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Connected Kerb secure BEIS funding for EV charging trial

London-based electric vehicle infrastructure company, Connected Kerb, has secured £720,000 from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as part of a consortium for a pioneering EV charging project, Agile Streets.

The project will be delivered in two phases and will see the deployment of over 100 smart charging points in partnership with local authorities.

Led by a multinational telecommunications company, the consortium also includes Octopus Energy, the Energy Saving Trust, Power Networks Distribution Centre and SLS Ltd, and aims to demonstrate smart metering within EV charging in public settings, including on-street residential and shared parking.

Smart charging will improve customer experience, allowing drivers to charge their cars during off-peak hours when prices are lower and with renewable energy. It also balances load across the electricity grid to protect the distribution network.

Richard Turnbull, Head of Wireless Charging & Innovation at Connected Kerb, commented: “The solution will provide convenient on-street charging to those drivers without driveways, while also offering several consumer benefits that are normally reserved for the home, such as off-peak tariffs. Ultimately, we aim to remove one more barrier and support the UK’s transition to zero emission travel.”

Agile Streets will be one of two programmes funded through BEIS’ Energy Innovation Portfolio that will help to determine long term policy for EV smart charging.

The consortium partners are Samsung Research UK, Octopus Energy for Business, SMETS Design, a manufacturer of smart metering technology; the Energy Saving Trust; Power Networks Demonstration Centre, part of the Institute for Energy & Environment at the University of Strathclyde; Connected Kerb, providing and installing charge points and control cabinets, driver support and billing infrastructure.

The project will develop a purpose-built optimisation platform to generate commands setting a charging schedule based on:

  • EV drivers’ charging preferences
  • Half-hourly Agile Business tariffs
  • Distribution Network Operator constraint data
  • and other local charge points’ charging schedules.

A new on-street control cabinet housing SMETS2 technology will supply power via underground controllers to up to 12 x 7kW Connected Kerb charge points. The Agile Streets project will demonstrate the use of the smart metering system and a new business model to manage EV charging, incentivising EV drivers to allow a flexible charging schedule.

The second recipient of BEIS funds is a £856,000 project. Element Energy will lead the SmartSTEP consortium. EE’s Smart Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways project intends to integrate smart meter technology with an EV chargepoint and management system being developed and manufactured for the Innovate UK funded STEP project (Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways).

The system comprises a cabinet and a series of supply points set into the pavement, accessed by a separate “Trojan Energy Lance” issued to users – offering reduced street clutter and no requirement for reserved parking bays. Landis+Gyr SMETS2 technology will be retrofitted into each control cabinet for the Beyond Off Street project, supporting up to 18x 7kW charging points controlled through the smart metering system. SmartSTEP involves the development of a platform to reward users for participating in load control, and the opportunity for Octopus Energy customers to pay for on-street EV charging through their domestic electricity bill.

Element Energy will lead a consortium including Trojan Energy, a developer of smart charging systems; Landis+Gyr, manufacturer of smart electricity meters – providing SMETS2 technology; Octopus Energy, a 100% renewable electricity supplier and developer of street charging tariffs.

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