THE world’s largest dataset on commercial electric vehicles is now available for anyone to use for free, helping the UK prepare for mass uptake of EVs in the transition to Net Zero.
Real world data collected from over 6,000 EVs as part of UK Power Networks’ innovation project Optimise Prime offers unparalleled insight into the future of electric fleets and the needs of businesses when it comes to EV charging infrastructure.
Optimise Prime saw UK Power Networks and Hitachi join forces with Scottish and Southern Energy Networks as well as the UK’s biggest fleet operators, Uber, Royal Mail, and British Gas to understand when, where and how often employees charge on-the-go, at home and in a depot. The live trials from the project concluded in June 2022.
The dataset offers unrivalled insight into the behaviour of some of Britain’s highest profile fleets and brings significant potential benefits for:
- Fleet managers and businesses: Real-world data enables them to model their own company’s charging patterns with unprecedented accuracy, and in turn be able to take advantage of smart tools offered by networks to lower the cost of connecting and charging their fleets
- Electricity network operators in the UK and overseas: Deep insight into how EVs behave will allow networks to build the most accurate forecasts ever and develop highly targeted, long-term investment strategies
- Customers wanting to charge their vehicles on public chargers: Having the most accurate possible picture of EV charging will ultimately mean lower costs for customers by ensuring the right level of new infrastructure is delivered in the right places at the right time
From enhancing forecasting to developing new solutions that will deliver Net Zero at lowest cost, access to extensive real-life data can now help shape the work of anyone determined to enable the low carbon transport revolution. Insights into where more public chargers will be needed by 2030 to support charging for the full 45,000 London Uber drivers, along with the required electricity grid upgrades will be shared with Local Authorities to support their community decarbonisation plans.
Understanding what public charging demands will look like in future, across their areas can help Local Authorities generate chargepoint investment, ultimately accelerating the transition to Net Zero. Drivers will have confidence to make the switch to an EV, knowing they have access to the infrastructure they need locally.
Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “Nowhere else in the world is there such a rich pool of data about the behaviour of electric vehicle fleets. We are proud to be offering it to the industry to interrogate and layer with their own data-driven insights. We hope this will become a fountain of innovation that will unleash a wave of creativity to help our communities to decarbonise faster and more affordably”
Jacob Briggs, consultant at Cornwall Insight, said: “Data sits at the heart of the Net Zero transition, enabling plans to be put in place and ultimately helping us all hit the targets we need to reach. UK Power Networks’ has set a precedent, giving all who want and need it, access to truly open data on EVs that has come from the real world, not just modelling.
“Having access to this data will give us and so many others a leg up when it comes to planning, facilitating and accelerating the changes we must make to enable the low carbon transport revolution.”