UK Power Networks has launched a new trial called Shift that will see up to 1,000 electric vehicle owners offered financial incentives to charge their vehicle off-peak.
According to the network operator, customers and the wider EV industry have told electricity networks that they are strongly in favour of giving people choice about how and when they charge. Shift is hoping to answer questions such as how smart charging could unlock the financial, environmental and social benefits of customers charging their electric vehicle during off-peak hours.
The trial aims to develop a large-scale, smart charging solution that can be rolled out nationwide by flexibility service providers like chargepoint operators, aggregators and energy suppliers.
UK Power Networks' market-led approach will see the power company work with entech supplier Octopus Energy, intelligent energy platform Kaluza and charge point operator Pod Point to explore the different business models and market mechanisms to deliver benefits from smart charging. It is recruiting up to 1,000 members of the public who own an electric vehicle and charge it at home, across London, the South and East of England where it delivers power.
Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks said: "We're really excited to be working with our customers and industry on a nationally-significant trial that could revolutionise the electric vehicle industry. There has been a lot of talk about how smart charging could save customers money and help manage the network, but this is the first time we've actually set out to discover how.
"Stakeholders have told us that a smart charging market is what they'd like to see because it gives them both choice and freedom over how they charge their electric vehicle. Listening to this feedback, we are working with others to design new devices that enable customers to benefit from the low carbon transport revolution."