Pilot for UK national EV charging uses smart meter network

July 20, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Pilot for UK national EV charging uses smart meter network
Toshiba and ARM-subsidiary Pelion have teamed up with the organisation that runs the UK’s  national smart meter network to create a national charging network. 

A pilot project led by Toshiba with Pelion, Data Communications Company (DCC), Vestel and has.to.be  will yield vital data necessary to inform future national strategies for EV smart charging.

The pilot seeks to augment, rather than replace, the current fragmented approach to EV charging in the UK. 

The project will trial a proof-of-concept using a Vestel charge point installed at the DCC's Manchester testing facility, Brabazon House, and demonstrate how current technology can be cost-effectively modified and linked to a secure national network.  The solution will help manage consumer data, charging control, and energy metering and features end-to-end encryption for enhanced security.  Simultaneously, this allows consumers to have confidence in their charging device and gives the energy distribution network operators the control needed to ensure the grid maximises its use of renewables.

The DCC currently supports more than 12 million meters nationwide, and with the massive growth in EVs sales constantly adding to the challenge, effective solutions must be found, trialled, and made ready to scale.

Toshiba supplies the cyber-physical security for UK smart meters and will work with Pelion for managed global cellular connectivity. This will be used with the software from has.to.be for scalable operation of charging infrastructure to the end-to-end management of worldwide mobility solutions.

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“The technology already exists to simplify electric vehicle charging for everyone, and this partnership has the resources and expertise to show the industry what’s possible,” said Angus Flett, CEO of DCC.

“Drawing on this partnership’s significant technical expertise, we intend to demonstrate how the DCC’s secure nationwide network can be opened up to support the EV charging industry. This will help ensure that EV smart charging is secure and consumer friendly, and allows the system to make the best possible use of renewable sources.”

"Toshiba's diverse business ranges from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices - with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital, and AI technologies, many of which are contributing to the decarbonisation of society. These distinctive strengths position Toshiba to become one of the world's leading cyber-physical-system technology companies," said Tom Cunliffe, General Manager & COO of Toshiba’s M2M Business Unit within Toshiba Europe.

"Toshiba has successfully designed, manufactured and delivered millions of communication hubs into the UK smart metering programme. Through this, we have established and now lead a consortium of leading, innovative partners across a broad spectrum of technologies that have created a solution to integrate the EV charger with DCC's systems; crucially, this same module can support additional, future smart IoT device integrations in to the DCC."

While many EV charging networks use robust security practices, there are no clear, agreed standards to ensure that all networks protect consumer data and the energy grid. The DCC smart metering network, as critical national infrastructure, was designed from the ground up with the highest security and operates to standards endorsed by the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre). These standards, applied to a national EV charging network, would safeguard consumer data and protect the energy grid from the threat of cyber-attacks.

https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/

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