One of the arguments against electric cars—in addition range and other operational concerns—has been infrastructure. One or two electric cars is fine, the contention is, but what about if everyone does it?
Putting aside the likelihood that everyone isn’t going to do it, well, what would happen if they did? There’s the matter of overall electric power capacity, which is relatively easy to calculate. But what about the local infrastructure, right down to your block? If everyone came home and plugged in their electric car at the same time, what would happen to the transformer down at the corner or the underground power lines up and down the street?
That’s something EA Technology, “a trusted third party innovation technology deliverer,” hopes to find out in a trial set up in “clusters” of homes, each in a close neighborhood setting in the U.K. The company calls it the first trial that directly controls domestic EV charging so that underground cables, overhead lines and substations won’t be overloaded and it won’t be necessary to dig up the roads to install higher capacity electric cables.
Called My Electric Avenue, the project began about a year ago, recruiting groups of neighbors on the same street– including some workplace-based clusters – to drive electric cars. The experiment will use Nissan Leafs leased by participants, along with charging points, and equipment that monitors and controls charging are being distributed now.
In adition to EA Technologies,participants in the trial include Nissan and Ofgem, the government agency controlling the distribution of electric power. The eighteen month test of “a new technology that will monitor and control” the supply of electric power.
Good luck with that control part, neighbours.