Electric vehicle infrastructure investor app
A project to develop an app to enable commercial investors and government to make better decisions for electric vehicle infrastructure.
Summary: impacts and findings
This project developed a prototype application that can integrate multiple data sources and help planners and investors to plan EV charging infrastructure projects in a given area. The team demonstrated the value of the tool in accelerating charging rollout decisions.
Project aims and approach
An estimated 500,000 more electric vehicle charge points will be needed by 2050; to achieve this the pace of installation will need to be six times faster than now. Currently it can take anything from one to five years for an EV infrastructure project to be delivered.
The Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Investor application aimed to enable commercial investors, network companies, planners and government to make better and faster decisions for charging infrastructure.
The service aimed to reduce the barriers to entry for investors, so that they can more easily work with energy companies and local government to develop viable business cases for installing and operating EV infrastructure. Currently investors need to have multiple one-to-one conversations to maintain current knowledge of a wide range of data, including energy, geospatial and traffic data and information on planned initiatives and opportunities.
The project developed a cloud-based, curated modelling environment which enables investors to cut through the complexity of acquiring specialist technical knowledge to get information about innovation initiatives, local planning, and recommended best practice.
During this MEDApps Phase 1 project, Zuhlke spoke with more than 50 different stakeholder organisations, including investors, DNOs and local government, to explore user needs and perspectives. This demonstrated that the EV infrastructure market clearly needs such digitalised services.
The team built a functioning prototype which combined electricity (demand and generation) data, geographical information (such as land ownership) and traffic data to provide integrated insights.
Below you can watch a detailed ‘show and tell’ presentation about this project, including a demonstration, recorded in July 2021.
April 2021 to June 2021
Achievements and barriers
This feasibility study project confirmed the value of data applications that can help in planning EV infrastructure – quantifying investment risk, and anticipating grid reinforcement that may be needed.
The team then created a demonstrator application using live data and explored a commercial case for the product. A test case was to work with Hi-Trans and the University of Strathclyde on the EV charging rollout plan for the Highlands of Scotland.
Lessons from the project included:
- The difficulty of getting hold of necessary data is a barrier to EV infrastructure development and solutions such as this have an important role to play.
- Stakeholders value neutral brokers who can connect data sources and people
The project was not selected for further funding in Phase 2 of the MEDApps programme.