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Charge

Charge will, for the first time, merge transport and electricity network planning to create an overarching map of where EV charge points will be required and where they can be best accommodated by the electricity grid.

Timescale

January 2019 – December 2022

Project Status

In Progress

About the Project

About the Project

Charge: Refuelling tomorrow’s electrified transport

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the future. With the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles expected to end in 2035 (or sooner) in the UK, EVs will soon eclipse fossil-fuelled transport. These EVs will need an extensive and reliable power network to meet their demand for recharging.

The Charge Project, which we are delivering in collaboration with our expert partners, will help support the UK’s transition towards electrified transport and address the needs of current and future EV drivers.

Running for four years throughout Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales, the Charge Project will bring together transport and energy planning to accelerate the investment and deployment of public EV charging infrastructure. This will benefit all EV users, whether they live in residential areas with no off-street parking, or those looking for charging facilities en route or at destinations.

Interested in getting involved in the project? We are currently seeking trial participants. Read the FAQs here and click here to complete our Expression of Interest Form.

Find out more about our vision for the project via our Charge video below:

Trail-blazing technology for cleaner, greener solutions

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The Charge Project will combine transport and electricity network data to highlight the best locations for EV chargepoints. It will look at how these chargepoints can be connected at the lowest cost. 

Charge will run a number of targeted network trials to understand how best to charge vehicles in areas that currently lack publicly accessible charging points. Terraced houses and flats with limited on-street parking will be an area of primary focus. The deployment of smart network management technologies will ensure that EV charging and public electricity supply networks operate in harmony. 

Gaining a clearer view of the future with Charge

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In addition to looking at today’s transport and electricity network data, Charge will use modelling and forecasting technologies as well as Smarter Grid Solutions’ investigation into innovative smart charging solutions to make projections for how traffic and networks will evolve in the years leading up to 2050 – the UK’s legally-binding target to achieve net zero emissions. This insight will allow us to anticipate the needs of drivers in the future as well as today. 

By gaining critical insight and sharing that with other distribution network operators, stakeholders will be able to make the most cost-effective planning decisions. This will help forge a more sustainable, efficient future for transport in the Charge Project trial area and beyond.

ConnectMore: An online resource that will benefit everyone

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One of our primary objectives with the Charge Project is to share information with councils, businesses, communities and anyone with an interest in EV infrastructure, so everyone can plan ahead.  

The information will be shared via the project’s interactive online tool, ConnectMore. ConnectMore will be a user-friendly web application that will show people where EV charging demand is, and where the electricity network has the capacity to support chargepoint installations. It will also consider the benefits that smart charging can offer in managing network demand. 

The tool, which will be accessible via our website, will enable:

  • Businesses to quickly see cost estimates for connecting new EV chargepoints at their sites,
  • Councils to see where the electricity network could support chargepoints needed to serve shopping or community centres, and
  • Local authorities to create long-term plans for wide-area rollouts of infrastructure and ensure they achieve the best value for their chargepoint deployments.

Contact us about the Charge Project

If you’d like to contact us about the Charge Project, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at: chargeproject@spenergynetworks.co.uk

Benefits

Benefits

The following are some of the ways the Charge Project is set to benefit communities, councils and businesses throughout Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales.

Infrastructure driven by data

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Electricity network capacity is a vital consideration when planning any new public charging infrastructure. It is also necessary to understand how drivers will use the roads in years to come so future needs around appropriate charging locations can be identified. This is why, by bringing transport and electricity network experts together for the first time to discuss what’s critical, we can share data to create a power network that will meet the needs of EV drivers in our region now and in years to come.

This data can then be used to benefit a variety of stakeholders in the coming years, which will support decarbonisation of mobility and the needs of the community.

Using cutting-edge technologies, the Charge Project will analyse and compare network capacity and driver-behaviour projections. The resulting data will highlight prime locations for EV chargepoints based on anticipated traffic flow and network capabilities and will also enable us to introduce smart charging connections.

Enabling Smart Charging Connections

A Smart Charging Connection utilises the intelligence embedded in modern chargepoints to automatically adjust their power consumption to match the available electricity network capacity. They can reduce their power consumption when the network is heavily loaded and potentially increase their demand at times when surplus energy is being pushed onto the grid from renewable generation.

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Smart charging connections mean:

(Prospective) chargepoint owners/operators can install (additional) chargers more cheaply and more quickly than via a conventional connection by making use of the existing network capacity and potentially also avoiding the need for disruptive groundwork.

EV drivers may be able to charge at lower costs by taking advantage of time signals and the reduced connection costs being passed through from chargepoint installers and operators. They are also likely to benefit from quicker installation of chargepoints and from more of them being available at individual locations.

Network operators are able to reduce their costs by encouraging the efficient use of existing network assets and efficiently planning when and where they need to reinforce their networks. 

ConnectMore: An EV connections planning tool

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We will be making up-to-date information aimed at facilitating new connections publicly available via an online portal. This information will be presented through a user-friendly, web-based connection tool – called ConnectMore – which will be instrumental for planning new chargepoint installations by:

  • Giving an indication of likely charging demand in a given area in terms of both magnitude and duration and, hence, support decisions on what infrastructure will be needed, 
  • Showing areas of the electricity network with capacity for new connections,
  • Determining the cost of the electricity network connection for new chargepoints, 
  • Providing charging solution connections at the lowest costs possible; and
  • Recommending smart charging solutions where reinforcement would normally be required.

ConnectMore will allow installers to access information quickly and easily, and everyone will be able to work from the same data. It will accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure, so that EV drivers have chargepoints in their communities and the places they visit.

Supporting decarbonisation of mobility

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The aim of the project is to secure a cleaner, greener future for people in Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales, and ultimately the UK as a whole. It will do so by identifying the best locations for chargepoints to serve the needs of EV motorists, while making best use of the available electricity network. This ensures chargers can be installed in the right locations, at the lowest possible cost. 

If you want to play an active part in decarbonising transport, then please contact us at chargeproject@spenergynetworks.co.uk to get involved.

Project Timeline

Project Timeline

The Charge Project will support the transition towards electrified transport across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales.

Supported through the Ofgem Network Innovation Competition funding, the Charge Project started in January 2019 and is due to be completed by December 2022.

Timescale. September 2019. Identifying suitable EV connection solutions for different locations. Smarter Grid solutions identified areas of high EV growth that would need on-street, destination and en route charging, assessed the impact it would have on the electricity network, and determined the most cost-effective conventional and smart charging solutions. September 2019. December 2020. EV demand scenarios. Using planning software Visum, PTV Group mapped electric transport needs in the SPM licence area to 2050 to create an evolving picture of EV usage. June 2021. Limited trial completion. Smarter Grid Solutions will complete a 12-month trial of selected smart charging solutions. June 2022. Broader trial completion. Smarter Grid Solutions will finish a 12—18 month trial of a wide range of smart charging solutions, which will have drawn from the findings of the previous trial. This assessment will benefit other DNOS, chargepoint manufacturers and EV customers. December 2022. ConnectMore online tool public availability EA Technology will launch the publicly available ConnectMore online tool, which will analyse user needs and network capacity to help businesses and local authorities identify optimum locations to connect EV chargepoints.

STAGE ONE: Identify suitable EV connection solutions

DATE: September 2019

PROJECT PARTNERS: Delivered by Smarter Grid Solutions

Working closely with us, Smarter Grid Solutions will identify areas of high EV growth that require charging services in on-street locations, as well as destination and en route charging.

Smarter Grid Solutions will analyse how charging services could impact the electricity network in each of these areas. It will also consider a range of conventional and smart charging solutions to determine the best cost options for each location.
 

STAGE TWO: Transport model and scenario forecasting

DATE: December 2020

PROJECT PARTNERS: Delivered by the PTV Group

PTV is a transport-planning software company that develops cutting-edge software to help design, assess, and forecast transport schemes and mobility changes. As part of the Charge Project, PTV Group will use its state-of-the-art Visum software to analyse complex data and make projections about how people will use roads in the future. The results of this planning activity will help us make informed decisions as we move towards developing the best charging infrastructure for future drivers.

PTV will map out future electric transportation needs for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales by designing and assessing a series of plausible scenarios up until 2050. Using this information, we’ll be able to anticipate how drivers’ needs are likely to evolve over the next 30 years and plan accordingly.

Considering the views of key project stakeholders, the model will provide an evolving picture of EV usage as uptake progresses, as well as the anticipated connection requirements of the electricity network.
 

STAGE THREE: Trial completion

DATE: June 2022

PROJECT PARTNERS: Delivered by Smarter Grid Solutions

Collaborating with a large team of stakeholders, Smarter Grid Solutions will trial a range of smart charging solutions over 12–18 months. The key learnings of the trial are aimed at benefiting a range of stakeholders, including other distribution network operators, chargepoint manufacturers and EV drivers. The smart charging technical and commercial solutions, costs and benefits to different stakeholder groups, as well as smart charging roll-out potential, will be assessed and shared.
 

STAGE FOUR: ConnectMore online tool delivery

DATE: December 2022

PROJECT PARTNERS: Delivered by EA Technology

One of the key aims of the Charge Project is to share information with councils, businesses, and communities so everyone can plan ahead. All the information will be shared via the ConnectMore online tool, which will be created by EA Technology. The tool will be free for everyone to use.

ConnectMore will highlight where EV charging demand is forecast and where the electricity network has the capacity to support additional chargepoints.

Team

Meet the people behind Charge

The Charge Project, run by SP Energy Networks and supported by PTV, Smarter Grid Solutions and EA Technology, will support the transition towards electrified transport across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales.

Here, you can find out more about the people behind the project.

Devrim Kara
Director for UK & Ireland at PTV Group

Devrim Kara manages the transport-planning software team based in the London and West Midlands offices, and has international experience in transport strategy and planning. He has delivered projects in transport master planning, policy analysis, infrastructure development, investment evaluation and more.

Within the Charge Project, Devrim and his team are deploying PTV’s Visum transport planning software to make projections about how drivers will use the roads in the future. Based on this traffic-flow information across the whole of the SP Manweb licence area, they will identify optimum locations for EV chargepoints.

Devrim will be joined on the Charge Project by Laurence Chittock, Transport Modeller and Charge Project Manager for PTV.

Graham Ault
Co-founder of Smarter Grid Solutions

Graham Ault is a co-founder of Smarter Grid Solutions and has leadership responsibilities spanning new business development, marketing, consulting, customer delivery, operations, and IP.

Within the Charge Project, Graham and the team from Smarter Grid Solutions will work on two key aspects of the project. At the start of the project, they will analyse how charging will impact the electricity network and consider the best conventional and smart options for delivering charging at each location. For the remainder of the project, Graham and the Smarter Grid Solutions team will trial a range of smart charging solutions over two trial periods of 12–18 months. Limited trials will commence in 2020, with a broader trial planned for 2021.

Graham will be supported by Project Manager Tom Rafferty, Head of Consultancy & Analysis Robert MacDonald, Head of Integration & Engineering Frazer Watson, and their teams.

Dave A. Roberts
Technical Director for EA Technology

Dave A. Roberts is the Technical Director for EA Technology, and has spent more than 20 years in the UK electricity industry. Dave has a successful track record in network innovation, smart grids and electrical asset management. He is a chartered electrical engineer, a regional councillor for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and a member of the UK government’s Smart Systems Forum.

Within the Charge Project, Dave and the team from EA Technology will develop ConnectMore. This web-based tool will make project learning publicly accessible, highlighting areas where the electricity network and traffic flow would best support new chargepoints.

Dave will be supported by Elaine Meskhi as Project Manager, Karen Platt leading on Project Communications and Dissemination, and Adrian Vinsome as Product Owner for the ConnectMore tool development.

Partners

Partners

PTV Group

Strategic transport and scenario planning

Smarter Grid Solutions

Solutions for public EV charging

EA Technology

"ConnectMore" online connection tool

Reports

Reports & Documents

Project Fact Card Visual Version

Click the image to view the pdf

News

Charge Project news

Stay updated on the latest developments

Our goal is to help ensure charging infrastructure is not a barrier to the uptake of electrified transport. You can read the latest developments, insight and opinions from the team here.

Stay tuned to learn more about how the project is progressing.

Charge Point Newsletter Issue 1

The Charge Project is an exciting initiative from SP Energy Networks, delivered in collaboration with EA Technology, PTV Group and Smarter Grid Solutions, that aims to accelerate the UK’s transition to electrified transport. It’s also a vital part of SP Energy Networks’ commitment to helping the UK achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Read more...

Project to map electric streets gets go ahead

A trailblazing £8.5m project, which aims to accelerate the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles and help meet ambitious climate change and air pollution targets in SP Energy Network’s Manweb area, has received the green light from Ofgem.

Read more...

Our Innovative Transport Model is driving Investment

Our unique model is designed to drive local investment in EV chargepoints as part of the region’s ‘green recovery’.

We’re excited to unveil our innovative new transport model designed to anticipate and map electric vehicle (EV) uptake across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, North & Mid Wales.

Read more...

 
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