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Northern Powergrid launches new tool to 'revolutionise' EV charger connections

Image: Northern Powergrid.

Image: Northern Powergrid.

Northern Powergrid (NPg) has launched a new tool to help identify the best locations for new electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

The free, online tool AutoDesign is underpinned by real-world network data and is set to "revolutionise" the EV connections process, NPg said.

It provides green, amber and red signifiers of where the most cost-effective and viable connection locations are. NPg say that it can give users an indicative connection cost in minutes in comparison with the current average of ten days.

The tool was developed with the support of EA Technology and a Network Innovation Allowance grant, taking into account customer and stakeholder comment regarding the design.

Derek Fairbairn, system design manager at NPg said that AutoDesign will provide “an enhanced level of real-world insight".

“It will enable local authorities, EV installers and businesses planners to see, in a matter of minutes, the best locations to install chargers and the associated cost.

“This newly available network data intelligence will significantly improve the EV connections process and help accelerate the clean transport transition.”

Throughout the area NPg serves, across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, the majority of local authorities have declared a climate emergency and are looking into facilitating the transition to EVs to help decarbonisation. Following the ban of internal combustion engines coming into effect in 2040, NPg predicts there could be almost 4.5 million EVs throughout its operational area.

“The electrification of transport is essential if we are to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and our future scenarios show that the rate of EV growth will be significant. We want to actively support the EV transition and ensure our network meets the future needs of our customers and the communities we serve,” added Fairbairn.

NPg itself launched a fleet of electric vans last October, which have on-board energy storage systems to restore power during power cuts and planned maintenance.

The company has undergone a number of changes recently, including announcing that it will procure flexibility through an e-auction, in what it said is a UK first. The DNO also announced a trial of transformers that could reduce core losses by up to 90%.

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