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SPEN unveils ‘first-of-its-kind’ EV chargepoint model

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN) has unveiled a ‘first-of-its-kind’ transport model, which can help identify the best locations for chargepoints.

The Charge Project’s transport model is designed to anticipate and map electric vehicle (EV) uptake across Cheshire, Merseyside, North Shropshire, and North and Mid-Wales. This information can help it identify where charging infrastructure will be needed to support the growing number of EVs on the roads.

Additionally, by identifying where the demand will be it can be used to work out where electricity networks will need to be adapted or upgraded, helping to direct investment.

Scott Mathieson, Network Planning and Regulation director at SP Energy Networks, said the project was a “never-before-available online platform” that was capable of generating detailed scenarios for EV uptake as far into the future as 2050.

“By predicting where charging demand is likely to be high, the model can help drive infrastructure investment and development in a way that will make the transition to electric vehicles a much more viable option for many. It has the potential to really transform how EV infrastructure is embedded into our towns and cities and I look forward to seeing how the project takes shape in the coming weeks and months.”

Developed by SPEN together with EA Technology, Smarter Grid Solutions and PTV Group, the Charge Project will run over four years and is funded by Ofgem. The group have lauded it as the first such project to merge transport and electricity-network planning to create an overarching map.

Dr Laurence Chittock, project lead at the PTV Group, said: “This model is unique to the UK’s rapidly expanding EV market. By anticipating how EV uptake might progress and understanding the travel patterns of all drivers across the project area – not just the early adopters – the model can show where infrastructure is most needed.”

Following on from today’s unveiling, there will be a major trial in the project area, which will look at ‘smart charging connections’ – technology that can intelligently and automatically control EV chargepoint power consumption.

Then the ConnectMore too – a public-facing web application designed to help businesses and local authorities identify the best locations for chargepoints and the estimated cost of connecting them to the network – will be rolled out.

The Charge Project is complementary to other EV projects SPEN is currently involved in, the company said, such as the EV-Up project and Project PACE.

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