Charging Smart Could Save £100s

Mon 21st Nov 2022

A new trial of smart-metered electric vehicles has shown that being more flexible with the charging times of our EVs could save owners up to £600 a year.

A government backed trial of 100 Connected Kerb EV chargers saw them placed at 17 locations across four counties – Shropshire, Hackney, Glasgow, and East Lothian – as part of Agile Streets, the UK's first smart metered on-street EV charger trial.

During six months, 2,451 charging sessions occurred, resulting in 51,618kWh of energy being consumed. 368 test subjects completed these charging sessions.

By smart-charging there was a 240MW reduction in peak demand, the period of day when energy use is greatest. To achieve the same reduction using lithium-ion battery storage would cost £83 million plus £1.5 million annually.

Smart meters enable EVs to charge at times when energy rates are cheapest, such as at night when demand is low or on windy and sunny days when there is a lot of free wind and solar energy. This minimises emissions, minimises grid congestion at peak times, and keeps charges down for drivers. Using the Agile Streets app, drivers are able to charge their vehicle knowing what time of day when they need to leave.

Drivers had the choice of an ECO mode at 19p/kWh, which would charge at the lowest-cost times of day, or a ‘boost’ mode at 33p/kWh, which would provide immediate power just like a typical non-smart public charger. A Nissan LEAF with an average 62kW charging capacity can be charged from 20% to 100% using ECO mode and save drivers £6.95 per session, which is a 42% reduction in cost.

Speaking about the trial, Connected Kerb CEO, Chris Pateman-Jones said: “The energy price crisis is a major challenge facing all industries. For the EV transition, we know that this will narrow the gap between the cost of refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle, and the typically much lower cost of charging an EV. That’s why now is the time to focus our attention on smart charging technologies that can allow those reliant on public charging infrastructure to benefit from cheaper prices when demand for electricity is at its lowest.  

“The deployment of smart charging into public charging – to both reduce consumer costs and minimise the impact of charging on the grid – is ground-breaking. The Agile Streets trial gives us the opportunity to ensure we get smart charging right, enabling us to take all of the learnings from the trial and get ready to roll out this revolutionary infrastructure.”