Almere, 14 September 2016 – ICU Charging Equipment selected as supplier for the world’s largest electric vehicle smart charging project 20-09-2016 ICU Charging Equipment - which is headquartered in The Netherlands and has its UK base in Bristol - has been selected to take part in the Electric Nation project, the world’s largest trial of a smart charging solution between domestic charge points and the local electricity network.

ICU Charging Equipment – one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of chargers for electric vehicles - will be supplying its “solid smartware” chargers for the UK’s ‘Electric Nation’ project.

  • Electric Nation is trialling a smart charging solution between domestic charge points and the local electricity network.
  • Motorists buying or leasing a new electric car – including pure EVs and plug-in hybrids – are invited to become part of the Electric Nation project; participants will have a free* smart charger fitted
  • Electric Nation is looking for 500-700 electric vehicle drivers to be part of the world’s largest trial of its kind, to ensure local electricity networks can cope with increasing numbers of EVs
  • Initially the trial will take place in the Western Power Distribution network areas in the South West, South Wales, West & East Midlands

The Electric Nation project is officially launched today, 14 September, at the UK’s leading low carbon vehicle event, LCV2016, at Millbrook Proving Ground. The objective of the Electric Nation project is to allow the numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK to increase, whilst avoiding the cost and disruption involved in upgrading local electricity infrastructure.

Sales of electric vehicles in the UK are rising and there’s an increasing range of models to choose from, with larger batteries and faster charging times – all of which is helping to reduce emissions and to lower running costs for owners.

Electric Nation, the world’s largest EV trial, is revolutionising domestic plug-in vehicle charging. By engaging between 500-700 plug-in vehicle drivers in trials, the project is answering the challenge that when local electricity networks have 40% - 70% of households with electric vehicles, at least 32% of these networks across Britain will require intervention. Electric Nation is pioneering our electric future. Intervention using smart technology, rather than digging up the roads to install new cables, has been predicted to give an economic saving of around £2.2 billion by 2050.

The results of this project will be of interest and will be communicated to the GB energy/utility community, to UK government, to the automotive and plug-in vehicle infrastructure industry and to the general public.”

ICU Charging Equipment will be working with charge point operator Greenflux, also headquartered in The Netherlands, to enable charging speeds to be varied instantaneously via the Open Smart Charging Protocol.

Alex Earl, ICU UK Country Manager, says: “We are very proud to have been selected to supply chargers for the Electric Nation project. ICU has over 8 years’ experience of building reliable, intelligent charge points for electric vehicles, including working with energy companies to ensure available power capacity can be optimised for EV charging, so it was a natural fit.”

Motorists buying or leasing a new electric vehicle are invited to become part of the Electric Nation community and have a charger installed at home for free*. Initially the trial will take place in certain geographical locations, the WPD network areas in the South West, South Wales, West & East Midlands.

Electric Nation is the customer-facing brand of CarConnect, a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partners in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and TRL.