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Getting connected: Online tool helps EV charging infrastructure connections

  • 21 May 2021

  • EA Technology

Blogs & White Papers

Getting connected: Online tool helps EV charging infrastructure connections

Discover how we’ve helped one electricity network to speed up the deployment of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure through innovative new trials.

SP Energy Networks is preparing for the increase in the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) with its £8.5m Charge Project, devised to help enable the UK’s transition towards electrified transport.

This initiative project combines transport and electricity network data to identify the most useful locations for EV chargepoints and how to connect them most cost-effectively. Charge specifically looks at areas currently underserved by public charging points, particularly in areas with terraced homes, flats and limited on-street parking.

The targeted network trials, which have received £6.85m from Ofgem, are being run by subsidiary SP Manweb in Merseyside, North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire. SP Energy Networks will quickly roll out learnings from the project across other parts of the network.

Speeding up EV readiness through knowledge sharing

One of the key objectives of Charge is to share information with local authorities, businesses, communities and anyone interested in EV infrastructure, making it easier to plan for large-scale EV adoption.

As one of the partners on the project and a leading authority on smart network management technologies, EA Technology has helped to facilitate the project by developing a public-facing interactive online tool – ConnectMore.

This user-friendly web application shows where EV charging demand is likely to be in the future, and where there is network capacity to support chargepoint installations. Informed by the project smart charging trials, future versions of the tool will share the benefits that smart charging can offer in managing network demand with EV chargepoint connection customers.

Video: ConnectMore is being developed as part of the Charge project.

Accessed via SP Energy Network’s website, the tool means that:

  • Charge point operators can quickly see cost estimates for connecting new EV chargepoints and research future EV charging demand
  • Businesses and local authorities can understand where the electricity network could support chargepoints at shops or leisure destinations
  • Community organisations can discover the most cost-effective locations for local chargepoint installations
  • Local authorities can establish long-term plans to scale up infrastructure rollout and achieve the best value for chargepoint deployments while satisfying maximum EV charging demand.

Ready for the future

 ConnectMore plays a vital role in the Charge project, driving the evolution of power networks that can sustain the demand for EV charging.

This four-year project will support the needs of current and future EV drivers, whether they live in residential areas without off-street parking or are looking for charging facilities en-route or at destinations.

The sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles is due to end in 2030 in the UK, so the need for infrastructure progress is vital. Charge and ConnectMore will bring together transport and energy planning to speed up the investment in and deployment of public EV charging infrastructure.

Mark Sprawson