EV charging parking space

New e-car charging system developed in the UK

A significant step towards the development of universal contactless charging for electrical vehicles was made by a Coventry-based energy company this year.

ZPN Energy, previously known as Zapinamo, has broken the mould, becoming the first business to create technology based on the new standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Using the pre-existing Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP 2.0.1), ZPN Energy’s great strides open the door to a more accessible way of charging EVs.

At present, EV charging points are reliant on the National Grid for their power as basic conduits. Charging the average electric car (with a 60kWh battery) can range from 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on requirements and the model.

With a global move towards zero carbon targets, the requirements laid out by the Paris Agreement and ambitious international sustainability goals, the imperative for zero carbon energy hasn’t gone away.  As we move towards 2021 there’s a greater acceptance that we need a drastic re-think of how we source the energy we use.

– Ian Stillie, Chief executive, ZPN Energy

A smarter way to power EVs

One of ZPN Energy’s great innovations with its integrated energy platform is that there is less constraint on grid capacity by using AI-led software. The idea is that software could now allocate for energy to be targeted around a network according to need. This form of smart technology could make EV charging much quicker, more efficient and make electric cars far easier to power and more attractive over time.

In their own words, ZPN Energy claims its technology makes use of analytics to become a disruptive influence in the EV sector. The Standard Grid, in their view, can be turned into a Smart Network Grid, allowing data to be integrated with physical assets, increasing the likelihood of “zero carbon scenarios.”

ZPN Energy has come all this way, having been awarded £4.5 million in 2019 by InnovateUK, in order to create a rapid charging network in Exeter. The company has ambitious plans to reach £1 billion worth of turnover by 2025.

With a global move towards zero carbon targets, the requirements laid out by the Paris Agreement and ambitious international sustainability goals, the imperative for zero carbon energy hasn’t gone away.

“As we move towards 2021 there’s a greater acceptance that we need a drastic re-think of how we source the energy we use.

The EV transition picks up speed

Without a doubt, ZPN Energy’s work helps quicken the pace of the EV transition that’s currently underway.
This summer, the
International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reported that EVs were in use in over 100 countries by late 2019. At present, 6.7 per cent of UK car sales are pure-electric models. By 2035, the Government intends for the sale of diesel, petrol and hybrid models to be no longer possible, allowing electric-only models to dominate the UK’s roads.

Based on the ICCT’s own projections, the UK’s EV sales target would put it ahead of France and Canada, which don’t expect to hit 100 per cent electric-only car sales until 2040, as well as Germany, which isn’t expected to reach this target until 2050 at the earliest.

The 2035 target for the UK to wean itself off cars reliant on hydrocarbons is ambitious, but only possible if EV technology becomes more efficient and infrastructure is expanded adequately. The work by the likes of ZPN Energy is one example of how this can by done, but it’s up to all of us to make the change, and become part of this much-anticipated EV transition.

Did you hear about how excess EV energy could be reused to recharge the national grid at peak times? For more information, check out our piece on what Western Power Distribution is doing to make this possible.

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