The new on-street charge points sit flush within the pavement, with no permanent raised street furniture at the pavement edge. Importantly, the system has been designed with input from Disability Rights UK to improve safety for all street users. This technology is revolutionary in providing a solution to deliver vital on-street charging to help reach Net Zero, whilst keeping our streets clear of clutter.
Five Trojan Energy charge points have been installed in Mortimer Road for a small group of trial participants to carry out real-world testing of the prototype system. The full trial of 150 charge points across Brent and Camden will then go live later in the year.
These first charge points represent a critical moment in the three-year Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways (STEP) project funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and delivered by Innovate UK, which has seen the charge points developed from concept, through manufacturing and now deployment.
Start-up company Trojan Energy have designed the unique flat and flush charging system for those without access to off-street parking. 15 charge points are installed in parallel from one electricity network connection, with power distributed across the chargers. London’s electricity network operator UK Power Networks, a partner in the STEP project, has connected the chargers to the energy system. The network is closely involved in ensuring the radical new chargers can help manage the additional load presented as the uptake in EVs continues and more people charge at peak times.
Ian Mackenzie, CEO of Trojan Energy commented: "Trojan Energy is delighted to reach this important milestone in the STEP project, as it represents the first implementation of our flat, flush and futureproof charging technology. We'd like to thank Innovate UK for their support, all the project partners for their expertise and help, and OZEV for their funding. We can't wait to see the first driver reactions and hear their feedback so we can generate learnings for the wider project rollouts across Brent and Camden."
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “Innovation is key to creating cleaner, greener local communities – not only in the capital, but right across the country.
“This project is a great example of how technology is being used to solve a real-world problem to ensure that our EV infrastructure fits in seamlessly in our local towns and cities. This is crucial as we build back greener and encourage more people to make the switch, which is why I’m delighted this government is backing its delivery.”
The full trial will see 10 sets of 15 charge points deployed on six streets in Brent and four streets in Camden. Information about the trial streets and recruitment areas can be found on the Trojan Energy website.
Over 140 EV drivers have already signed up to test the technology in the full trial running from September this year to March 2022. A further 75 have signed up as ‘Prospective’ EV drivers, who intend to adopt an EV in the near future.
Strategic energy consultancy Element Energy are leading the project and have designed a survey alongside academic partners Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds to evaluate the success of the project. Results from the pre-trial survey suggest that 50% of EV Driver participants find their current charging situation inconvenient and are in need of a better solution, with over 70% stating that the availability of local charging points was an important factor for their EV purchase.
Sarah Clements, Principal Consultant at Element Energy and the Project Manager commented: "The sheer volume of participants signed up to this trial demonstrates the crucial need for on-street charging in residential areas. STEP is tackling a key barrier to EV uptake by providing convenient access to chargers for those that cannot charge at home. One aspect we are particularly keen to understand is whether deployment of this on-street technology will give confidence to local consumers to upgrade to EV - an important policy focus in the UK today".
As part of the trial, award winning renewable electricity supplier Octopus Energy is offering the opportunity for customers to merge their car charging costs with their home energy bill through Octopus’ EV roaming service, the Electric Juice Network. This will create a seamless system for paying for all the electricity they use in one place, as if charging at home.
Phil Steele, Future Technologies Evangelist at Octopus Energy, commented: "Better accessibility and provision of easy-to-use electric vehicle chargers is the key to breaking down barriers in the switch from petrol to electric cars.
“On-street charging will play a critical role in the widespread take-up of electric cars. So we’re super proud to be part of the STEP project, powering the next generation of on-street chargers which integrate seamlessly into their surroundings.
“Charging electric cars on the street becomes even more convenient for our customers as they can have their costs sent straight to their energy bill via the Electric Juice Network, building an even more enticing case for people to give up their gas guzzlers for good.”
Birmingham City Council are the final consortium member, who act as an observer for the project – providing advice on how the technology could be implemented outside the capital.
If you live in Brent or Camden and would like to sign up for the waiting list to join the trial, follow this link to check if you are eligible and submit your details. You do not have to currently have an EV to sign up – observers and those intending to begin using an EV in the near future are also encouraged to sign up.
For more information on the project please contact Sarah Clements, the Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jillian Anable, of the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, said: “Our study of the EV owners and prospective owners signed up to the trial shows that exposure to the technology and having it available in such close proximity is significantly likely to accelerate the adoption of EVs in residential areas. Only a quarter of those currently owning EVs in the area were happy with their charging options before the trial and over three quarters of prospective EV owners intend to buy an EV over the next year, with half of them citing the prospect of having Trojan’s technology nearby as having had an important influence on this decision”.
Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Environment in Brent said: “Tackling the climate emergency is a priority for Brent Council. We are always looking to trial new schemes such as the on-street electrical vehicle charge points, to help us reach our goal of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2030. This is an innovative project that will encourage the use of electric vehicles and inspire residents to swap gas guzzling motors for something that helps save our planet.”
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a sustainable Camden said: “Like other boroughs, Camden also suffers from issues around poor air quality. We have led the call among local authorities for Government to enshrine the WHO air quality standards as the legal limits for the UK, having adopted these ourselves in 2018.
“One of our priorities to address this is our support for the use of low emission vehicles to help ensure that we achieve legal air quality levels, protect the health of our residents and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“To encourage the use of electric vehicles where there is essential need for a car, we therefore need to continue to install public electric vehicle charging facilities. This particular trial will help us to establish whether this system is suitable and meets the needs of our residents and businesses.”
Ian Cameron, Head of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “The new charging technology we are trialling has significant potential for the future of on-street charging. It is vital all our customers have access to the necessary charging infrastructure if the UK is to meet Net Zero by 2050 and this is an exciting step in the right direction to accelerate the uptake of EVs.”
PARTNER / FUNDING INFO
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) is a team working across government to support the transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). We are providing support for the take-up of plug in vehicles, as well as funding to support chargepoint infrastructure across the UK. This will contribute to economic growth and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution on our roads.
About Element Energy
Element Energy is a strategic energy consultancy, specialising in the intelligent analysis of low carbon energy. We provide consultancy services across a wide range of sectors (smart electricity and gas networks, energy storage, carbon capture, renewable energy systems and low carbon vehicles). Our work involves consulting on both technical and strategic issues – we believe our technical and engineering understanding of the real-world challenges support the strategic work and vice versa.
About Trojan Energy
Founded in 2016, Trojan Energy was formed with one key mission; to ensure everyone benefits from the energy transition. With a strong focus on enabling the uptake of electric vehicles, Trojan Energy developed the Trojan EV Charging System. The unique system, with flat and flush charge points slotted into the ground, provides charging to EV users without driveways – allowing convenient charging access for all without the need for on-street clutter.
About Octopus Energy
Octopus Energy launched to the public in April 2016. It is a certified B-corp, and supplies 100% renewable electricity and gas to 2.2 million UK homes. Octopus Energy is the only energy supplier to be recommended by Which? for four years in a row. It also recently won Best Utility at the Utility Week Awards. Founded by e-commerce entrepreneurs, Octopus Energy has a different starting point to other suppliers, aiming to redefine what is possible for consumers and the system by using technology and data to deliver the best products and experiences.
Octopus Energy is backed by Octopus Group, a financial services and energy firm, which manages more than £9.1bn of funds. In December 2020, Octopus Energy Group was valued at over $2 billion after closing its second investment round of the year led by international energy companies Tokyo Gas and Origin Energy. With operations in the US, Japan, Germany, New Zealand and Australia, Octopus Energy's mission to drive the affordable green revolution is going global.
For more information, check out our website.
About The University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, with more than 38,000 students from more than 150 different countries, and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University plays a significant role in the Turing, Rosalind Franklin and Royce Institutes.
We are a top ten university for research and impact power in the UK, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, and are in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings 2020.
The University was awarded a Gold rating by the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017, recognising its ‘consistently outstanding’ teaching and learning provision. Twenty-six of our academics have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other institution in England, Northern Ireland and Wales – reflecting the excellence of our teaching. www.leeds.ac.uk
About Brent Council
Brent London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Brent in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. It is based at Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way, Wembley. For more information visit https://www.brent.gov.uk/
About Camden Council
Camden Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Camden. It is based at Five Pancras Square, N1C 4AG. For more information visit https://www.camden.gov.uk/
About UK Power Networks
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.
Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.
UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016 also 2012).
The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet @UKPowerNetworks
Images: courtesy of Darren Cool https://dcoolimages.com/