Up to 1,000 electric vehicle owners will be offered financial incentives to charge their vehicle off-peak in a new trial of a market-led approach to smart charging. UK Power Networks has launched the trial, named Shift, to develop a large-scale, smart charging solution that can be rolled out nationwide by flexibility service providers like chargepoint operators, aggregators and energy suppliers.

The network company is working to explore the different business models and market mechanisms to deliver benefits from smart charging. It is recruiting up to 1,000 members of the public in London and the South East who own an electric vehicle and charge it at home. Recruitment for the trial will begin this month and smart chargers will be available through their preferred electric vehicle charger installer.

UK’s first 150kW charger goes live

This news follows Shell’s recent installation of the UK’s first 150kW charger on a forecourt at their Battersea service station in London. The new charger is a part of Shell Recharge, Shell’s on-forecourt Electric Vehicle (EV) charging service. The high-powered charger sits alongside the current 50kW rapid chargers and can typically provide a 0-80% charge in approximately 10 minutes, three times faster than existing rapid chargers, depending on the electric vehicle model.

Following an agreement with Ionity (an organisation set up in 2017 by European automobile manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Porsche and the Volkswagen Audi Group), Shell plans to offer super-fast 350kW charging points across 10 European countries, starting with 80 of Shell’s biggest highway stations. Ionity has just opened their second UK location in Milton Keynes at the end of July, allowing users the ability to charge their car to 80% in the time it takes to drink a coffee.

What does this mean for EV drivers in the UK?

All of this shows that there is a genuine commitment to provide real-world applications for EV charging, not just from the Government with their EV Homecharge Scheme, but from energy suppliers as a whole. These essential changes to infrastructure will make it more viable than ever for consumers to consider electric vehicles as a viable alternative to Petrol or Diesel cars.

To find out how you can become an EV charging point installer, why not visit one of our events or book a course directly on our website.