Electric Nation is a project of Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge to demonstrate how electric vehicles (EVs) can provide V2G services. The project is different to other V2G projects because it is committed to using four different energy partners instead of just one. This means that the project is a more realistic simulation of a future world in which many streets will have a number of EVs using V2G chargers with energy suppliers that are diverse and of varying sizes.
British Gas is Britain’s leading supplier of energy, delivering to almost 10 million homes in Britain and more than 400,000 businesses. Participants in the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial who are part of the British Gas and CrowdCharge proposition will earn rewards if they plug in their EV a specified number of times per month.
Twenty-five applicants to the Electric Nation V2G trial will be offered the opportunity to join the project with the British Gas and CrowdCharge proposition. Applicants will be required to switch electricity supplier to British Gas if they are not already with the company and to go onto the latest British Gas two-rate fixed ‘Electric Drivers’ (electricity-only) tariff for the duration of the customer trial. This tariff has two different daily rates giving EV owners cheaper off-peak electricity between 12am – 5am every day. There is no export tariff for this proposition.
EV drivers will inform the CrowdCharge platform when they next need their car and how much energy (or how many miles) they will need for the next day. The first priority for CrowdCharge is to ensure these requirements are met. EVs are often plugged in for over 12 hours overnight but may only need an average of one to two hours of charge. This allows considerable time and flexibility to fit in the EV charging overnight.
With the British Gas and CrowdCharge proposition, for each three-month period during the customer trial, the trial participant should complete two months with at least 15 full plug-in cycles (a full plug-in cycle means that the car is plugged in from 6pm to 5am), and one month with at least the minimum of 10 full plug-in cycles completed. In return, the participant can enjoy one of two chosen incentives. Halfway through the customer trial, the participant may be given the option to choose to switch to a different incentive if they wish. The British Gas reward options are:
- A free Hive™ Hub, which connects Hive™ products so they can be controlled remotely with the Hive™ app on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. After 12 months of consistently meeting or exceeding the plug-in criteria the participant will receive a Hive™ Warm Welcome Home Pack, which, in addition to the Hive™ Hub, includes two Hive™ Light Dimmable bulbs, a Hive™ Plug and a Hive™ Motion Sensor (worth ~£249). If however the participant only accumulates six or more months of consistently meeting or exceeding the plug-in requirements the participant will instead receive a three-pack of smart plugs (worth £117) if they select this reward option.
- A monetary incentive of £30 quarterly (every three-month period) credited to the participant’s electricity bill.
Americo Lenza, Portfolio Director, British Gas Services & Solutions, which includes connected home products by Hive™, said: “British Gas is thrilled to be named as a partner for the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project. This trial is all about putting our customers in charge of their energy future. We see a time when our cars, or even the humble hot water tank, can be used as an energy store for excess wind or solar power, storage that can then be discharged when the wind isn’t blowing. This not only helps the UK transition to a net zero future but means we can unlock savings for customers and help us all live more sustainably.”
Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge, comments: “A key element of Electric Nation has been to include a diverse range of different energy partners, in order to more realistically simulate the vehicle to grid charging landscape in the future. This is why we’re delighted to have British Gas as an energy partner for the project, and we look forward to discovering participants’ views about the different approaches and tariffs of a range of energy suppliers.”
Electric Nation is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales to take part in the trial of V2G smart charging technology. Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology.
The trial, which is offering free installation of the V2G smart chargers worth £5,500, will help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and others to understand how V2G charging could work with their electricity networks.
The V2G trial follows the first Electric Nation project from 2016 to 2019 which at the time was the world’s largest EV smart charging trial. The trial captured data from more than two million hours of car charging, providing real life insight into people’s habits when charging their vehicles.
By plugging in at specified times and putting energy back into the grid, active participants of the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project are expected to earn rewards (which vary dependent upon the energy partner proposition groups) over the customer trial period, currently scheduled from June 2021 to June 2022 (trial dates revised in February 2021).
Almost 650 EV drivers have applied to join Electric Nation so far. Recruitment remains open to ensure the project secures 100 participants that meet all the eligibility criteria, however the project will be closing to new applications soon, so anyone interested in being part of the trial should apply now.
Although the application process for the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project is now open, the timescale for charger installations is subject to confirmation based on government advice in relation to COVID-19.
For more information and to apply to join the project:
Electric Nation V2G Trial applicants:
• Must be resident in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) licence area (Midlands, South West and South Wales)
• Must have a Nissan EV with a battery capacity of at least 30kWh or more
• Need to have the vehicle until the end of the trial (was March 2022, now June 2022 for all new applicants. This falls in line with the new trial dates revised in February 2021)
• Need to have off-road parking
• Will use the CrowdCharge mobile app to manage charging
• May need to switch to a new energy tariff if required by their assigned project energy supplier
• May need to have a new smart meter put in/updated as part of the project participation.
The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project, with the official WPD project name ‘Electric Nation: Powered Up’, is recruiting 100 electric vehicle drivers to trial state-of-the-art domestic Vehicle to Grid (V2G) Smart Charging in order to help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and others to understand how V2G charging could work with their electricity networks. This will allow DNOs to see what V2G looks like as a service, so it can be made available to everyone. EV drivers can help to balance variations in national energy production and consumption and can save money by buying energy when it is cheaper and greener. This project is effectively imitating the future.
- Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the project DNO
- CrowdCharge is leading the project
- DriveElectric is helping with recruitment of trial participants
- EA Technology is modelling the network impact
The application process for the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project is now open; the timescale for charger installations is subject to confirmation based on government advice in relation to COVID-19.
About British Gas
British Gas is Britain’s leading supplier of energy, delivering to almost 10 million homes in Britain and more than 400,000 businesses. The company offers the highest quality services to both UK homes and businesses, provided by more than 8,000 highly-trained engineers. British Gas also provides a range of innovative products and services including smart meters, connected home products by Hive™, and the on-demand, online tradesman service, Local Heroes.
British Gas is committed to reduce CO2 emissions for both its customers and its business. Transportation and Home Energy Management are the two key areas forming an integral part of its strategy to achieve its net zero targets. As a business, it is committed to net zero by 2050 and has been identified as a leader in this field, retaining an A-list status in the Carbon Disclosure Project. 1,000 of its engineer vans are currently transitioning to all-electric vans and British Gas has committed to electrifying its entire fleet of 12,000 vehicles by 2030. This is just one step on its journey to net zero. British Gas is also working with partners across a variety of sectors from car manufacturers to eco-friendly home technology suppliers. These partnerships will help create a smart end-to-end solution to support customers on their transition to a low carbon future.
In other news….
Want to know more about the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project?
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project welcomes British Gas as its final energy partner (you are here)
- Current chats with WPD and CrowdCharge
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project announces Igloo Energy as an energy partner
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project announces Green Energy UK as an energy partner
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial installs its first V2G charger
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project announces Flexitricity as first energy partner
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial to partner with Wallbox as V2G charger supplier
- The Future of Vehicle to Grid EV charging
- Why Electric Vehicles can be a solution to the increasing demand on electricity networks
- Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial shows that the EV street of the future may be here sooner than we think
- New Electric Nation project allows your EV to power your home and support the electricity network
A little background about the original Electric Nation smart charging project (2016 – 2019):