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Portable EV Charging Points Project Secures Funding

Improving access to EV charging points is seen as one of the main issues for EV owners when deciding to drive longer distances.

electric vehicle charging credit SSEN

LEVEL, Local Electric Vehicle Energy Loop, is an 18-month project that begins in April 2020. It will identify ways to improve network and charging resilience for EVs Electric Vehicles, to meet short term demand. 

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has secured funding from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), to deliver the £320,000 LEVEL project. It  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.

Charging infrastructure needs to be responsive to short term impacts, such as road works or traffic accidents which close certain sections of the road network and may harm drivers’ ability to reach their next charge point.

Charging demand will also fluctuate with the seasons, as local drivers and tourists move around more during the warmer months and travel to holiday destinations.

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
  • the implications for metering and settlement from temporary connections.

Kate Jones, Project Manager for LEVEL for SSEN said:

“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.

“LEVEL is an exciting addition to our portfolio of projects that are preparing the electricity network for EVs. A portable charging device could be a valuable tool to help us manage short-term and short-notice surges in demand, whilst avoiding costly network reinforcement.”

OREF EV charging points in Scotland Nick MSP visit

OREF EV charging points in Scotland credit: Nick Morrison

SSEN has committed to invest in network infrastructure and flexibility to support 10 million EVs on GB roads by 2030 and is seeking views on its EV Strategy, which can be read here: ssen.co.uk/SmarterElectricity.

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