The My Electric Avenue project has now signed up more than enough customers to allow it to move to the next stage of customer-based trials involving the Nissan Leaf.

My Electric Avenue (MEA) is a UK-based electric vehicle (EV) project led by EA Technology and hosted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD).

With over 100 customers now signed up to the Technical trials, MEA said this milestone allows further roll out of electric vehicles to be used in the project. Once all the cars are delivered, MEA said they will be able to see what the electric vehicle street of the future could look like, and discover essential learning about managing the local electricity network for this ‘real life’ scenario.

Crucially, the recruitment for the trials has succeeded because of ‘cluster champions’ in local communities taking up the challenge of recruiting at least nine other neighbors through leaflet dropping, door knocking, and even holding community coffee mornings to drum up support, added MEA.

My Electric Avenue is now focusing on the potential problems that can arise when a large number of EVs charge in the same street at the same time.

MEA added it is the first trial that directly controls domestic EV charging to prevent underground cables and substations being overloaded. The project aims to prove a solution that would avoid the costly, time-consuming and potentially disruptive alternative of digging up roads to install higher capacity electric cables.

Under the Technical trials program, each individual in a cluster (or one street in many cases) will lease an all-electric Nissan Leaf at a 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.

EA Technology said it has developed and is delivering the £9 million project, as well as providing the technology used as part of the trial. The project has also included a number of other small & medium enterprises, including Fleetdrive Electric and Zero Carbon Futures (ZCF). EA Technology added this is the first time a private company, EA Technology, rather than an electricity company has led and managed an Ofgem Low Carbon Networks Fund project, showing that small & medium enterprises can deliver on such projects.