Centrica supports world’s largest commercial electric vehicle project
Led by global data technology solutions provider Hitachi Vantara and electricity distributor UK Power Networks, the world’s biggest trial of commercial electric vehicles (EVs) has been launched.
Up to 3,000 electric vehicles from Centrica, Uber and a large depot-based parcel carrier take to the road supported by distributor Scottish & Southern Electricity, Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions following the green light by GB energy regulator Ofgem to ‘Optimise Prime’, which aims to bring together leading power, technology, fleet and transport companies to test and implement the best approaches to the EV rollout.
The three-year project has been developed to come up with practical ways of overcoming the up-front costs that are currently holding back many of the country’s biggest commercial vehicle operators from making the switch to EVs.
The aim of the project is to deliver an end-to-end overview of what the switch to EVs means for the cables and substations that deliver our electricity; for the businesses that need to invest in new infrastructure; and for the end users that need to power their vehicles.
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It will create a detailed picture of the demands of electric fleet and private hire vehicles, which will make it possible to develop solutions that cut the cost of owning and running electric vehicles, such as charging EVs outside of the electricity network’s peak times.
Engineers from Centrica’s British Gas team will participate in the project, charging their vehicles at home using chargers provided by Centrica Electric Vehicle Services. Demand response services for the project will be delivered by Centrica Business Solutions.
Jonathan Tudor, Director of Technology Strategy and Innovation for Centrica Innovations, said: “We are delighted to be part of this important trial, helping to accelerate the roll out of e-mobility as part of the transition to a future that is cleaner and more connected than ever.
“As a leading energy and services company and operator of a growing fleet of electric vehicles, we know how important it is to find solutions to charging that are both affordable to the customer and manageable from a system perspective.”
UK Nissan fleet owners receive commercial charging service
UK fleet owners of Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 models can avail of a new commercial charging service using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
The V2G technology developed by DREEV, which is a joint venture between EDF and Nuvve, which specialises in V2G technology, allows for two-way energy flow; both recharging an EV’s battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharging excess energy to sell back into the grid.
Fleet customers will save around £350 savings per charger each year, which equates to approximately 9,000 miles of driving charge per year.
EDF’s V2G business solution includes:
The supply and installation of a two-way connected compact 11kW charger capable of fully charging a Nissan LEAF, depending on the battery model, in 3 hours and 30 minutes - 50 per cent faster than a standard charger - with integrated DREEV technology.
A dedicated DREEV smart phone app, to define the vehicles’ driving energy requirements, track their state of charge in real time, and control charging at any time
Philip Valarino, Interim Head of EV Projects at EDF, said today’s announcement marks an important step on the UK’s journey towards electric mobility. "By combining the expertise and capabilities of EDF, Nissan and Dreev we have produced a solution that could transform the EV market as we look to help the UK in its journey to achieve Net Zero," he said. “Our hope is that forward-thinking businesses across the country will be persuaded to convert their traditional fleets to electric, providing them with both an environmental and economic advantage in an increasingly crowded market.”
Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, NMGB, said Nissan has been a pioneer in 100% electric mobility since 2010, and the integration of electric vehicles into the company is at the heart of Nissan's vision for intelligent mobility.
He added the Nissan LEAF, with more than half a million units already sold worldwide - is the only model today to allow V2G two-way charging and offers economic opportunities for businesses "that no other electric vehicle does today". Click here for more information.
FirstEnergy Corp, which aims to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, has joined the Electric Highway Coalition. The group of electric companies, which has grown to 14 members, is committed to enabling long-distance EV travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. Through their unified efforts, the members of the EHC are addressing this "range anxiety" and demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for traveling long distances as well as driving around town.
Volta Industries has installed new charging stations at Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Renton, Washington.