‘My Electric Avenue’ project to test new smart charging systems by leasing applicants a Nissan Leaf and a charging point for £100 per month

A new consortium that includes Nissan, the Low Carbon Networks Fund and electricity provider Scottish and Southern Energy, is looking for 10 ‘clusters’ of potential electric car users across the country to test a new smart-charging system.

The ‘My Electric Avenue’ project is offering successful applicants a new Nissan Leaf on a £100 per month lease for an 18-month period. The Leaf drivers will also get a charging point fitted to their house free of charge. 

Scottish and Southern Electric Distribution (SSE) is teaming up with EA Technology to trial a new charging technology which will attempt to minimise the effect of 10 electric cars being charged at the same time in a locale supported by a single electricity sub-station.

Called the Esprit, the new smart charging system developed by EA Technology is designed to ‘communicate’ with the local substation and the car chargers, balancing demand from local households with the need to re-charge the cars. Attempting, for example, to re-charge all 10 electric cars in the evening, which coincides with maximum demand from local households, would overload the local supply network.

Stuart Hogarth, director of distribution with SSE, told Autocar that the normal solution to increased demand would be be dig up the roads and install heavier-duty electricity cables. However, he said, this is an ‘expensive and disruptive’ solution. Using a smart charging system will allow the electric cars to be charged at the points of lowest demand. 

Based on the needs of the individual Leaf drivers, those who have the longest daily commutes could also see their cars get more charging time. Drivers with shorter daily commutes would get less charging time on the network, but enough for the following day’s usage.

At the moment, the Esprit system does not communicate with the cars themselves, but in the future it could be possible to envisage a system that can tap into the usage patterns of people's cars and could even use information from a pre-set journey programmed into the sat-nav to ensure the car receives sufficient overnight charging.

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The electric Nissan Leaf has its work cut out competing with cheaper mainstream cars - but it does make a case for itself

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3 June 2013

100 quid = 1000 miles of diesel for my 11 year old Fiesta mk6.

Next time any here complain about high fuel prices should think carefully. Oil is cheap. Really cheap, hence the difficulty in finding alternative energy sources.

Its seems Nissan has found a new "CashCow", so good luck to them!

4 June 2013

£100 is for the car not the electricity.  Thats a very reasonable lease price for any new car.  Its about the same cost as leasing a brand new VW up.  You would still have to pay for fuel but the nissan works out cheaper.

If you are happy with an 11 year old car all the best to you.  In another 11 years you might be looking for a nice second hand electric car that'll save you on petrol.

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