Trials underway to demonstrate automated, low cost charging of electric vehicles through the smart metering system

2nd August 2019

Two consortia led by EDF Energy and EDMI Meters have been awarded £2.7 million of innovation funding by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) overall to demonstrate smart charging of electric vehicles using the smart metering system.

Smart meters are a key platform for a smart and flexible energy system, which has cumulative benefits of up to £40 billion by 2050. The provision of secure, cheap and clean energy is an important part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy.

Shifting demand away from peaks helps to minimise the amount of new electricity generation and network capacity needed and can also maximise use of low carbon generation. Smart meters enable energy Suppliers to pass on savings to consumers via smart energy tariffs that reward consumers who shift demand to times when it is cheaper to supply.

The smart metering system has also been designed to provide a secure and inter-operable means of managing demand in an automated manner. This means for example that consumers could come home from work, plug their car in, and their vehicle would be automatically charged at the cheapest, lowest carbon point before they need to use it, rather than over the expensive evening peak. These trials will demonstrate this automated demand management functionality in an electric vehicle charging context; and will show the role the smart metering system can play in delivery of the Government’s Road to Zero strategy for de-carbonising the road transport sector.

Phase 1 of the project ran from January to March 2019 and resulted in five feasibility studies to scope high-level trial design. The strongest two studies were awarded contracts for Phase 2, which is now underway and will conclude on 31 March 2021. Phase 2 includes each consortium designing, building, testing and demonstrating demand management devices. Each consortium will trial these devices in at least 100 real homes with electric vehicles.

 

About the projects

The EDMI-led consortium includes Bulb Energy and will use EDMI’s technical solution which integrates a SMETS2 meter with an electric vehicle charge point. They will focus on using an Auxiliary Load Control Switch (ALCS) to perform load control.

The EDF-led consortium includes ITRON, Nuvve and SLS and is developing a Home Area Network Connected Auxiliary Load Control Switch (HCALCS). HCALCS offer similar functionality to ALCS, although rather than being integrated with the smart meter directly, the switch sits in a separate device and is remotely connected to the smart meter over the Home Area Network. This project proposes to integrate an HCALCS with an electric vehicle charge point.