A CLEAN energy technology firm from Scotland has entered an innovation project partnership to speed up the roll-out of electric vehicles by finding the best ways to charge them at multiple venues.

Glasgow-based Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) will now work with SP Energy Networks (SPEN), traffic software provider PTV Group and consultancy and technology firm EA Technology on the £8.5 million Charge Network Innovation Competition initiative.

The project will test the technology and procedures in Liverpool, North Wales and parts of Cheshire and Shropshire that could then be rolled out across the UK.

The National: An electric car-charging point in DublinAn electric car-charging point in Dublin

SGS will bid to develop solutions to two of the biggest challenges facing electric vehicle users – how to charge vehicles at home without their own driveways, such as flats and in terraced streets, and how to charge them at public locations, including shopping centres, events venues and tourist attractions, as well as filling stations and motorway service areas.

The company will explore several smart charging solutions, including staggered charging on a street-by-street basis, timed charging schedules and controlling charging rates based on network measurements.

SGS’s software will manage the charging of electric vehicles, which are expected to be the dominant form of transport by 2050.

The UK Government’s plan to phase out conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 is accelerating the search for solutions that will allow the grid to meet the extra demand for charging cars, vans and lorries.

Graham Ault, SGS founder and executive director, said: “Project Charge is a significant step forward in making sure that the electricity networks will cope with the extra demand.

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“Our distributed energy resources management system software is already being used by the companies that run the local electricity distribution networks to manage the grid with more connected renewable energy devices like wind turbines and solar panels, along with the growing number of batteries and other flexible devices.”

SGS project lead, Laura Kane, commented: “Winning this contract under Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition is a significant achievement for SGS because it recognises how useful our software will be in tackling the challenges that lie ahead for the grid from the revolution in electric transportation.”

Scott Mathieson, director of network planning and regulation at SPEN, added: “Drivers need to know they can charge their cars at home, and when out in their local community or further afield , and our Charge project will help to give them the reassurances they need.”