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Consultation explores solutions to EV grid demands

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has launched a consultation to explore possible solutions that could prevent grid overloads from mass take-up of electric vehicles without the need for network reinforcements.

Nissan LEAF charging

The consultation explores an interim solution to avoid grid overload from increased EV usage.

Launched ahead of plans by the UK and Scottish governments to end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 and 2032 respectively, the consultation seeks stakeholder views on an interim technical solution that can be used by network operators in emergency situations to avoid overload events.

The proposed solution involves installing a device at both the local substation and, as an option, in domestic properties to monitor load and temporarily adjust EV charging where required. However, this is only intended as an interim solution and the consultation also invites views on a long-term option of using smart meters to adjust charging rates as a means for protecting the electricity networks.

The consultation comes on the back of concerns over how the grid will cope with growing numbers of EVs – however, a document released by National Grid late last year refuted unrealistic scenarios over how much energy would be needed and pointed to a more realistic situation where widespread use of smart chargers and tariffs to incentivise off-peak use would balance the load.

Recent research by Aurora Energy Research has also set out that smart charging is key to ensuring the grid can cope with rising numbers of EVs.

The SSEN consultation forms part of its Smart EV project, which is funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance and sets out to review and research charging solutions that will allow drivers to shift to electric vehicles with minimum disruption.

Stewart Reid, head of innovation and DSO at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, said: “While the speed and scale of the transition to electric vehicles is still to become clear, as a network operator, it is our job to ensure this transition is as smooth as it can be, avoiding disruption to customers and any unnecessary increase in costs.”

The consultation closes on Monday 30 April. To access the document, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.