single location without the need for expensive network reinforcements.

Dr Graham Ault, executive director at Smarter Grid Solutions, added: “Companies and site owners may have been put off in the past from installing chargepoints due to excessive costs or distribution network issues, but smart charging connection technology can help to solve these problems.

“This is a vital part of the Charge Project’s commitment to deliver both economic and environmental benefits to communities across the country.”

The boss of Britain’s largest vehicle leasing company, Lex Autolease, last week labelled the country’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure “not fit-for-purpose”.

Richard Jones, managing director of Lex Autolease and Black Horse, said parts of the country are poorly served, limiting the wider adoption of EVs.

  • Any fleets interested in taking part in this trial can register their interest by clicking here.
Click here for electric cars and hybrids best practice and procurement insight

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