Skyline, a new innovative partnership, has launched to support the cost-effective transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
In a cross-industry first, data from car dealerships, charge point operators and electricity networks is being shared and utilised to target investment and pave the way for the net zero carbon transport revolution.

The UK is seeing a significant growth in electric vehicles, which will also mean a considerable increase in electricity demand. Recent research commissioned by SSEN showed there could be an increase of 11,000% in the number of EVs on UK roads by 2050. Data analysts at UK Power Networks, which operates electricity networks in London, the South and East of England, forecast that the 99,000 EVs currently in its areas are due to rise to 3.6m by 2030.

Electricity network operators Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and UK Power Networks are working together, in partnership with the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), ElectraLink and CrowdCharge, to launch the Skyline project. It will enable them to pinpoint when and where new electricity demand to charge electric vehicles is coming from with unprecedented accuracy.

The group will work with third parties to share early visibility of new EV registrations and new charge point connections to help electricity networks plan for the projected increase in electric transport.

The Skyline project brings together car dealerships, electricity network operators and charge point operators together for the first time. While charger installers routinely update the network operator when new charge points are installed, car dealerships were not previously involved in the data-sharing process.

The project will develop a new digital platform connected to a data-driven Application Planning Interface (API), which will allow multiple data sources to feed in crucial data for early visibility of EV uptake. This will create an automatically updated database.

With better data faster, network operators can make more informed decisions about how to install smart solutions and prepare the network efficiently to be ready for new demand and to save customers’ money over the long term.

Digital firm CrowdCharge will develop the computer platform and EV database for the project, and data-governance body ElectraLink will provide the API. The project will be developed in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.

Richard Hartshorn, EV Readiness Manager for SSEN said:

“Project Skyline will allow us to be proactive through the EV transition, giving us timely insight into when and where new demand will emerge. It will identify areas with high EV uptake to ensure power supplies stay reliable and smooth the customers’ journey as they switch to cleaner transport. We hope this will actively support the uptake of EVs in our licence areas.

“We are delighted to be working with our fellow DNO, UK Power Networks on this project. With over 11m customers between us, this partnership gives us a large bank of stakeholders to engage, which will deliver the best possible learnings on their preferred approaches to data sharing.”

Ian Cameron, Head of Customer Services and Innovation at UK Power Networks, said:

“We’re forecasting a 36-fold increase in EVs over the next ten years. It’s critical that we do everything we can to facilitate that growth to pave the way for a Net Zero carbon emissions future.

“We’re delighted to be working collaboratively on this project with our fellow network operator and the wider transport sector to join up our combined expertise and make that revolution a reality.”

Project Skyline is a Network Innovation Allowance funded project worth over £810,000 that will run until June 2022. It is an example of Ofgem’s innovation stimulus programme tackling real challenges and unlocking customer benefits.

For more infoMore CrowdCharge projects
  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating as Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) and Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) under licence, is responsible for operating and maintaining the electricity distribution networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the central belt of Scotland, the Mull of Kintyre and the Scottish islands.
  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is the new trading name of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc and Southern Electric Power Distribution plc
  • UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.
  • ElectraLink is an energy market central body that has been providing data driven solutions and governance services across the energy industry for over 20 years.
  • CrowdCharge’s digital platform manages EV charging to provide cheaper and greener electricity to customers and to support the grid.
  • Ofgem’s Electricity Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) is a set allowance each RIIO network licensee receives as part of their price control allowance. It provides limited funding to RIIO network licensees to use for: 1) funding smaller technical, commercial or operational projects directly related to the licensee’s network that have the potential to deliver financial benefits to the licensee and its customers; and/or 2) to fund the preparation of submissions to the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) which meet the criteria set out in the NIC Governance Document.