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MAY 2021

LIGHTING JOURNAL

EV charging

As take-up of electric vehicles continues to accelerate, lighting engineers may need to play a key leadership role in discussions around how to manage, and balance, the growing demands this will place on our electrical infrastructure By Phil Shadbolt

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ou just need to look around our streets and highways to see that electric vehicle (EV) take-up and usage is increasing fast. According to the House of Commons Research Service, the number of ultra-low emissions vehicles in the UK, which includes EVs, rose from just 9,000 in the first quarter of 2010 to some 317,000 by the second quarter of last year. National Grid has also predicted that the number of EVs on our roads could be as many as 10.6 million by 2030 and a whopping 36 million by 2040[1]. Figures we have seen at Zeta, given to us by Oxford University, show a similar trend, suggesting

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uptake is going to increase by 50% a year year-on-year. So the uptake curve is very much an exponential one. This is, of course, great news in the context of taking petrol and diesel vehicles off our roads, reducing emissions and helping to mitigate global heating. But, as demand for EVs grows, this creates its own new headache – demand on the Grid, on our electricity supply and infrastructure. Already, one of the requirements for connecting to a local EV charging network is that you have to provide load balancing across the three phases in order to prevent imbalance on the Grid. Most load-balancing systems work on the

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Lighting Journal May 2021  

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