A three-year Optimise Prime project has been given the go-ahead by UK energy regulator Ofgem. The UK's power, technology, fleet and transport companies will work together to test and implement EV rollout approaches. This includes a fleet of 3,000 EVs from Centrica, Uber and a large UK depot-based parcel carrier, which will take to the road in a bid to find ways of overcoming the reluctance of the UK's biggest commercial vehicle operators to switching to EVs.
Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks, stated: “For electric vehicles it’s no longer a case of the tipping point, but the jumping point, because when large-scale commercial electric vehicle operators decide to switch from petrol or diesel to electric the impact will be instant."
Meanwhile, non-commercial EV drivers may be looking at charging paradise. A three-minute EV charger is part of a new prototype charging station in Bavaria. The project - a consortium of BMW, Porsche, Siemens, Allego and Pheonix Contact E-Mobility - will allow just three minutes of 450kW of charge to produce 62 miles of range. A total of 15 minutes will see most existing all-electric cars charged to 80%. Most importantly, any type of EV will be able to use the same charger, with several cars being able to charge at the same time.
Changan Eado XT Image: Wikimedia Commons
2020 will herald Mazda joining the Chinese EV revolution with a release exclusive to that market. Likely to be small SUVS, the product will be locally built as part of a 50:50 joint venture with China Changan Automobile Group which will procure the motors, batteries and other components. Mazda will design the vehicle and other areas associated with the auto body.
Changan recently launched its brand new EV, the EADO EV460, which has a charging capability of 30 minutes to charge 30%-80% and 50 minutes from 0-80%.
With the UK government predicting 10.5m EVs on the road by 2030, the critical question is how the power companies will manage demand? Smart solutions are the most likely answer but they require visibility of EV locataions when connected to the distribution network at a local level.
The Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) Detection project is set to allow the UK's Western Power Distribution company to identify areas where there are high numbers of EVs, solar panels and low carbon technologies. Artificial Intelligence will allow data to be seen as images and text and ultimately deliver a virtual monitoring capability which will allow network planners to forecast 'hot spots'.
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Published 7th January, 2019
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