Smart Transport

Innovate UK and consortium collaborate on new EV charging project

Innovate UK is working on a new electric vehicle charging project with a consortium of companies to help more fleet operators make the switch to plug in vehicles.

The the EV Fleet-Centred Local Energy Systems (EFLES) project, set to begin on May 1, 2020, is spearheaded by UK Power Networks Services, the power distribution operator, alongside Moixa, the smart charging specialist, global logistics company UPS, the not-for-profit delivering positive change for London Cross River Partnership, and Innovate UK.

Moixa said the project will use its GridShare artificial intelligence (AI) software to show how barriers to electrification for global fleet operators can be broken down by maximising the cost and carbon savings from EVs.

GridShare will analyse hundreds of data sources at UPS’ Camden depot – including energy prices, power demand and the weather – to optimise EV charging, as well as power supply and demand in order to demonstrate how to effectively cut costs. 

Vehicles will be able to charge when power is cheapest and cleanest by, for example, using onsite energy storage and solar at the most cost-effective times.

UPS will provide its expertise in fleet operation and act as a testbed to demonstrate the business case for AI-led local energy systems, providing a blueprint for other global fleet operators to follow.

In January 2020, UPS announced a commitment to buy 10,000 tailor-made electric vans from UK start-up Arrival. UPS also took a minority stake in the company, demonstrating its commitment to decarbonising its fleet.

The Camden site will be used to develop and test the system, as well as to illustrate the business need for this innovative solution that is helping to break down the barriers surrounding large scale transitioning to EV fleets.

Claire Thompson-Sage, sustainable development coordinator at UPS, said: “This project will build on our EV infrastructure technology to help develop a holistic local energy system. We are proud to spearhead such an exciting smart-grid project and look forward to taking it to the next level by making it even smarter.”

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