Helping the UK charge ahead with EVs

January 2022

Centrica DSR, along with Hive and British Gas, joined forces with companies including Hitachi, Uber and Royal Mail on Optimise Prime, a project designed to investigate the effect of commercial EV's on the electricity distribution network - supporting network planning for transport electrification.

The largest commercial EV project in the world, Optimise Prime is gathering real-world data from early adopters of all-EV fleets. The learnings from the project will help ensure the UK’s switch to electric driving is as smooth, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

About Optimise Prime

The companies taking part represent different kinds of commercial fleets, each with their own distinct charging needs.

British Gas had 1,000 vans that are typically charged overnight in engineers’ homes, while Royal Mail vans are usually charged in the depot and Uber’s drivers often rely on public charging infrastructure.

Together, the three fleets provide data from 3,000 busy vehicles – enough to provide unique insights into the way future charging solutions, and the electricity network as a whole, will need to adapt to meet the huge increase in demand that’s just around the corner.

Powered by Centrica DSR

Since the Optimise Prime trial began in July 2021, British Gas has switched 1,000 vans to EVs and installed 7kW chargers at engineers’ homes. Each charger is connected to the Centrica DSR platform – and together they provide 6MW of flexibility capacity that can help balance the grid.

It’s an important demonstration of Demand Side Response technology's role in the future electricity network. As more and more EVs hit the road, their chargers and batteries can be intelligently harnessed to help mitigate the increased demand on the grid.

Looking at the road ahead

By smoothing the transition to EV fleets in the UK, the project hopes to deliver CO2 reductions of 2.7 million tons by 2030 – equivalent to a Boeing 747 flying around the planet 1,484 times.

In addition, the findings of Optimise Prime are also expected to help reduce the load on the electrical network by 1.9 gigawatts. That’s the equivalent of around 1,000,000 homes.

Ultimately, the project will help ensure that other businesses find switching their fleets from diesel to electric is as simple and cost-effective a process as possible. And that will mean cleaner air for everybody in the UK, plus a big cut in greenhouse gases for the planet as a whole.

If you’d like to find out more about this project – or about how Centrica DSR can help you – get in touch to speak with one of our experts.

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In a nutshell

We are participating in the cross-sector project, Optimise Prime, which brings together DNOs, fleet and private-hire vehicle operators and technology providers in order to help networks plan for, and promote, the EV revolution.


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The Company

Centrica plc is an international energy services and solutions business.

Centrica plc registered office:
Millstream, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 5GD, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1753 494000

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