In this project, EA Technology worked with UKPN to understand the evolving requirements that are stemming from the electrification of transport. The project was based in London focussing on black cabs; responding to legislation changes which stated that all new taxis have to be diesel-free and zero energy capable (ZEC) from January 1st, 2018.

EA Technology analysed the ZEC black cab and private hire vehicle markets, trends in electric vehicle models and existing industry survey responses from over 2,000 drivers. EA Technology were also responsible for liaising with Transport for London (TfL) and London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) to gather the necessary data. It was then possible to derive a set of likely domestic charging profiles for ZEC black cab and private hire vehicle drivers. The charging profiles were mapped against real network assets and modelled with real network loading data, utilising access to UKPN’s network.

With over 120,000 licences in Greater London expected to convert within 15 years, UKPN wanted to investigate the potential size, location and timings of the new load.

Therefore, the project aimed to assist Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) in understanding when and where electric vehicles (EVs) may be charged and the impact this would have on the local network. The investigations conducted by EA Technology found that drivers live in clusters which form hotspots where network problems are predicted to arise. Black cabs and private hire vehicles cause later evening peaks than typically expected of domestic activity which leads to an additional peak load in the middle of the night. It was anticipated that the associated network reinforcement costs would be around £14m. The project assessed smart solutions to alleviate network capacity issues to avoid reinforcements, through developing additional charging profiles for managed charge rates (component of smart charging) and optimised time-shifted charging. The modelling showcased how smart charging approaches yield between a 15% and 71% reduction in the expected network investment required.

EA Technology played a pivotal role in the delivery of the Black Cab Green project, using our unique combined knowledge of EV’s and distribution network design.