Western Power Distribution (WPD) has released details of how it can meet the charging demands of all future electric vehicle users, in the latest version of its industry-leading electric vehicle strategy.

As part of its plan to enable the faster roll out of charge points across the UK, WPD is working to make the connection process easier for charge point operators. One of the ways the network operator will do this is by offering EV charge point operators back-to-back leases, where appropriate. The support given to operators by WPD will speed up the installation of charge points across its network.

WPD is also teaming up with motorway service operators to develop charging solutions at roadside fuel filling stations. In Phase 1 of the Department for Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ Project Rapid, WPD helped to roll out rapid charging solutions at motorway service stations in the UK, providing the electrical capacity for 48 chargers to be installed across its network. As part of Phase 2, WPD is targeting further EV charger installations. It is also working with Moto Services on plans for a trial project at one of their motorway service areas. This will deliver rapid charging using new technology that requires significantly less space than current chargers.

In the updated strategy, WPD also outlines plans to develop new charging solutions for domestic customers by investing in a series of network improvement projects to meet demands for home charging installations. To accommodate the growth of on-street charging, WPD will change the way it provides electricity supplies to street furniture such as streetlights. WPD is also working on a solution to ensure that existing mains cables are ready for future charging demands.

Last year, WPD became the first distribution network operator to release an electric vehicle strategy. In consultation with stakeholders, the strategy set out the company’s plans to meet the charging requirements of the future through investment and innovation. Scenarios from WPD suggest that the UK electric car fleet could reach around 15 million units by 2032, rising to over 38 million by 2038. Current projections suggest that around 217,000 chargers will be connected to WPD’s network by 2023.

Commenting on the release of the updated strategy, WPD’s DSO development manager Paul Jewell said: “Our updated strategy details how we are making EV charger connections on our network easier and quicker. Over the next 12 months, our planned innovation projects will see the roll out of industry-leading charging solutions for both domestic and non-domestic settings.

“Our estimates suggest that, in order to reach the charging capacity required to meet the decarbonisation of transport, the UK needs to install 2,700 charge points a day. Our EV strategy shows we have the solutions to make EV charging quick and effective for customers. We are working hard alongside industry, Government and stakeholders to ensure that everyone who wants an EV charger can get one.”