Thinking about an electric car? 🔌

:electric_plug: :oncoming_automobile: :electric_plug: :oncoming_automobile::electric_plug: :oncoming_automobile::electric_plug: :oncoming_automobile::electric_plug:

This autumn, Bulb will be launching an electric car charging trial and we’re looking for members who’d like to take part.

Participants in the trial will get a smart EV charger installed at their home at no cost. We’ll develop an app so participants can schedule their car’s charging from their phone. They’ll also be able to monitor their charger and their car’s energy consumption.

If you’re thinking about buying an electric car and would like to participate in our trial, you can register your interest by filling out this questionnaire.

Any questions? Please add them in this thread.

10 Likes

Is the charger generic, or do you need a charger specific to certain models?

@bluenicks Welcome to our Bulb community! Thanks for your great question.

The charger will be a Type 2 charger which will work with the vast majority of new EVs. If you’re interested, I’d recommend completing the questionnaire. There are more detailed questions in that regarding the make/model of your vehicle so we’ll let you know whether you’re eligible from there.

1 Like

Thank you, I’ve completed the questionnaire now. I currently have a diesel but thinking about making the switch to a battery only EV this year. Presumably a 1st gen smart meter would also need to be upgraded if it can’t currently be read by Bulb?

@bluenicks We’re still working out the details but our current belief is that households with any sort of smart meter will be able to participate. Thanks for filling in the questionnaire, we’ll be in touch :slight_smile:

1 Like

What are the benefits to participants?

Presumably potential bill savings via a new time-of-use tariff? Anyone taking part would likely want to know tariff details in advance so they can roughly work out whether their off-peak usage was sufficient to warrant being part of the trial.

Do participants get to keep the smart EV charger after the trial?

@norman7115 Yes - there will be a time of use tariff that encourages participants to charge their car outside of peak times. This tariff will be communicated to members as they’re confirming their participation in the trial.

And yes - participants will be able to keep the EV charger at the end of the trial.

Thanks for the questions. Let us know if you have any more!

I registered using the form, but accidentally used a different email address when asked if I was a customer. Will that matter? Should someone from Bulb fix that up?

Hi @polsenferreira Welcome to Bulb’s Community!

I’ve dropped you an email now to the address linked to your Bulb Account, so you can confirm the email you’ve used on the questionnaire and I’ll pass that on

Hi

I have an electric car and charger, already filled in the form but this didn’t give a date when the trial would begin or if I would need a smart meter fitted (don’t have a smart meter at the moment)

When in Autumn, what month ?

I am thinking of changing suppliers as bulb is more expensive now I have an electric car and would hold of if the new tariff is only a few months away

Hi @debraparker251 Thanks for commenting and welcome to the Bulb Community. We’re aiming to launch the trial in September.

You would need to have a smart meter installed by then for the usage data tracking etc.

We’re beginning to schedule a limited number of smart installation again, following a pause in carrying these out due to Coronavirus, so we will hopefully be able to arrange this for you.

Does Bulb have any plans to trial V2G?

Hi @norman7115

We don’t have any specific plans to trial V2G at the moment. We are keeping an eye on the latest developments in V2G as we believe it will play a key role in the energy system of the future.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on V2G, and what benefits it would bring you as a member? We’d like to take onboard any comments you have.

We’re also in the process of trialing smart charging of EVs to help members reduce the cost of their charging.

As someone who does low mileage in their EV (and doesn’t have a large electricty bill), the benefits of smart charging for me would be minimal. Switching from the Bulb variable tariff to either the smart tariff or E7 wouldn’t make much difference, so unlikely a half-hourly time-of-use tariff would either, given the low usage.

However, having an EV which spends most of its time on the driveway lends itself perfectly to V2G, where I’d get much more benefit from taking electricity from the grid at cheap rates and selling back to the grid at peak times. So V2G is where I’m looking to do something.

Survey complete. Can you confirm what type of meter you’ll install. Also I already have a type 2 charger, would you just swap my existing with the new one as all the cable etc is in. I wouldn’t be able to let you install a 2nd line to consumer unit As it’s too far away from my charger location.

Hi @fellsteruk - we’d install a 2nd generation smart meter for participants in the trial. And yes - if you already have a charger, we’d be able to replace it with the one we’re using for the trial.

@norman7115 Thanks for the additional context. It does sounds like you might be a prime candidate for V2G!

As Curtis said, we’re keeping an eye on V2G and will look to start pilots / trials when we think the technology and the cost of the technology get to where they need to be. Out of interest, what make and model is your electric car?

Hi @Kit_at_Bulb - I’ve got a Nissan Leaf Acenta 30kWh (2016), so good to go, as already confirmed by Nissan that V2G won’t invalidate the battery warranty on this vehicle.

2016 leaf… that doesn’t have thermal battery management does it? I’d be concerned about putting any extra load on them whilst Nissan May replace it it’s likely to degrade faster.

Are you able to share anymore about the charger? Is It tethered or non tethered will you have any ability in the app to lock it when not in use AP that others are unable to charge it.

I have off street parking in a private car park and whilst I’m the on EV the fact I currently use a tethered charger help deter people from using it, a generic untethered wouldn’t be ideal if I couldn’t lock it

@fellsteruk - there’s been several studies done involving specifically the 30kWh Leaf, which conclude that V2G might actually improve battery life. University of Warwick was one I think, but I’m digressing from this smart charging thread topic, so won’t lead it further astray.

@norman7115 that definitely sounds like it will be of interest to people reading this thread. The original post directs people to the sign up form, so no need to worry about digressions. I understand @fellsteruk concerns as I’d have thought looping stored energy back to the grid would put more strain on the battery. Do you know how it can potentially extend the battery life?