Alfen – formerly known under the brand ICU Charging Equipment – has now supplied over 100 charge points as part of the Electric Nation project which we reported on back in September 2016. In this project owners of electric vehicles receive a free smart charger at home in return for allowing Western Power Distribution (WPD) to occasionally ramp down charging speeds for short periods at peak times in the electricity grid.
After some pilot installations and testing at the beginning of the year, the first participants received their smart chargers at the end of February. As well as installations around the Bristol area, Alfen’s chargers have been installed all over WPD’s region from the Midlands to South Wales and into Cornwall. Alex Earl, Alfen’s UK Country Manager: “The fact that we have already hit the 100 mark and have a healthy order book for the coming period is a clear signal that a significant portion of electric vehicle drivers both value the benefits of a smart charger and want to be engaged in the transition to a smarter and more flexible energy system which, for example, responds to the availability of renewable energy.”
The smart chargers which Alfen supplies have numerous benefits. As well as being able to vary their charging speed based on remote signals, they can provide a host of other remote services such as enabling: collection of charging transaction data, access control, tariff setting, firmware updates as well as remote maintenance and support without a visit from a service engineer.
Earl: “With our headquarters in Holland, which is a couple of years ahead of the UK in terms of such technology, we have a good insight into where the electricity market in the UK is heading and are thus very well placed to support further developments. Equally, after significant successes abroad, we are now introducing our large-scale battery storage solutions to the UK, which we have also combined with EV charging as well as with solar PV and wind energy.”
The Electric Nation project is designed to test the ability to remotely control EV charging speeds based on signals from the grid and to gauge customers’ acceptance of such technology. For more information, or to see if you would qualify for a free smart charger as part of the Electric Nation project, please visit http://www.electricnation.org.uk/.
Alfen website: http://alfen.com/en
ICU website: http://www.icu-charging-stations.co.uk