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A consortium is preparing to start building solar-powered car parks across Scotland as part of a trial project for so-called Smart Hubs that will feature both EV charging points and battery storage. The six trial sites will also include vehicle-to-grid facilities (V2G) so EVs can feed energy back into the grid when necessary.
The Scotsman reports that the consortium behind the project involves several energy companies, among them Flexitricity, Turbo Power Systems, Flexisolar, and Smart Power Systems, which are hoping to have the pilot car parks ready later this year.
The aim of the project, however, is not just a way of spurring greater EV adoption. The solar-powered car parks will also alleviate the potential pressure of EV charging on the grid, which, the daily notes, is already strained. If successful, the project will be expanded into other parts of the UK.
The UK has pledged to phase out gasoline and diesel cars by 2040, but the Scottish government is even more ambitious: it eyes 2032 as the year when there will be only EVs on its roads. The goal is truly ambitious, especially in light of estimates that say by 2030 there will be some nine million EVs on UK roads.
While that’s not enough to replace the current ICE fleet, it is a substantial number, and having solar-powered charging sites would help the grid cope with the increased demand.
“Electric cars and buses are going to be the principal method of transport in just a few years. However, we know that the current grid system will only be able to cope if smart charging and grid management are adopted across the network,” said a senior executive at one of the companies in the consortium behind the project, Flextricity.
“We now need to invest in smart technologies and change the way we operate power grids if we want to make the growth of electric vehicles a positive story for the UK. I believe smart vehicle charging will be the difference between the success and failure in reaching our electric vehicle ambitions,” Alastair Martin added.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.