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Social Innovation

Optimise Prime

Electric vehicles are coming, and we need to be prepared…

When potentially millions of electric vehicles (EVs) hit our roads, how will it affect power networks?

Where will people need chargers? What is the best time to charge them up? Can our electricity grid provide enough power in the right places? These are all questions which need to be answered, and quickly.

In 2019, London and the South East will play host to the world’s largest commercial EV trial. Known as Optimise Prime, the three-year project will use IoT technology to track the charging activity of up to 3,000 commercial vehicles. It will endeavour to unearth all of the potential issues surrounding the large-scale uptake of EVs and developing solutions for smart depot and home charging.

The project is a truly collaborative effort. With the backing of UK energy regulator Ofgem, Hitachi, UK Power Networks, Royal Mail, Centrica, Uber and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks are working together to collect and analyse data from the vehicles. Hitachi Vantara will design, build and operate the project’s IoT platform. The platform will manage all the data from the vehicles and help develop the results. Hitachi will also coordinate the project workstreams and develop solutions to optimise the charging of fleets of EVs at depots, allowing more vehicles to charge within the network’s existing capacity.

The results, the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle dataset, will help the project partners devise practical ways of overcoming the up-front costs that are currently preventing widespread commercial EV deployment, while reducing the cost of the EV transition for electricity bill payers. The dataset will be publicly available, allowing urban planners, power grid engineers and, of course, vehicle operators, to prepare for EVs.

Check out our video to learn more about Optimise Prime…