Funding for SSEN electric vehicle scheme
Innovation initiative will bring forward portable EV charging devices
27th April 2020 by Jane Gray
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has secured funding from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), to deliver its £320,000 Local Electric Vehicle Energy Loop (LEVEL) project.
LEVEL will scope out the design and capabilities of portable electric vehicle (EV) charging devices to provide power to EV drivers when, and where they need it.
Scotland is seeking to phase out the purchase of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2032 and SSEN hopes that supporting the development of portable charging options will give more consumers the confidence they need to make the switch to electric vehicles.
The 18-month LEVEL project will look to identify ways to improve network and charging resilience to meet short term demand. The project will develop the standard and specification of temporary, portable EV charging devices, including a demonstration of a device in the SSEN licence area in the north of Scotland.
Future charging devices could be deployed in advance of bad weather, such as to remote locations across Scotland which experience adverse weather that can cause power cuts, which would affect EV drivers’ mobility. LEVEL will investigate the feasibility of positioning charging devices in public car parks during the summer months, to boost capacity in the local area.
LEVEL will consider:
- the customer interface, such as development of an app which will display the locations of mobile devices;
- the best ownership model for these devices, which may be best placed with public bodies;
- the role of these devices with vulnerable communities; and
- the implications for metering and settlement from temporary connections.
Speaking about the significance of the LEVEL initiative, the project’s manager Kate Jones, said it is “an exciting addition to our portfolio of projects that are preparing the electricity network for EVs.”
She added: “The electrification of transport is critical in realising Scotland’s decarbonisation ambitions, bringing exciting opportunities to be seized and challenges to be mitigated. Through the LEVEL project we will be working collaboratively to identify potential issues, to give customers the confidence to make the EV transition.”
She also sad that the availability of portable EV charging options would be a “valuable tool” for SSEN in terms of managing short-term and short-notice surges in demand, whilst avoiding costly network reinforcement.
SSEN is a partner of the Scottish Government’s Strategic EV Partnership, which is working to decarbonise all forms of transport in Scotland and identify and address potential issues in the transition.
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