Government-Funded Chargers In UK To Get Smarter Next Year

DEC 19 2018 BY JAMES FOSSDYKE 4

All government-backed charging points will use smart technology from July 2019.

All government-funded home charging points for electric vehicles will have to use so-called ‘smart’ technology from July 2019, the government has said.

Since 2014, the government has offered grants to consumers who wish to install domestic charging points at their home. To date, more than 60,000 people have taken them up on the offer.

However, the new policy will see more technologically advanced charging points installed from next summer.

In essence, the new chargers will be remotely accessible, with the ability to receive, interpret and react to a signal, as well as changing their charging behaviour to suit the demands on the grid.

As a result, the government says the new chargers will minimise the impact of electric cars on the existing energy infrastructure while also keeping costs down by encouraging off-peak charging.

At the same time, the government has also announced that it will continue to offer grants of up to £500 to those who install charging points at their home or office.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said the scheme would help the UK become a leader in the uptake of electric vehicles.

“The government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle, and through leadership and innovation it is paving the way to a zero-emission future,” he said. “We have already supported the installation of over 100,000 home charge points. Now the measures announced today will give more people the opportunity to make the move to electric.”

Automotive minister Richard Harrington echoed Norman’s sentiments, saying the changes to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme would encourage more drivers to move from internal combustion engines to vehicles powered by electric motors.

“Today’s measures will make it easier for consumers to move towards electric vehicles, helping us power towards a cleaner, greener future,” he said. “Through our modern industrial strategy and automotive sector deal, we are investing to ensure the UK is the leading destination for the innovation and manufacture of electric vehicle batteries and technologies to help all parts of the UK reap the economic benefits of these innovations.”

It’s a change that the government is keen to push through, after pledging to ban sales of conventional petrol- and diesel-engined cars in 2040. It also hopes that almost all cars will be capable of zero-emission driving by the year 2050.

However, some have said that the ban cannot come soon enough, and several groups have lobbied for the 2040 date to be brought forward. In October, a group of MPs called for the ban to be moved to 2032 in a bid to improve air quality.

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4 Comments on "Government-Funded Chargers In UK To Get Smarter Next Year"

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It’s only a £500 grant, if the Government subsidised chargers seem a bit too big brother, then people can always purchase the chargers outright which do not require to have that capability. I don’t mind my charger being part of general monitoring so they can see how demand on the grid changes but if they’re going to use that information to charge me a premium on electricity that specifically goes into my EV then that’s not right (and it wouldn’t work). I’d keep my current EV charger that isn’t capable of doing that, or I’d purchase a new EV charger that didn’t have that capability or worst case scenario, I’d charge up from a wall socket and there’s no way the Government will know I’m using that electricity to charge my car.

The other issue is, what if you are charging up using only electricity generated from your own Solar PV system ?

I think the aim is to get people to charge when demand is low and rates are low. So you would be charging your EV and saving the most money. Its a great idea.
The Government will know? The utility provides the electricity to your home not the Government.

Usual U.K. government half-solution. AFAIK there’s no local or wider area monitoring to understand what the load might be in order to use this capability and there’s certainly no systems in place to enable a message to be sent direct chargers to stop or slow down charging (or re start again).

And by the time such systems would be in place no doubt the “intelligent” chargers, now years old, won’t be compatible with a centralised command and control system at that time. Not to mention how the chargers would actually communicate physically is non trivial.

They’ve already done it once, mandated smart charging systems and now they are all obsolete and incompatible with other electric companies systems.

If they want to encourage people to not charge at peak times, then simply mandate that anyone getting the grant to install a charger, must have a timed electricity contract whereby off peak is cheaper. Doesn’t need expensive/ complex chargers or command and control systems and achieves 90% the aim from day one,