A new home charging trial for electric vehicle owners in Milton Keynes was launched on 12 May and more than 100 applications were received in just a few days for a limited number of places. Responses are still in the process of being qualified so any remaining EV drivers who want to take part should apply as soon as possible.
The project is investigating ways to balance the peaks of electricity use associated with charging electric vehicles at home. CrowdCharge is delivering the trial on behalf of Milton Keynes Council, with Flexitricity as the energy demand response partner.
As part of the Domestic Energy Balancing EV Charging project, drivers of any make or model of pure EV can apply to trial a smart charger. Owners of Nissan EVs – LEAF or e-NV200 van with a minimum of a 30kWh battery – can apply to be part of the vehicle to grid (V2G) trial.
The incredible response to the innovation trial is a testament to the advanced ‘EV ecosystem’ of Milton Keynes. The project is grateful to all of the many EV-related organisations and local media that helped to spread the word about the project, with particular thanks going to Milton Keynes Council, Go Ultra Low Milton Keynes, the EV Experience Centre, Bucks EVs, MKFM, the MK Citizen and About Milton Keynes.
An interesting statistic is that almost 20% of all respondents don’t just have one electric vehicle at home, but two, and in some cases more. This again shows that Milton Keynes is ahead of the curve in terms of EV adoption, and provides an indication of how car ownership could look in the very near future in other parts of the UK.
Because charging an EV is equivalent to powering an extra house in terms of electricity demand, such a rapid uptake in EV ownership as demonstrated in Milton Keynes shows the importance of this project, which is investigating ways to balance the peaks of electricity use associated with charging electric vehicles at home.
The project is trialling domestic smart chargers, vehicle to grid (V2G) chargers and home battery storage, using CrowdCharge’s digital charger and battery energy management platform. The project also plans to engage with a small number of households that have solar PV equipment already installed. The ultimate aim is for these technologies to be available for EV owners to save money and reduce demand on electricity networks through balancing the load on the grid.
Trial participants will receive an incentive reward from the value of £10 per month, assuming minimum participation parameters are met, such as charging their EV for a full cycle ten times per month over the 12-month trial duration.
Participants will also be able to keep the technologies at the end of the trial for ownership transfer fees of just £100 for the smart charger, £250 for the V2G charger and £250 for the stationary battery storage device.
An assessment of the technologies, and how they can work together effectively, will be published at the end of the trial.
The learning from this project will assist Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and the wider electricity industry to manage the peaks in electricity demand caused by charging increasing numbers of electric vehicles and understand how new technologies may impact the system.
Although over 100 applications to join the project have already been received, recruitment still remains open for a limited time.
No home visits will take place during the current COVID-19 restrictions; the timescales for charger installations are subject to confirmation based on government advice in relation to COVID-19.
The Milton Keynes Domestic Energy Balancing project is a Milton Keynes Council and Milton Keynes Go Ultra Low Programme funded project. The Milton Keynes Go Ultra Low project is supported by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles as part of a £9 million investment into the growth of electric vehicles.
For more information and to apply to join the project: