Northern Powergrid gears up for EV increase

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Northern Powergrid has announced a number of internal initiatives to facilitate electric vehicle (EV) use and charging infrastructure.

Three initiatives will be implemented in 2018 to give Northern Powergrid’s 2,500 employees the chance to engage with new EV technology across several of its 28 sites.

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As part of the initiative, Northern Powergrid is investing in installing new EV charging points at 11 of its sites. The aim is to encourage employees to go electric well ahead of the 2040 ban on new diesel and petrol car sales.

This will be supported by on-site vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging points that will boost the number of EV chargers available and contribute to a trial of best use of V2G in fleet operations. Installation for the first of 16 V2G chargers will begin this month.

Northern Powergrid is also beginning a process of fleet electrification, starting with its pool cars. A survey of EV ownership in the business aims to ensure the growing EV driver base has the right infrastructure.

“We have to get hands on and lead by example. We are starting small to begin with, bringing on five Nissan Leaf EVs that will be available for our people to use,” explains Jim Cardwell, Northern Powergrid's Head of Policy.

“Although colleagues frequently have to take our vehicles to places where there is no electricity, there is huge internal appetite to decarbonise as much of our fleet as possible, as soon as is practical.”

Over the past year Northern Powergrid has been engaged in pioneering EV projects designed to help the UK transport system play a positive role in the low carbon future. These include a £9.8m collaborative project, announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and led by Nissan, that will see 1,000 V2G charging points added to the UK’s network.

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Jim Cardwell continued: “These small internal steps forward for us are part of a bigger drive to learn by observing ourselves and build on the strong work done under our Customer-Led Network Revolution programme – recycling the learning into every day operations. Charging infrastructure is moving and improving rapidly. By using ourselves as a testbed, we are better positioned to understand how our customers will engage with these emerging technologies.”