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The Charge Project

The Charge Project was an Ofgem-funded initiative in SP Energy Networks’ Manweb region to accelerate the transition to electrified transport and help meet the UK’s 2050 net zero targets. 

Working in partnership with PTV Group, Smarter Grid Solutions and EA Technology, the Charge Project combined transport and electricity network planning data to expedite the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

With a focus on increasing the number of public chargepoints, the Charge Project created ConnectMore, an interactive online map and cost estimator that shows where chargepoints are required and where they can be best accommodated by the electricity grid. It also developed new methodologies and a DNO solution for the deployment of Smart Charging Connections.

 

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Watch the Charge Project summary video

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Read the Charge Project summary leaflet

Timescale

January 2019 – December 2022

Project Status

Completed

About

About

The Charge Project has significantly increased our understanding of the road ahead for public charging infrastructure roll-out and developed new tools and methodologies to empower both DNOs and customers – including chargepoint operators, local authorities, site owners and property developers – to deploy chargepoints quickly and more easily where they are needed.

Mapping the future: creating a new type of transport model

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The Charge Project’s first step was to develop robust, reliable data about where and when EV drivers in the coming years are likely to need to charge their vehicles.

PTV Group combined traffic data with predicted EV ownership to create a comprehensive transport model covering SP Energy Networks’ Manweb region: Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire, and North & Mid Wales.

The first of its kind in the UK, the Charge Project transport model is based on a digital representation of traffic patterns showing where and how far EVs are driven, and where they are parked. It uses this data to predict where demand for chargepoints will increase over incremental five year periods from 2025 to 2050, based on a series of EV uptake and road usage scenarios.

By analysing the likely effect of different factors over time, the transport model can produce forecasts detailing where public charging demand will occur, the type of charge required, and crucially the demand on the electricity network.

Smart Charging Connections: maximising benefits from the existing electricity network

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The Charge Project also investigated new ways to flexibly connect public chargepoints to the distribution network and make the most efficient use of existing network capacity.

Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) conducted virtual trials to understand how Smart Charging Connections (SCCs) – the Charge Project’s term for flexible connections for public chargepoints – can be adapted and deployed in both simple behind-the-meter schemes (customer-led SCCs) and more complex network control schemes (DNO-led SCCs). SGS also developed a DNO control infrastructure solution that enables SCCs to be deployed as part of Business-As-Usual activities.

By constraining demand as necessary to ensure that the network never becomes overloaded, SCCs allow more chargepoints to quickly and more cost-effectively be installed in the same location without the need for reinforcement work, boosting the near-term availability of public charging.

Empowering customers to make better decisions: ConnectMore

Cost Estimator Guide

A fundamental objective of the Charge Project was to help chargepoint operators and other customers make more informed decisions about where public chargepoints need to be located.

To this end, EA Technology utilised the Charge Project transport model, up-to-date LV and HV network capacity data, and 30 years’ worth of connection request documentation to create ConnectMore, a first-of-its-kind, free-to-use, self-service online planning tool that empowers customers to make quicker and more accurate decisions about chargepoint installation.

There are two core elements to ConnectMore:

The first is the ConnectMore Interactive Map (CIM), which enables users to quickly identify both where EV charging demand is likely to be high and where public chargepoints can be accommodated by the electricity network with the minimum need for reinforcement.

By enabling both potential charging demand and ease of connection to be viewed together on the same interactive map, the CIM can help the user to identify the optimum locations for EV chargepoint installation and help inform roll-out strategy.

The second ConnectMore element is the EV Connection Cost Estimator. This enables users to get an instant quote for how much it will cost to connect chargepoints to a specific location on the electricity network, and thus identify the most cost-effective chargepoint site.

ConnectMore can quickly deliver the hard evidence that’s needed to get chargepoint projects off the ground. Instead of being hindered by a complex, time-consuming DNO-led process, customers can now take control of the process themselves, identifying the best locations for chargepoints and getting a connection quote in a matter of minutes.

Partners

Partners

PTV Group

Strategic transport and scenario planning

Smarter Grid Solutions

Solutions for public EV charging

EA Technology

"ConnectMore" online connection tool

Results

Results

Understanding the road ahead

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The Charge Project was a significant collaboration between the transport and electricity industries, and has successfully delivered new and innovative ways for the UK to create a public charging infrastructure that supports all EV drivers, both now and in the future.

The Charge Project:

  • Created detailed forecasts of EV driving patterns and chargepoint demand over the next 25 years
  • Developed smart connection solutions that can maximise the use of existing network capacity and rapidly boost the number of public chargepoint
  • Empowered customers with a timesaving, self-service tool that takes the complexity out of chargepoint location and enables them to generate their own quotes

One of the key learnings from the Charge Project was an increased awareness of the value and importance of good quality data, and the way in which it can be used to put more control into the hands of customers. ConnectMore in particular has demonstrated how data can be combined from different sources – in this case, from the transport and electricity sectors – and made more widely available to non-specialists. It also emphasised the need to maintain this data as standard practice.

Road near Llangollen

The Charge Project’s work and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders also provided valuable insight into the UK’s roadmap for EV adoption on a mass scale, particularly in relation to the technology readiness of both chargepoint operators and DNOs to deploy new charging methodologies and schemes. This is an area in which improvements are clearly necessary, with more work needed on the development of communications protocols and control systems.

Ongoing conversations revealed a need for all parties to think ‘smarter’ if the UK is to meet the charging demands of the future. While network reinforcement will inevitably be needed to accommodate the increase in connection requests, alternative smart solutions are available to mitigate the extent of this work and accelerate the near-term deployment of a public charging infrastructure in line with demand.

Working smarter also means keeping reinforcement costs down through better planning and coordination, ensuring that connections are future proofed now rather than being subject to ongoing reiterations.

Ultimately, the Charge Project has delivered new tools and methodologies that can be used by the electricity industry as part of its Business-As-Usual activities going forward.

Reports

Reports

The Charge Project produced a series of reports that detailed the feasibility and benefits of the technologies and methodologies it proposed, and outlined results of the trials it conducted.

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Trials Learning and BaU Roll-Out

This document presents learning from trials to help accelerate the business-as-usual deployment of Smart Charging Connections.

Read more...

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Attitudes to 'Smart' Public Chargepoints End User Survey

A survey of end users has been carried out to obtain feedback on EV driver attitudes towards the acceptability of smart chargepoints in public locations. This report describes the approach adopted and compiles the responses from existing drivers of battery electric vehicles and those who are considering the switch to a BEV.

Read more...

 
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Smart Charging Connection network case studies: Final Report

This report demonstrates by way of virtual case studies, the design and implementation of Smart Charging Connection (SCC) solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging. These solutions will provide EV chargepoint developers with a greater range of connection options and accelerate the roll-out of public EV charging infrastructure.

Read more...

 
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EV Smart Charging Connections Solutions Report

This report identifies and explores suitable EV connection solutions for different locations and charging types. It defines Smart Charging Connection
schemes, establishes their functional specification, as well as implementation requirements and design for both DNOs and EV chargepoint developers.

Read more...

 
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Transport Model Report

This report describes how the Charge Transport Model – the first of its kind in the UK – was built and details the results that were generated. It is intended as a blueprint for DNOs that wish to understand future demands for EV charging and infrastructure requirements.

Read more...


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Public Chargepoint Flexibility Insight Report

The mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is imperative if the UK is to reach its 2050 emission commitments and net zero aspirations. Yet, for many drivers, the transition to EVs will be unrealistic without greater access to public charging infrastructure, with approximately 40% of UK homes unsuited for private off-road charging.

Read more...

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Transport Model Calibration and Validation Report

This report describes how the Charge transport model was created.

Read more...

   
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Results of analysis and identification of trial locations

This report presents analysis of the impact of EV chargepoints on the distribution network.

Read more...

 
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ConnectMore User Requirements & Specifications

User Requirements for ConnectMore based on stakeholder engagement.

Read more...

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Progress Report 2019

Summary of project activity over the previous twelve months.

Read more...

 
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Progress Report 2020

Summary of project activity over the previous twelve months.

Read more...

   
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Progress Report 2021

Summary of project activity over the previous twelve months.

Read more...

 
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Progress Report 2022

Summary of project activity over the previous twelve months.

Read more...

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Project Fact Card

Project fact card.

Read more...

 

News

News

This is an archive of the newsletters, announcements and opinion articles generated by the Charge Project.

 
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Charge Point Newsletter Issue 7

This edition looks at the Smart Charging Connection network case studies report, and highlights the latest Charge Project events.

Read more...

 
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Charge Point Newsletter 6

In this edition we discuss the newly launched ConnectMore Cost Estimator feature, our new report on Smart Charging Refinement, and feedback from our attendance at recent conferences

Read more...

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ConnectMore EV Connection Cost Estimator Launched

The ConnectMore EV Connection Cost Estimator – another key element of the Charge Project’s innovative mapping tool – has now gone live.
The Cost Estimator enables users to try different options including location, network connection point and size of connection to identify the optimal option for chargepoints, and to receive an instant quote for how much it will cost to connect them to the electricity network.

Read more...

   
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Charge Point Newsletter Issue 5

The latest Charge project newsletter highlights the first-of-its kind Transport Model, the Insight report summarising learning and seeking feedback on Smart Charging Connections and updates to the ConnectMore heatmap tool.

Read more...

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Transport Model Dissemination Event

Slides from our webinar on 16 March 2022, where Laurence Chittock from PTV Group described the unique Transport Model created for the project, the results that were generated and how they can be applied to assist the efficient role out of EV Charging Infrastructure can now be downloaded. The event included an overview of the ConnectMore online tool.

Read more...

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Charge Point Newsletter Issue 4

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...

 
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SP Energy Networks Launches Free Online Tool to Boost EV Chargepoint Installations

SP Energy Networks has today announced the official launch of the Charge Project’s ConnectMore Interactive Map (CIM) at the Cenex-LCV2021 conference and exhibition.

Read more...

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Charge Point Newsletter Issue 3

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...


How Smart Charging Connections Can Accelerate Chargepoint Deployment

One of the main objectives of the Charge Project is to develop and trial Smart Charging Connections on a range of networks to better understand their deployment and performance. But what exactly are Smart Charging Connections and how can they help to accelerate the roll-out of a comprehensive public charging infrastructure?

Read more...

Charge Point Newsletter Issue 2

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...

Accelerating the case for public chargepoints

The Department for Transport (DfT) recently announced that it was going to extend the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) into 2021/22 (opens in a new window), which equates to an extra £20 million cash injection to boost the number of on-street EV chargepoints across the UK.

Read more...

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...

Videos

Summary Video

Watch the Charge Project summary video, which outlines the project's objectives and results.

 

Smart Charging Connections Animations

Watch a series of short animation videos which explain the main types of Smart Charging Connections and how they might be used. If you have any questions, please read this FAQ.

 

Timed Capacity Connection:


Customer Load Management Scheme:


Locally Managed Constraint Scheme:


Centrally Managed Constraint Scheme:

 

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