It has been confirmed that Western Power Distribution will work in partnership with Ricardo Energy and Environment on an EV technology trial that could assist with the delivery of up to 217,000 new EV rapid chargers by 2023 in inner-city areas with the aim of getting more than three million electric cars on the road by the same time. The technology will allow the rapid chargers to be installed without the need for massive upgrades to electricity infrastructure. The trial will take place in Taunton, Somerset.
The technology could potentially save customers £162 million in network upgrade costs between now and 2050. The technology is designed to help network providers use the existing network more intelligently as helps them more efficiently use the current capacity of existing substations and infrastructure. The trial plans to test new ways of pooling spare capacity from multiple substation and will allow rapid chargers to operate without the need for extensive network upgrades and reinforcement.
The technology has great potential for inner-city areas where upgrades can be made difficult by a lack of available space for increasing and improving infrastructure.
The Somerset trial will draw power from a number of local substation to power 15 rapid chargers, including a number of chargers which are capable of recharging electric cars in as little as thirty minutes.
The project planning is currently underway with building work set to commence throughout 2021 and the rapid chargers expected to be available by 2022. Throughout the trial, electric car users will be able to charge their vehicles for free. The trial is expected to help with the uptake of low carbon emission vehicles like electric cars and if successful could be an important step forward for the UK, and a big money saver for the country.