Solar-powered car parks where electric vehicles (EVs) can be charged are to be set up in Scotland as part of a pioneering multi-million-pound UK project.
A consortium that includes Flexitricity (www.flexitricity.com
), Turbo Power Systems (www.turbopowersystems.com
), Flexisolar (www.flexi-solar.com
) and Smart Power Systems (www.smartpowersystems.co.uk
) is already considering several potential sites around the country, including council facilities, park-and-ride schemes, airports, offices and train stations.
It has now secured million of pounds in funding for the scheme, which will use solar panels and battery storage to charge cars and buses.
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology will also be used at the hubs, allowing charged cars to feed electricity back to the smart grid, where it can be used to power homes and businesses.
The team believes that managed integration of solar PV, electric-vehicle charging and V2G systems at car parks and transport hubs can help the country to meet its ‘green’ transport goals.
It says that Smart Hubs with energy storage will increase the capacity for charging large numbers of electric vehicles without placing further pressure on the already strained national grid.
The schemes will also provide new income streams for car park owners, including local authorities, hospitals and retail centres.
It is suggested that car manufacturers will also benefit, with access to fast grid-friendly infrastructure expected to boost consumer confidence in the EV market.
The demonstrator project will target early adopters of V2G, mostly in the commercial area, comprising six sites and 150 V2G-enabled electric vehicles.
The research will seek to identify accessible revenues for V2G systems in real-life applications, how static and dynamic storage can be integrated in a single site and the optimal power rating.
It is hoped that the Smart Hub demonstrator trials will get under way later this year, and the project partners are seeking further sites to join the trial.
The Scottish government has committed to phasing out petrol and diesel cars by 2032, while the UK has set a target of 2040.
Current estimates suggest that there will be around nine million electric vehicles on UK roads by 2030.