TRL to lead on PIV charging project

12.00 | 20 May 2016 | | 1 comment

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) is to oversee a project to help the electricity industry better understand how plug-in electric vehicles (PIVs) could be conveniently charged at home.

CarConnect, funded through the Network Innovation Allowance, aims to save significant cost and disruption to PIV owners by removing the need to replace electricity substations and cables to homes and workplaces.

At present, there are concerns over the impact charging PIVs at home has on the electric grid as a result of the need for higher voltage cables. TRL says that clusters of PIVs will have an impact on local electricity networks.

TRL points to analysis which shows that by 2050 the UK electricity industry may have to invest an additional £2.2bn to upgrade electricity supply to cope with the additional demand from plug-in-vehicles.

But with plug-in cars becoming a more viable choice for drivers, and the Government keen to support the UK’s ‘thriving’ green vehicle sector, the CarConnect project will set out to find a solution to the problem and thus make the technology more accessible for mass usage.

The project will establish a mass-market customer trial, examining the technical and economic viability of plug-in-vehicle charging without disturbing the network.

In the last two years alone, the UK has seen a 716% increase in PIV registrations. By the early 2020s TRL suggests there could be as many as one million ultra-low emission plug-in-vehicles on UK roads.



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    Caravaners have for some time used portable solar panels to generate electricity. Would it not be prudent for the manufacturers of these vehicles to at least have a solar panel in the roof which would help top up the power supply thus reducing the demand on the network even slightly. They may also help owners who live in property that has been converted for multiple occupancy. I have witnessed cables strung from second and third storey windows across pavements, to the detriment of pedestrian safety!

    Peter City of Westminster
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