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Study reveals Electric Vehicle smart charging can save customers money

Smart charging could cut the cost of investing in the electricity network to enable the move to zero-emission taxis in London by as much as 70%, according to research by UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 18 October 2018 12:00 AM

Black Cab Green.jpg

Without smart charging for electric black cabs and minicabs the demand from charge points could add 220MW - equivalent to more than 130,000 new homes[1] - to demand levels across London, the East and South East by 2033.

Licence requirements mean that new black cabs will need to be zero-emission capable from 2018 and the same for new mini cabs from 2023. The measures support the ambition in the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy that all taxis, private hire vehicles and public sector car fleets will be zero emission capable by 2033.

The study proves that smart charging, which encourages drivers to plug in to charge their vehicle outside peak electricity demand times, can help improve the city’s air quality in a cost-efficient way.

Black Cab Green is an innovative UK Power Networks project to support the decarbonisation of London transport and improve London’s air quality. The company, which delivers power across London, the East and South East, researched how best to prepare for a future when all of London’s 140,000 black cab and minicab drivers switch to zero-emission vehicles.

As more people use electric vehicles demand for electricity will increase, but smart charging has the potential to reduce some of the need for traditional network reinforcement, such as building more substations and cable routes.

Black Cab Green provided evidence for the benefits of smart charging on the electricity network. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which became law in July, gives the Government the power to make regulations requiring all electric vehicle charge points to be ‘smart’. This would enable electricity distribution companies to maximise network capacity by matching EV loads to network capacity, local distributed generation and other low carbon technologies

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks said: “We are committed to enabling the low carbon transport revolution and improving the air quality of our towns and cities. The results of Black Cab Green show that enabling vehicles to charge at off-peak times, and managing how much additional demand they create at peak times, is by far the most cost-effective way to do this.

“The number of electric vehicles on our networks continue to rise and smart charging is the obvious way to enable this growing demand and support the Mayor’s transport strategy.”

UK Power Networks has recently introduced eight electric Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 vans to its fleet to help improve air quality for future generations and further reduce its carbon footprint, already down by 16.7% since 2015. The network operator has also recently announced that it is introducing the first fully electric car to its company car list. The addition of the Renault Zoe will give staff the active choice to switch to EVs.