Variable charging mooted for EV charging at tourist site

Smart charging could help manage demand for power from electric vehicles at a key tourist site on the Isle of Wight, a report has found.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Distribution (SSEN) published a study proposing a range of strategies to support charging infrastructure on the island.

The report predicted that demand for power would exceed supply at the Needles geological landmark on as many as 161 days in 2030.

Written by Cambridge-based Element Energy for SSEN, the study said “dynamic charging rates” would limit the electricity drawn by each vehicle at busy times.

“Our analysis demonstrated that the peak EV charging load of the Needles could be reduced by 20 per cent on a peak August day while still delivering vehicles [with] 9kWh of energy, sufficient for 45km of additional range,” it added.

Other options for the visitor destination included investment in energy storage facilities and consideration of an innovative park, charge and ride scheme using public transport for the final part of the journey while cars powered up.

SSEN said the volume of electric vehicles on the roads was set to soar this decade.

“We are working hard to identify the timings and locations for those charging requirements and how our network can best support them,” said innovation project manager Simon O’Loughlin.

“Reinforcing the network is not necessarily the most cost-effective option for demand that fluctuates with the seasons.

“Our E-Tourism project offers a useful toolkit for any local authorities or communities that are planning their charging infrastructure and we hope will help deliver a net zero transition cost effectively right across the UK.”

Energy Saving Trust senior programme manager Nick Harvey said decarbonisation of transport was a “key part” of the UK’s transition to net zero.

“Areas that cater for different groups, such as residents, businesses and visitors, need tailored solutions to provide the right charging solutions in the right locations alongside plans to fully engage with the community on the benefits of supporting sustainable travel,” he added.

Image courtesy of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

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