Northern Powergrid has launched an online tool, underpinned by network data, that will enable local authorities, electric vehicle (EV) installers and businesses planners to identify the best new EV charging point connection locations.
The online AutoDesign system offers guidance on possible locations to install EV chargers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, and the most cost effective ones.
The system responds to high regional demand in the region, where approximately three quarters of local authorities across Northern Powergrid's territory have declared a climate emergency and are looking for practical next steps to reduce emissions.
This newly available network data intelligence will significantly improve the EV connections process
Derek Fairbairn, system design manager, Northern Powergrid
The tool uses green, amber and red indicators to guide users towards the most cost-effective and viable connection options, and can provide an indicative connection cost in minutes instead of the usual 10 day turnaround.
Users can explore their connections options and create individualised budget estimates. The system will ultimately provide Northern Powergrid with greater transparency about network capacity, enabling informed decisions about where to connect.
Derek Fairbairn, system design manager at Northern Powergrid, said: "AutoDesign will provide real benefits and an enhanced level of real-world insight. It will enable local authorities, EV installers and businesses planners to see, in a matter of minutes, the best locations to install chargers and the associated cost.
"This newly available network data intelligence will significantly improve the EV connections process and help accelerate the clean transport transition."
The launch comes in the same week as Boris Johnson announced that the government would bring forward the ban on the sale of internal combustion engines to 2035, instead of 2040. Northern Powergrid predicts there could be almost 4.5 million EVs on roads across its operational area by 2040.
Customer and stakeholder involvement informed the system design, which was developed with the support of EA Technology and a Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) grant, underlining Northern Powergrid's approach to delivering customer-led innovations and improvements.
Fairbairn added: "The electrification of transport is essential if we are to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and our future scenarios show that the rate of EV growth will be significant. We want to actively support the EV transition and ensure our network meets the future needs of our customers and the communities we serve."