Study Finds Networks Can Support Off-Peak Charging

Study Finds Networks Can Support Off-Peak Charging

A study is claiming to allay fears that energy grids run the risk of overload if electric vehicles achieve mass adoption.

The Electric Nation project has concluded that ‘duck curve’ scenarios in which the grid comes under unmanageable pressure caused by mass charging of EVs at peak times like weekday evenings can be avoided if drivers are incentivized to charge off-peak. It was carried out by electricity network operator Western Power Distribution across its operating region of Wales and central and south-western England.

Electric Nation studied the charging habits of 673 hybrid and full EV drivers between June 2017 and December 2018 and involved the operator giving them “incentives” to charge during non-peak periods such as the middle of the night, rather than when they returned from work. Electric Nation claims to be “the largest smart charging trial in the world”, with funding coming from Ofgem and delivery from “a partnership of EA Technology, Drive Electric, Lucy Electric GridKey, and TRL”.

Electric Nation also involved participants testing ‘smart charging’ technologies, including apps designed to reduce journey disruption. It found participating vehicles had an average charge time of over 12 hours but in most cases they would not charge for the entirety of that period. It also found the average charging session would commence with the vehicle’s battery already over 50% full and the average participant charged their vehicle three times per week.

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