CFCM and Devon-based SME EVParts have once again partnered on a successful bid, this time for the development of a smart EV portable charging cable. The project will be funded by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles and delivered through Innovate UK following the successful joint bid into the “Catalysing Green Innovation” call resulting in a quarter of a million pound award.
A recent survey by the Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration project showed that more people were likely to buy an Electric Vehicle (EV) if they had a readily available charging point. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that, as more and more people decide to “go green” and buy a hybrid or electric car, the issue of safe and affordable charging becomes increasingly pressing.
Indeed, the most convenient charging solution possible at the moment is a home charging point, however for many people living in rented accommodation, or for those who do not have a driveway, this is simply not an option. Portable charging cables – which can be easily plugged into any home socket – are already available on the market, however the large majority of those devices are only suitable for occasional use, with one device having notably been recalled from the market for allegedly leading to shock and fire.
EVParts have identified the need for a new safe and affordable portable charging unit for EVs, ranging from passenger cars through to HGVs. The project will focus on creating a sustainable, reliable and robust Electric Vehicle charging device that can be plugged into any home socket. This secure and affordable device is aimed at enabling wider adoption of EVs, especially for EV drivers living in rented accommodation.
“We are excited to have been awarded this grant funding and look forward to starting development on our new portable EV charger. EVParts have been working in the field of portable chargers for some years now and now have the funding to apply our knowledge to develop a better charging solution for EV drivers” says Brad Bunyard, Managing Director at EVParts.
On top of that, EVParts plans to integrate an intelligent software enabled connecting mechanism within the charging cable. The aim is to reduce carbon emission via optimum charging profiles. The device uses the local grid to manage power demand, and brings savings to the end user. CFCM’s Deputy Director Professor Prathyush Menon will lead the project on Exeter’s side, combining his expertise on intelligent control with EVParts’ mechanical engineering skills.
“Smart devices are becoming increasingly popular because of their ability to make our lives easier, and this intelligently connected charging cable will make life easier for many users, while at the same time reducing energy waste and increasing sustainability,” says Professor Menon.
The new device will have a proposed lifecycle of 10 years, reducing the footprint of EV charging. It will also strengthen the UK’s position in the global EV market beyond vehicle production and assembly. The project will contribute to the UK Government’s ‘net zero’ and greener transport ambitions and putting the UK at the forefront of the design, manufacture and use of zero emission vehicles.