Batteries are going to get bigger. They are going to charge faster. People will become more comfortable with the range of new electric cars. “Electric Nation” brings well over 500 EVs together — to all charge at once — as an expression of the future to come.
As I pull into an empty spot for EV charging, next to another empty spot for EV charging, I do wonder: When more people do catch on and find out how smooth it is to drive electric, will it be this easy? Will more electric cars charging all at once overload the grid? What happens when everybody is plugging in their car at a similar time? Will there be blackouts?
Robert Llewellyn talks to others — with a lot more to offer — who are wondering as well. Who is going to keep balancing the electric power energy grid? What is vehicle-to-grid technology?
Electric Nation is a project to find out what happens when hundreds of electric cars all plug in at the same time and to prepare for the EV revolution.
From the website:
The Electric Nation project is being hosted by Western Power Distribution. It is being delivered by a partnership of EA Technology, DriveElectric and Lucy Electric Gridkey. The project is funded via Ofgem through its Network Innovation Allowance scheme. The project aims to provide local electricity network operators with the tools to be able to ensure that their networks can cope with this massive new challenge, whilst avoiding replacing cables and substations.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
The Electric Nation trial aims to:
- Expand current understanding of the impact on electricity distribution networks of charging a diverse range of electric vehicles at home. The My Electric Avenue project was able to build up a bank of knowledge, however this trial was confined to one type of EV with the same battery size and charging rate. This project is seeking to discover how the impact will be altered by different types of vehicles with different sizes of battery that charge at different rates.
- Build a better understanding of how vehicle usage affects charging behaviour given diversity of charging rate and battery size.
- Evaluate the reliability and acceptability to owners of EVs of smart charging systems and the influence these have on charging behaviour. This will help to answer such questions as:
- Would charging restrictions be acceptable to customers?
- Can customer preference be incorporated into the system?
- Is some form of incentive required?
- Is such a system ‘fair’?
- Can such a system work?
Robert Llewellyn, as animated and thoughtful as ever explored the topic in his most recent episode of Fully Charged. He interviewed some participants at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2016 in the UK. Check it out:
- Robert Llewellyn Doesn’t Like Tesla P85D, Tells It Like It Is (Video)
- Obama’s EV Infrastructure Aims: Many EV Charging Companies Should Be The Solution, Not Just The Big Ones!
- How EV Charging Station Networks Compare, City To City (Maps)
- Fully Charged Takes On An Electric Bike