A new on-street charging solution will be studied in 2019 Q1 with a view to deploying from 2019 Q3. The Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways (STEP) project involves the testing and evaluation of Trojan Energy’s innovative on-street charging solution – a flush connection where the chargepoint is slotted into the ground. The charger aims to help solve the issue for those without access to off-street parking, which is currently a major barrier for electric vehicle (EV) uptake. A key advantage of the technology is no permanent footprint or major street clutter, as there is only equipment at the pavement edge when the vehicle is charging.
Trojan Energy eventually plan on fitting entire streets with the technology, so that no matter where a consumer parks on the street, they will be able to charge their EV. Up to 20 connectors can run in parallel, requiring only one network connection. This will in turn create opportunities for demand aggregation and related revenues to make the cost of owning and running EVs cheaper.
Element Energy will lead the feasibility study. Other collaborators in the STEP project are:
The STEP project is part of the Electric vehicle charging for public spaces: feasibility studies competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.
As a first phase of an innovation funding programme worth c£40m, 27 feasibility studies will analyse the application and impact of innovative technologies for EV charging.
In particular, 18 feasibility studies will focus on how a well-design, well integrated EV charging infrastructure in public spaces can help facilitate the adoption of EVs among local residents without access to home charging due to lack of off-street parking.
A total of nine feasibility studies will instead focus on the application of Wireless EV charging to commercial users, reducing business disruptions to charge the vehicles and therefore increasing the attractiveness of the EV proposition.
These projects will define feasibility and sustainable models to maximise effectiveness and impact of infrastructure deployment. The wide variety of technologies and business models analysed in these studies will help implement a charging infrastructure that is affordable, dependable, and fair for all road users, and making owning an EV an attractive proposition for all.
In a subsequent phase of the funding round, the best projects will be competing for funding for implementation of real-world demonstrators.
Celine Cluzel, Director at Element Energy, said “There is currently a lack of evidence when it comes to the ‘right’ provision of charging infrastructure for the case of vehicle owners without a garage or driveway. This competition therefore fills an important gap and we’re pleased to see so many studies being supported. We will bring our rigorous analytical approach to the study of the promising Trojan on-street system and look forward to comparing notes with other project in 2019.”
Ian Mackenzie, Managing Director at Trojan Energy added ” We are grateful for the support we have received from our consortium partners and Innovate UK. This backing moves us one step closer to bringing discreet on-street charging to our cities where the need to transition to EV is greatest.”
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “In Birmingham, increased use of electric vehicles will play a key role in our work to reduce harmful emissions on our city’s streets, but in order to do this we need to make sure that electric vehicle charging points are accessible to as many people as possible, including those who live in terraced houses or blocks of flats.
“I can speak from personal experience on this issue as I live in a terraced house and was looking to purchase an electric car, only to be told that charging could present problems, so I am delighted that we are now in a position where we can carry out a feasibility study to see if this innovative ‘pull-up-out-of-the-ground’ charging point scheme can provide a much-needed solution.”
Adriana Laguna, Senior Innovation Strategy Manager, said: “We are fully committed to enabling the low carbon transport revolution and improving the air quality of our towns and cities. As part of this we are undertaking extensive trials to understand where EV uptake is happening and how best to enable it in future.
“It’s really important that everyone involved in EV infrastructure, including electricity networks, local and national government, established industry and innovative startups work together to come up with smart new solutions that will deliver the charging network we need at the lowest possible cost to our customers.”
About Trojan Energy
Trojan Energy Ltd is a startup who aim to supply innovative charging infrastructure solutions to the UK and global market. Founded in Aberdeen by 4 engineers with diverse backgrounds they are committed to developing technology that ensures the benefits of the clean energy revolution are realised by all.
About Element Energy
Element Energy is a strategic energy consultancy, specialising in the intelligent analysis of low carbon energy. We provide consultancy services across a wide range of sectors (smart electricity and gas networks, energy storage, carbon capture, renewable energy systems and low carbon vehicles). Our work involves consulting on both technical and strategic issues – we believe our technical and engineering understanding of the real-world challenges support the strategic work and vice versa.