Loughborough University is leading OPTIC, a study that will examine the use of existing Electric Vehicle chargepoint networks to help inform their widespread introduction across the UK.
To facilitate the low-carbon transition towards EVs, the government is investing in the public infrastructure needed to allow people to charge their vehicles away from home.
Networks of chargepoints in some UK cities provide an opportunity for researchers to consider how existing chargepoint networks are being used, what the implications are for sustainability, and how this information can help in the design of future networks.
The six-month OPTIC (Operation and Performance of Transport Infrastructure Chargepoints) project, led by Dr Craig Morton from Loughborough University’s Transport and Urban Planning Group in the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, will examine the EV chargepoint network installed in Manchester, which is so far made up of 131 different chargepoints, and will involve data from 65,000 charging events.
According to Loughborough, the research team will use this data to calculate the emissions generated and mitigated through the operation of the network, develop a model through which power demand/emissions can be forecasted, and determine how the context in which the chargepoint is located affects its popularity.
This information is expected to help chargepoint operators plan the establishment and expansion of networks to help encourage drivers to make the shift to Electric Vehicles.
In a statement, Dr Morton said: “EV chargepoint networks are very much an emerging infrastructure, but over the next decade they will be an essential part of our towns and cities, just as fuel stations are currently.
“It is important that we learn from their current use to ensure their large-scale rollout across the UK is done in the most effective way possible. The OPTIC project will provide the data needed to make informed decisions.”
The OPTIC study has been funded by EPSRC via the Decarbon8 network. Loughborough will work with academics from Leeds University on the project, which starts in October.