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Network operators aim to be ‘proactive through the EV transition’ thanks to Project Skyline

Image: SSEN.

Image: SSEN.

Electricity networks, car dealerships and chargepoint operators have joined forces for the Skyline project to help plan ahead for the coming boom in electric transport.

UK Power Networks (UKPN) and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), together with the Energy Innovation Centre have joined the innovative partnership to gain insight from car dealerships and chargepoint operators that can help target investment.

Skyline will see a new digital platform connected to a data-driven Application Planning Interface (API) developed. This will allow multiple data sources to feed in and be combined to give clear visibility to EV uptake and create an automatically updated database.

CrowdCharge will develop the computer platform and EV database, while data-governance body ElectraLink will provide the API.

Richard Hartshorn, EV Readiness manager for SSEN, said the project will allow the company to be “proactive through the EV transition” by providing it with timely insight into when and where demand will emerge.

“It will identify areas with high EV uptake to ensure power supplies stay reliable and smooth the customers’ journey as they switch to cleaner transport. We hope this will actively support the uptake of EVs in our licence areas.

“We are delighted to be working with our fellow DNO, UK Power Networks on this project. With over 11m customers between us, this partnership gives us a large bank of stakeholders to engage, which will deliver the best possible learnings on their preferred approaches to data sharing.”

Data from SSEN recently showed there could be an increase of 11,000% in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the UK’s roads by 2050. Whilst UKPN has found that the 99,000 EVs in the area it operates – London, the South and East of England – will likely increase to 3.6 million by 2030.

Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation at UK Power Networks, said that the DNO was forecasting a 36-fold increase in EVs over the next decade. As such, “it’s critical that we do everything we can to facilitate that growth to pave the way for a net zero carbon emissions future.

“We’re delighted to be working collaboratively on this project with our fellow network operator and the wider transport sector to join up our combined expertise and make that revolution a reality.”

Project Skyline has received funding worth £810,000 from the Network Innovation Allowance, and is set to run until June 2022.

The project follows SSEN’s calling on the government to create the world’s most extensive EV charging network within its Accelerating A Green EV Recovery document in July.


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