Phil Hewitt of EnAppSys
North East organisations are involved in a national scheme to encourage electric car drivers to engage with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technologies and be a part of Britain’s smart energy grid future.
Newcastle University, Northern Powergrid and market monitoring specialist EnAppSys are involved in a new £400,000 project to investigate the influence of gamification on EV drivers’ appetite for engaging with V2G technologies.
There are 150,000 electric cars on the road in Britain – by harnessing all those batteries to store and release energy when it’s most needed by the grid, EVs could play a big role in a smart, green and more stable energy grid in Britain.
The challenge will be how to get all those EV drivers to sign up and be a part of the solution, allowing energy companies and the National Grid to harness EV batteries, and even adapting their travel plans.
The project will look to answer the behavioural questions on how to overcome that challenge, and will consider consumer engagement methods and behaviour change techniques, focusing on mobile phone applications and the use of gamification.
It will also analyse the business case for V2G technologies and their impact on the National Grid.
The new project is a partnership between Ecotricity, Gengame, EnAppSys, Newcastle University and Northern Powergrid, and received almost £300,000 from Innovate UK, with additional funding coming from the partners themselves.
Phil Hewitt, director of EnAppSys, said: “EnAppSys has been providing information and analytics to companies active in the electricity market for 15 years, breaking down barriers to entry for smaller companies to the market.
“We see this project as an opportunity to continue our work in democratising the energy market by allowing ordinary consumers to engage directly in the market and to facilitate the transition to a decentralised, clean future energy system.”
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “Electric vehicles have been central to our view of the future for the last decade, not just for their potential to clean up the air we breathe but also for their potential role in the Smart Grid that we need to build to deliver an energy future that is affordable and clean.
“Technology is at the heart of delivering this but it has to engage energy users. This study will help us better understand the relationship between people and technology.”
Stephane Lee-Favier, CEO of Gengame, said: “GenGame has over three years’ experience leveraging gamification and behavioural science techniques in our mobile applications to engage consumers with the smart grid.
“We see a lot of great work on demonstrating V2G technology, but not always considering why a consumer would want such technology in their home, or how to address some of the concerns they might have: such as the impact on the life of their expensive car battery. We aim to solve these problems as part of this project.”
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