Energy supplier OVO Energy has today launched a suite of new services designed to support the growing market for electric vehicle (EVs) and related smart grid technologies.
The company announced that it has entered into a partnership with an EV charging network operator, which will see OVO provide 100 per cent renewable power to its POLAR network of charge points.
In addition, OVO will today launch a new tariff for customers, dubbed EV Everywhere, which includes free membership to the POLAR network of more than 5,000 charge points. The company said the tariff represents the “best value one-stop household and electric vehicle plan on the market today”.
The company said the tariff would offer two-year fixed unit rates for renewable home energy supply, free membership to the POLAR network, complimentary smart meter installation, and three per cent interest rewards on credit balances.
Significantly, the partnership will also see OVO deploy its proprietary VNet technology across Chargemaster’s network, providing new smart charging functionality which will automatically manage the charging of EVs to ease pressure on the grid.
The VNet technology has been developed by a subsidiary of OVO Energy and is designed to provide balancing and storage services to grid operators, allowing them to take advantage of so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology to create a virtual power plant that can either draw power from the grid or provide power back to it.
OVO said the technology would allow EV owners to operate their cars as mobile batteries that can sell unused energy back to the grid.
Advocates of the technology argue it can help ease the integration of intermittent renewables on to the grid, with research earlier this week suggesting it can help reduce costs for grid operators and improve the performance of EV batteries.
The launch forms part of a wider strategy from OVO to tap into the growing market for EV-related services, with the company also confirming today that it has acquired two EV infrastructure firms for an undisclosed sum.
EV components supplier and technology integration specialist Indra Renewables and charge point consultancy and installer ChargedEV have been purchased to support OVO’s plan to launch its own smart charger later this year.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of OVO, said the company was committed to playing a central role in a technology transition that promises to transform both the energy and automotive industries.
“Mass adoption of electric vehicles will completely revolutionise the energy sector as the number of cars on UK roads reach one million in the next five years,” he said. “Working with Chargemaster, and combining ChargedEV and Indra’s technical expertise to develop a smart charging solution utilising our ground-breaking VNet technology, we will help solve some of the challenges faced with the growing demand for electricity. We will also provide our customers with a complete at-home and on-the-go energy solution, enabling zero-carbon driving.”
David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster, said the partnership would also help accelerate the expansion of the company’s charging network.
“We very pleased that OVO Energy has joined us as the exclusive energy supplier for our POLAR network,” he said. “Through our partnership, we look to accelerate the growth of our network with the ability to offer 100 per cent green energy and smart charging capabilities to our charge points across the country.”