ubitricity, the UK’s largest public electric vehicle (EV) charge point network has announced that it has started the rollout of Smart charging technology to over 65 per cent of its charging network. This is good news for those without off-street charging facilities allowing them to charge when electricity is at its cheapest.
ubitricity’s Smart charging allows users to schedule their charge to an off-peak time, such as between 7pm – 4pm which is priced at a cheaper rate. Whilst Smart charging is widely available in home chargers, this is the largest public Smart charging roll-out of its kind.
Toby Butler, UK managing director of ubitricity, said: “We know from our data that most of our users like to charge their cars at the end of their working day – coinciding with when energy demand is already at its peak. Smart charging allows our EV users to plug in at their usual time but schedule their charge to start after peak hours when energy prices are cheaper.”
ubitricity revealed that users were already responding well to Smart charging, with over 45 per cent of eligible charging sessions selecting to use the feature. Since the roll-out to over 4000 charge points began in December 2022, the average Smart charging user has saved £4.00 on their charging session. A user charging twice a week would save £32 a month.
Butler said: “It is estimated that over eight million households in the UK have no access to private or off-street parking. We believe that residents should be able to access cheaper public charging options similar to EV drivers who can charge at home. In a time where the price of energy is effecting everyone, we wanted to try and innovate new ways to pass possible energy savings onto our customers.
“Rolling out Smart charging will be essential in the UK’s switch to EVs. There are now over 100,000 Electric vehicles registered in the UK and this number is expected to rise exponentially in the coming years as electric vehicles become cheaper and public charging infrastructure improves.”
Ian Cameron, UK Power Networks Director of Customer Service and Innovation, said: “Our aim is to make it easier for everyone to make the switch to an EV regardless of where they park and whether they have access to the own off-street charger. This is a game-changing development that will open up public charging at a lower cost to a large number of people.”
The software was originally trialled on 300 charge points in the London borough of Westminster. The borough currently has over 1,500 ubitricity lamppost and bollard charge points which made it the ideal location to trial the new technology. This new trial with ubitricity was a significant step in delivering this increased charging provision in the borough.
Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality at Westminster City Council, said: “Being in the heart of London, most of our residents don’t have off-street or private parking so this new Smart charging trial with ubitricity, which offers off-peak charging sessions at a cheaper rate, will save our residents money during this cost of living crisis and at a time where energy prices are so high.”
“Westminster has some of the poorest air quality of any local authority. Reducing travel by petrol or diesel cars is one of the most effective ways to improve air quality and the council wants to see more resident vehicles in Westminster become electric in the future.
“This new trial, along with our pledge for an additional 500 charging points to be installed across the borough, with a potential stretch target of 1000, is a big step toward reaching this goal.”
To find your nearest ubitricity charge point you can check the charging network map here: https://ubitricity.com/en/driver/charging-network-map/
As electricity supply costs changes from winter to summer seasons, ubitricity will adapt the timings of Smart charging to help customer continue to manage their costs.
How to use Smart charging at ubitricity charge points
- Locate your closest ubitricity charge point. All ubitricity charge points have a small sign fixed to the lamppost above the socket.
- Between 12:00pm (midday) – 7pm plug your car into the charge point using the standard type-2 cable that you would use for home or destination charging.
- Scan the QR code on the plate above the charge point to open the charge point direct access page.
- Select the ‘Smart Charging’ option and ubitricity will schedule your charge to begin after 7pm when the peak hours window closes.
Your charge cable will stay locked until you unlock your car. The charging cable will then unlock and can be removed from the charge point.