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UK Power Networks launches EV ‘Charge Challenge’

Data specialists are being challenged to predict future electric vehicle uptake, in a new innovation competition by UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 9 June 2020 12:00 AM

The distribution network operator’s ‘Charge Challenge’ calls for anyone, from any background, to use its open data combined with any other open source channels to predict when and where the next generation of electric vehicle charge points should be located.

Data specialists at UK Power Networks have forecasted a more than 10-fold increase in electric vehicle uptake over the next 10 years, with up to 3.6 million electric vehicles on roads in London, the South and South East of England by 2030. 

The in-house data team analyse large quantities of data to forecast when and where EV ‘hotspots’ will emerge. It’s an important step to enable the company to better plan where future charging infrastructure will be required, and invest strategically to save customers’ money in the long term.

The new competition challenges others to get involved in that process, using the DNO’s Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES) data combined with other open data sources to identify locations across the areas it serves,  that may have large numbers of concentrated electric vehicle charge points installed in the next two to five years. The DFES data is available on its new Open Data page which launched in March as a collaborative, crowdsourcing forum to encourage data sharing. 

Participants are asked to submit a report outlining their data processing efforts, along with their predictions for electric vehicle charging locations, by July 20. The entries will be assessed based on methodology, use of other data sources, validity and creativity. 

Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation, said: “We are determined to push boundaries and create a culture of open innovation and data sharing to facilitate the net zero revolution. 

“We’re launching this challenge because to be truly innovative we can’t do this alone – we want to co-create this open data sharing environment with interested parties from across the board to come forward and help us lead the charge.”

Participants should email entries to OpenData@ukpowernetworks.co.uk. The winning entrant will receive a free iPad Air, and foster opportunity to work with data experts in the future to bring the entrants’ ideas and methodologies to fruition.

The challenge follows the launch of UK Power Networks’ open data page in March, at hittps://innovation.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/open-data