UK’s My Electric Avenue project, hosted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), and led by EA Technology, is testing the impact of electric vehicles on the local electricity network.

The project announced the communities that have been successful in applying to take part in its ‘Technical Trials’, and unveiling details of the next stage of customer-based research, the ‘Social Trials’.

Per managers of the project, almost 2,000 registrations for the Technical Trials were received in the first six months, with the successful communities coming from Chiswick, Marlow, South Gosforth, South Shields, Wylam, Chineham and Whiteley. That’s seven clusters, of ten people in each, which means that the targets set for the project by Ofgem have been achieved four months ahead of schedule.

Following this progress, Ofgem has agreed to early release of project funding, which means that these clusters can now look forward to installation of charging points and Esprit technology, as well as delivery of Nissan Leafs months earlier than originally anticipated.

With these Technical Trials now almost done, My Electric Avenue is starting its Social Trials program. These trials are designed to complement the information gathered during the Technical Trials and participants can lease a new Nissan Leaf at a specially negotiated rate for 24 months.

The project said applicants can be individuals or groups and there’s no requirement to have any technology installed in the home. Spaces in the Social Trials are limited and so the cars will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We want to deliver the best service possible to all our customers, and that is why this trial is so important as we move towards the low carbon future,” said Stewart A Reid, SSEPD’s Future Networks Manager. “The knowledge gained from My Electric Avenue will be shared amongst network operators, government, the energy industry, the low carbon vehicle sector and the general public as a whole. EA Technology has created an excellent mix of partners and relevant expertise for My Electric Avenue, with a hands-on delivery approach that makes this project exceptionally effective and good value for money.”

Under the Technical Trial program, each individual in a cluster will lease an all-electric Nissan Leaf at an exclusively-subsidized rate for 18 months, with the aim of trialing ‘Esprit’, a new technology developed by EA Technology, to monitor and control the electricity used when the car is being charged.

“The community-led approach to customer engagement has been key to the success of the project, enabling us to achieve our deliverables way ahead of schedule,” said Dave A. Roberts, EA Technology’s Future Networks Director. “We are now looking forward to getting cars on drives and the Esprit technology installed. This will really start to give us an idea of what the EV street of the future will look like.”