The Data Communications Company (DCC) – the organisation that operates and maintains Britain’s national smart meter network – has joined forces with Toshiba, Pelion, Vestel, and has.to.be to bring the UK’s current electric vehicle charging infrastructure onto a secure, unified and national network.
Although the move appears revolutionary, the pilot scheme will actually adapt the current technology used for EV charging in order to make chargers smarter. In doing so, the scheme aims to break down some of the most significant barriers facing consumers who might be sceptical about charging an electric vehicle.
If successful, it's hoped that the scheme could bring the security and seamless consumer experience that the British national smart meter network gives. It's also hoped that the scheme will provide better national control of EV chargers to ensure they don’t overburden the grid’s renewables as EV ownership grows.
- Online energy comparison: find the best deals in your area now
Currently, the DCC effectively supports more than 12 million meters nationwide. However, thanks to the massive growth in EV sales in recent years and the expected exponential growth of EV sales in the next decade, effective solutions for charging these vehicles must be found, trialled and made ready to scale.
The new project between the DCC and its consortium of partners will trial a proof-of-concept using a Vestel charge point installed at the DCC’s Manchester testing facility at Brabazon House. In doing so, it will demonstrate how current technology can be cost-effectively modified and linked to a secure national network.
Benefits of the new EV charging infrastructure
If successful, it’s thought that the new solution will bring multiple benefits. For example, it will feature end-to-end encryption for enhanced security. This will allow consumers to have confidence in their charging device and it will give the energy distribution network operators the control needed to ensure the grid maximises its use of renewables.
On top of this, it’s hoped that the new scheme will:
- Provide a level of security that will safeguard consumer data and protect the energy grid from the threat of cyber-attacks
- End range anxiety by creating a common standardised platform that underpins all private EV charging
- Offer greener charging by making it easy for consumers to keep their vehicle topped up in the most affordable and low-carbon way
Announcing the new partnership, DCC CEO Angus Flett said “To meet our national net zero targets, we need to break down the barriers stopping people transitioning to electric vehicles.
“Drawing on this partnership’s significant technical expertise, we intend to demonstrate how the DCC’s secure nationwide network can be opened up to support the EV charging industry. This will help ensure that EV smart charging is secure and consumer friendly, and allows the system to make the best possible use of renewable sources.”
Make sure your home is on the right tariff
If you own an electric vehicle, then make sure you’re on a tariff that supports electric vehicle charging. Many of the country’s top energy suppliers, such as Octopus Energy, currently offer tariffs that are specifically aimed at electric vehicle owners and these can make the cost of charging your vehicle far cheaper.
On top of this, if your home isn’t one of the 12 million households in the UK with a smart meter that’s connected to the national network, then it’s time that you joined the revolution. After all, research has shown that having a smart meter installed in your home can save you money. This is because the device shows you how much energy you’ve used in real time.
Plus, as an added bonus, all relevant information about your energy use is sent directly to your supplier, so your bills are always accurate and are never estimated.
If you’d like a smart meter installed at your home, then contact your energy supplier directly. Alternatively, if your provider isn’t currently fitting smart meters, you can run an online energy comparison and switch supplier today. All of the best energy suppliers in the country offer smart meters for their customers, so you should have no problem finding a suitable provider. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll be able to switch to the best energy deal in your area in the process, so you can save even more money.
Find the best energy deal for your home
TechRadar has partnered with MoneySupermarket to help you find the best energy deals in your area. Our energy comparison tool takes less than five minutes to use, and could save you hundreds on your energy bills. Save money now