A trial of electric vehicle users found that most were willing and able to shift vehicle charging out of peak hours (4-6pm).
In the eight-week trial, with 247 ‘mainstream consumer’ users, nearly 90% said they would accept ‘managed charging’ after the trial finished. During it, managed charging reduced peak demand by up to 70%.
Users who could manage timing themsleves left it until after peak hours. Users who had ‘supplier-managed’ charging tended to see charging overnight and this reduced peak hour charging demand by 70%. Nearby public charging was perceived as a back-up in case the vehicle was needed sooner than planned.
A small minority of participants adopted regular charging habits away from their home. A control group usually charged at home in peak hours, but they too expressed a preference for managed charging in future.
Dr Neale Kinnear, head of behavioural science at TRL, the global centre for innovation in transport, said “With this latest research into mainstream consumer charging behaviour, we have generated an evidence base showing that managed charging is not only highly effective at shifting demand away from peak times, but it is also more appealing to the majority of mainstream consumers.”
The Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration (CVEI) project was commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute and delivered by a TRL-led consortium which included Baringa Partners, Element Energy, Cenex, EV Connect, the Behavioural Insights Team, EDF Energy and Shell.
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