||The Plug-in Vehicle Economics and Infrastructure Project is a core element of Electrification of Transport within Test Bed UK. The ETI will utilise the outputs of the project to support, inform and facilitate effective long-term benefits from the investments being made around the UK. The two primary objectives are:
The Electricity Distribution and Intelligent Infrastructure project (TR1002) is comprised of six Work Packages. This report is a deliverable of Work Package 2.1 (Network Analysis).
- Evaluate the potential role and economics of plug-in vehicles in the low carbon transport system: generate a quantified understanding of the market potential, cost models and carbon benefits case under defined scenarios of infrastructure investments, government intervention packages and finance model options across a number of key plug-in vehicle type/size/capability points; and
- Develop the technology tool-kit for delivering an intelligent infrastructure: create a verified open interoperability architecture and generate information to aid infrastructure planning (e.g. to indicate how many recharging points are needed and where they should be located, what mix of power levels are required, how the impact of plug-in vehicle recharging on the electricity distribution network should be managed, how the overall system can be simplified for consumers, etc).
This report provides an analysis of the impact of plug-in vehicle recharging on the UK electricity distribution system against a range of vehicle uptake and recharging profile scenarios.
- The key finding is that moderate uptake of plug-in vehicles could cause significant challenges for distribution networks, if demand from recharging is uncontrolled.
- The constraints arise largely from voltage drop and unbalance, violation of transformer and cable thermal limits, increases in network losses, fault levels and issues such as harmonics and step voltage changes.
- Traditional network reinforcement, by way of substation upgrades and cable reinforcement, is likely to be increasingly inefficient in terms of accommodating the incremental and unpredictable loads expected from plug-in vehicles and heat-pumps.
- If uptake is expected to be significant, a ‘smart grid’ approach is recommended.