In Westminster, Iain Stewart MP heard about the work being done by Western Power Distribution (WPD) to prepare the UK energy network for the electric vehicle revolution. WPD is the electricity network operator for the Midlands, South West and South Wales.
At the WPD Takes Charge event in the House of Commons, Iain heard from Phil Swift, CEO at WPD, on how WPD is building the vehicle charging infrastructure of the future, designed to support a predicted three million EVs across WPD’s network by 2023. Iain got to see first-hand new charging innovations and speak to some of the engineers who are developing these new solutions.
To help meet the Government’s proposed target to end the sale of all new non-electric vehicles by 2035 or even earlier, WPD is pioneering AI-enabled technologies to create smarter, fast charging solutions. Research has suggested that switching all the vehicles on the road to electric vehicles is the same as asking the UK electricity network to power London 14 times over.
New technologies and techniques developed by WPD’s innovation team are already helping to integrate EVs into the energy network. The Electric Nation project, one of the biggest domestic EV trials in the world involving more than 700 vehicles, transformed the industry’s understanding of how people use and charge their vehicles, helping to inform new and more effective charging solutions. The findings from Electric Nation will be used as the basis for this year’s follow-up Electric Nation: Powered Up project and the DC Share programme, both of which aim to making rapid charging easier while keeping customer costs down.
Commenting on the event, Iain said: “It was fantastic to hear how WPD is working to facilitate the electric vehicle future across its network area and within Milton Keynes South. It was great to hear first-hand from many of the engineers involved, how WPD is developing the charging solutions needed for the decarbonisation of transport. I look forward to seeing future innovations from the WPD team over the coming months.”
Roger Hey, WPD’s DSO Systems and Project Manager, said: “WPD is building the network charging infrastructure of the future which is essential to the rapid decarbonisation of transport and to delivering the UK’s net zero ambitions. For many years, we have led the way in connecting renewable generation to our network and we are ready to take the lead again to meet the electric vehicle challenge.
“Our role over the next few years will be to ensure that every EV owner knows that, wherever they go, they’ll always be able to charge up their vehicle quickly, safely and cheaply. I hope we will see the Government announce further measures in the Budget to support the development of EV infrastructure.”