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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W005883/1
Title: Future Electric Vehicle Energy Networks supporting Renewables (FEVER)
Principal Investigator: Cruden, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Chitnis, Dr M Wills, Dr RGA Ballantyne, Dr E
Stone, Professor DA Jones, Dr CR Stein, Professor S
Gladwin, Professor D Foster, Professor MP Sharkh, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cenex Connected Places Catapult Dialogue Matters
GS Yuasa Battery (UK) Hive Energy Limited Shell
Siemens The Faraday Institution University of Birmingham
University of Oxford Wood plc
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 01 September 2022 Ends: 31 August 2027 Value (£): 6,628,841
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electric Motor & Drive Systems Energy Efficiency
Energy Storage Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
30 Nov 2021 Element Programme Grant Interviews 30 November and 1 December 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Transition to low-carbon is one of the key goals for this century to ensure the effects of man-made climate change are limited, and perhaps, mitigated. Through the electrification of transport, polluting fossil fuels and the harmful emissions generated by their consumption can be significantly reduced. The E-transport paradigm is challenging due to the introduction of large energy demands on the electricity supply grid, requirement for the installation of a national charging infrastructure, limited battery capacity leading to range anxiety, uncertainties around cost and user experience, including the expectation that vehicle fuels can be replenished within just a few minutes, to name but a few. These issues span the whole of society and have wide reaching implications: if the Electric Vehicle (EV) experience is not "satisfactory" then consumers will be reluctant to make the switch.

To address this challenge, an EV charging solution that can deliver fully grid-independent, renewably powered charging is required. This solution should stand to: (i) facilitate the deployment of new renewable generating capacity for the purposes of EV charging; and (ii) overcome existing national grid capacity constraints for growth in the EV charging-load. Such a solution could also underpin the creation of localised smart grids, that can flexibly support energy demand in communities under-served by the current infrastructure, further alleviating pressure on the existing electricity grid.

Through the "FEVER concept" devised in this programme grant, the investigators will design, develop and demonstrate such an EV charging solution. FEVER will use renewable generation, within an innovative off-vehicle energy storage (OVES) system, to offer a secure, year-round, grid-independent charging for EVs. Moving beyond the state-of-the-art technologies a cost-effective and socially-acceptable 'hybrid' OVES will be developed, that is suitable for both urban and rural deployment and use.

This interdisciplinary project unites a diverse team of academic scientists and engineers (mechanical, electronics and electrical, computer science) and social scientists (psychology, economics and management) across three research-led UK universities: Southampton, Sheffield and Surrey. The expertise embodied by this team reflects the fact that it is a combination of technological viability, financial cost and social acceptance (including socio-political, market/end-user, and community acceptance) that typically determines the operational and commercial success of a given innovation. Only utilising a platform like the programme grant scheme, can this wide range of expertise and backgrounds be brought together with key industrial partners from the sector (including Shell, Cenex, Siemens, Hive Energy, Wood Clean Energy and Yuasa) to address such a complex problem and provide an integrated research and innovation solution.

Through the programme, the team aims to:

(1) Understanding the problem context by investigating the current barriers and drivers affecting the development of fully grid-independent, renewables powered OVES based EV charging stations.

(2) Design, develop and trial viable, low-cost, and socially-endorsed solutions to this problem via the novel combination of energy storage technologies (including different battery technologies, and supercapacitors).

(3) Construct two functioning demonstrations of an optimised OVES concept (i.e. FEVER), to verify and validate its real-world performance as an EV charging solution, and to explore opportunities to use the technology to support wider local demand for electricity from homes, industry and business (via the creation of local 'smart-grids').

(4) Investigate key factors affecting social approval of the FEVER concept and specific demonstrators among key groups and individuals likely to affect the commercial success of the technology (e.g. policy makers, the public).

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk