My Electric Avenue Preliminary Results Revealed

Just in case the name is unfamiliar to you, the My Electric Avenue project has been running for a couple of years now. According to the My Electric Avenue web site:

Whilst there’s plenty of capacity to deliver power for EV charging across the UK, if the charging requirements are concentrated in small areas and during peak demand, local feeders can become overloaded. With the development of even faster charging times, this problem shows no signs of fading.

The full size and scale of the problem that EV clusters could cause will only become apparent to Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) when they are already on the network, demanding costly mitigation measures in short timescales.

EA Technology and Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) are working together with partners under the Ofgem Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund to develop a ready-made low cost solution. EA Technology is developing an EV charge control system to balance out the charging cycles of EVs at times of network stress.

To test the system the trial is simulating a future EV network, and to do this, clusters of EVs have been ‘created’.

If all that information strikes you as being a bit on the dry side, here’s an episode of Robert Llewellyn’s “Fully Charged” show that explains the project in a more entertaining fashion!

I watched a webinar last week in which some preliminary results from the project were released, but EA Technology had a few internet connection problems due to high winds in the North of England, and the feed gave up the ghost halfway through! To rectify that they’ve made a video of the proceedings available to all and sundry, and here it is:

There’s also a page on the My Electric Avenue web site where you can download additional information.

The data referred to in the video is based on the initial results from an ongoing survey. It explains that the approximately 200 participants who each leased a Nissan LEAF were split into two roughly equal groups. The “technical” group used “smart” or “controlled” charging, whilst the “social” group simply had their EV charging activity monitored. There’s obviously much more detail available from the video and accompanying documentation, but in brief:

  • Only ~5% of people disagreed with the proposition that “EVs are easy to live with”, however
  • 117 out of 193 people “struggle to charge away from home”
  • Of those 117, 12% intend to buy their LEAF at the end of the trial and 43% intend to lease it
  • Overall 17% intend to buy their LEAF at the end of the trial and 41% intend to lease it
  • Even after the “controlled” charging trial 80% of people like to charge their car until it is full
  • Of the people on the “technical” trial, 16% disagreed with the proposition that “My electric vehicle charges sufficiently in the time available to charge”

The concluding section of the presentation points out that the sense of “community” was very important to the success of the project, with “local champions” recruiting friends and neighbours into their “cluster” of EVs a vital element of that.

The final report on the My Electric Avenue project is due to be released by De Montfort University towards the end of October 2015. In the meantime if you are in the EV business and you would like to take a quick survey yourself on the topic of “Industry Views on the Impact of Cycling Electric Vehicle Charging” then you can do so over at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y5N8TTV

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