Smarter charging needed for electric cars
Transport Minister John Hayes is worried about the extra pressure being put on the UK's power grids.
It’s essential that electric cars are re-charged at the right time of day in order to avoid putting extra pressure on the UK’s power grids, said Transport Minister John Hayes during his speech at a forum on the future of electric vehicles in the UK.
The popularity of the model has soared over the past few years, with the number of new electric cars registered in the UK hitting a 12-year high at the beginning of 2017.
One of the UK’s leading energy company’s SSE examined its own electric car program and discovered that most electric car owners will charge their car’s battery immediately after they return home in the evening.
This is the period of time across the whole country when the demand for energy is generally at its highest, as everybody start to unwind after a long day spent at work or school, which has led SSE to begin trialling time-shift charging.
“We know the demand for electric vehicles places the national grid under pressure. It’s critically important – we are working on this,” said Hayes. “It’s particularly important that we charge smart, so we flex demand and take advantage of spare capacity.
SEE stated that what they term a “demand-side response”, so when an electric car will automatically wait until the demand for energy is lower before starting to charge, is an effective solution to the issue as it’ll prevent the majority of the UK’s power grid from having to be upgraded to deal with this sudden extra demand.
However, most of the UK’s 10,000 electric vehicle charging point aren’t currently equipped with this kind of technology.
“If this goes ballistic, if it’s like iPads went, then we’re going to have a very big investment program,” said Steward Reid, head of asset management and innovation at SSE. “But at least we’re going in with our eyes open.”
Source: The Guardian