My Electric Avenue was a pioneering Ofgem Low Carbon Networks-funded project that undertook trials with over 200 customers to determine the impact clusters of charging electric vehicles (EVs) might have on local electricity networks, at peak times. This was the first project to ever focus purely on the impact that EV’s will have on the local electricity network.

EA Technology was responsible for leading project including bringing on board all project partners, which was a first for a non-DNO (Distribution Network Operator). Within this, EA Technology was responsible for the overall project management comprising of managing the project finances as well as partner/supplier contract management and liaison.

The project recruited over 200 people in different clusters around Britain where each person would drive an EV for 18 months to trial a new technology, ‘Esprit’ which was developed by EA Technology. Esprit will monitor and control the electricity consumed when charging an EV, to curtail the charging at peak times. This allowed the strain on the network to be measured whilst assessing potential routes of mitigation to avoid network reinforcements.

Forecasts suggest that Esprit could save around £2.2 billion in reinforcement costs up to 2050. EA Technology’s role included the provision of the technology for the trials, which will assist DNOs to make networks more efficient by shifting demand at peak times to help maintain voltages.

Throughout the trials, participants’ charging habits were also monitored and the data has been analysed by EA Technology. Key learning from the project suggests that during weekdays, charging is more likely to be before and after work (creating a morning and night peak) whereas at weekends charging is more likely to be between 10am and 6pm. In addition, approximately 70% of the EVs were only charged once a day and more than 65% of vehicles were charged until the battery was full. These findings have led to further research within the ‘Smart EV’ and ‘Electric Nation’ projects.

My Electric Avenue was the first step in demonstrating the effect of rising EV uptake on local electricity networks. As a result of the project, EA Technology has founded the EV Network Group, combining the automotive and utilities sectors to support the increased uptake in EVs, benefiting both the customer and the industry.

Project Partners:

  • EA Technology
  • Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks
  • Nissan
  • DriveElectric
  • Zero Carbon Futures
  • Northern Powergrid