The Borough of Brent will participate in the initial trial of Trojan Energy’s charge points which are designed to sit flush within the pavement, with no permanent raised street furniture.
Five “flat and flush” electric vehicle (EV) charge points have gone live for testing in the London Borough of Brent.
Trojan Energy’s charge points are designed to sit flush within the pavement, with no permanent raised street furniture at the pavement edge.
The system has been designed with input from Disability Rights UK to improve safety for all street users.
The 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.
The trial is part of 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.
The charging system is aimed at those without access to off-street parking. Fifteen 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 new chargers can help manage the additional load presented as the uptake in EVs continues and more people charge at peak times.
“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,” said Ian Mackenzie, CEO of Trojan Energy. “We can’t wait to see the first driver reactions and hear their feedback so we can generate learnings for the wider project roll-outs across Brent and Camden.”
Birmingham City Council is also a member of the consortium, which is acting as an observer for the project, providing advice on how the technology could be implemented outside the capital.
More than 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 is leading the project and has designed a survey alongside academic partner Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds to evaluate the success of the project.
“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”
Results from the pre-trial survey suggest that 50 per cent of EV driver participants find their current charging situation inconvenient and are in need of a better solution, with more than 70 per cent stating that the availability of local charging points was an important factor for their EV purchase.
As part of the trial, 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 aims to create a seamless system for paying for all the electricity they use in one place, as if charging at home.
“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,” said Phil Steele, future technologies evangelist, Octopus Energy.
“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.”