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Air Quality

Published on April 4th, 2017 | by Cynthia Shahan

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UK’s Electric Nation Project Recruits New EV Owners With Free Smart Chargers

April 4th, 2017 by  


Yes, the air keeps getting cleaner in the Midlands, South West, South Wales, and Milton Keynes. Electric vehicle awareness and the EV market are growing. And better news is that Electric Nation is sustainably recruiting any hesitant new adopters. New EV owners can now have one of the very latest home smart chargers installed – for free.

“Electric vehicle (EV) owners in Milton Keynes have become the latest to benefit from free smart chargers provided by the Electric Nation project,” an Electric Nation press release notes.

“Milton Keynes is part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme and it has a high level of electric vehicle ownership, which is helping to improve local air quality. In order to ensure that local electricity grids can cope with charging increasing numbers of electric vehicles at peak times, the Electric Nation project is recruiting new EV owners and providing a free smart charger, so it can learn from the data – and the feedback – from trial participants.

“The project is seeking to recruit 500–700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles (of all makes and models, pure electric and plug-in hybrids) to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Trial participants will get a free smart charger installed.”

As one of the first Electric Nation participants in Milton Keynes, Keith McLeato had one installed for his BMW i3. Keith says: “I’m delighted to be able to help with the Electric Nation research project, which aims to ensure that the UK’s local electricity networks can continue to charge the ever-growing numbers of electric vehicles. This 7kW smart charger is one of the latest, most intelligent on the market and can provide useful data on your charging history – as well as being able to charge an EV up to twice as fast as a 3kW home charge point. It has the most up to date functionality, with software updates being carried out remotely.”

Photo courtesy Electric Nation

Keith was actually the Mayor of Milton Keynes. At that time, he tried several electric vehicles. What a place it was to try out an EV — the small city had over 200 public charging points! Incredible. Despite not having home/workplace charging, I’m quite satisfied with the 50 or so EV charging stations in Sarasota, but 200 stations would be amazing.

“When he was ready to acquire another vehicle, Keith reviewed his family’s needs and realized that in his new role working for Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, from an office about two miles from the centre of Milton Keynes, most of his journeys would be within the Borough. Having promoted the virtues of EVs when he was Mayor, Keith decided to purchase an electric BMW i3, and join the Electric Nation project.”

A BMW official said: “Since its launch in 2013 the BMW i3 has been at the vanguard of electro mobility. Since that time we have sold more than 100,000 electric vehicles globally, a figure we will achieve again this year alone, such is the uptake. We are therefore delighted to support the Electric Nation trial with a view to wider use of low and zero emission vehicles in the future and the development of a smarter charging infrastructure.”

So, where exactly did this Electric Nation thing come from? We recommend the video and article about it here, but here’s a short summary:

“Electric Nation is a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partners in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and TRL.

“The Electric Nation trial is taking place in the WPD network areas in the Midlands, South West and South Wales. This area includes Milton Keynes, which has been awarded £9m of Go Ultra Low funding to become a showcase of what can be done to encourage the increased uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.”

For more information, head over to www.electricnation.org.uk

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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