Specially designed tool aims to help tackle low levels of EV charging infrastructure in the North East of England
Local authorities, electric vehicle (EV) installers, and businesses will be able to identify new sites for charge points and obtain quotes for the cost of installation in minutes instead of days, using a free tool launched this week.
The AutoDesign online system unveiled by distribution network operator (DNO) Northern Powergrid uses real-world network data to help users find the best new EV connection points across the North East, Yorkshire, and northern Lincolnshire.
It will also provide a cost quote for the charge points in minutes, instead of the usual 10-day turnaround. These personalised budget estimates will provide greater transparency about network capacity and enable informed decisions about where to connect, the DNO said.
The AutoDesign tool uses simple green, amber and red indicators to designate 'yes', 'probably', and 'no' so as to guide users towards the most cost-effective and viable connection options.
A lack of EV charging points has been blamed for slow take-up of the vehicles. Last autumn, the Treasury unveiled the £400m Charging Infrastructure Fund to try and unblock the problem and help drive the installation of thousands of new charge points.
Derek Fairbairn, system design manager at Northern Powergrid, said the new AutoDesign service "will provide real benefits and an enhanced level of real-world insight".
"This newly available network data intelligence will significantly improve the EV connections process and help accelerate the clean transport transition," he added.
An estimated 4.5 million EVs are predicted across Northern Powergrid's patch by 2040 following the ban on sale of petrol and diesel cars. However, the government this week signalled it would consult on pulling forward the phase out date to 2035 or earlier.
Additionally, around three quarters of local authorities across the region have declared a climate emergency and are looking for practical ways to reduce emissions.
The new system was developed with the support of EA Technology and a Network Innovation Allowance grant from regulator Ofgem, which itself launched a sweeping new Decarbonisation Action Plan this week.
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