Off-grid, renewable energy-powered charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) are being explored by researchers from the University of Surrey in a new £8m project set to solve some of the biggest problems facing the growth of EVs in the UK.
A coalition of researchers from Surrey and the Universities of Southampton and Sheffield are working to develop and demonstrate solutions that will help sustain the future use of EVs and maintain their popularity and sustainability. Surrey’s involvement in the research will explore the end-user acceptance of new charging technologies and how the user’s choice of technology will be affected.
The researchers are looking at how to:
- Achieve significant growth in the EV charging infrastructure to meet the growing demand
- Facilitate the continued development of onshore renewable generation for use in EV charging stations, and
- Ensure that the EV charging infrastructure isn’t constrained by the National Grid.
The five-year project, entitled the Future Electric Vehicle Energy Networks supporting Renewables (FEVER), starts work in September.
Dr Mona Chitnis, co-investigator and Senior Lecturer in Energy Economics, said:
“The good news is that the electric vehicle revolution is a significant opportunity for us all to drastically reduce CO2 emissions and start to address the harm we are doing to our planet.
“However, to reap all the benefits presented by EVs, we need to make sure that the energy that powers them is coming from low-carbon or entirely renewable sources. This is the grand aspiration of this project, and indeed the University of Surrey, and I look forward to working with colleagues from academia and industry throughout the duration of this project.”
The FEVER team will look to design and develop an EV charging solution that can fully deliver grid-independence. To do this, the team will use renewable generation within an innovative off-vehicle energy storage (OVES) system to offer secure, year-round, grid-independent charging. Moving beyond the state-of-the-art technologies, a cost-effective and socially acceptable ‘hybrid’ OVES will also be developed, that is suitable for both urban and rural deployment and use.
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