Electric Nation: Understanding EV Charging Behaviours

Business challenge

The numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) is set to increase. This will reduce carbon emissions from internal combustion engine vehicles and mprove local air quality, but charging these rising numbers of EVs will increase the load on local electricity networks.

The Electric Nation smart charging project set out to understand the impact of EV charging on local networks and to investigate whether smart charging could mitigate any possible excessive demand.

What we did

Working with partners including EA Technology, Western Power Ditribution, and DriveElectric, Impact conducted a large trial with over 500 plug in vehicle drivers to understand the level of consumer acceptance of managed EV charging, especially during peak times.

In particular, we explored the acceptability of the behaviour changes that smart charging would require, the effectiveness of incentives, and how best to create sustained change.


The Electric Nation trials included a range of charging restrictions and variations. We found that EV owners so far are satisfied with their smart charging arrangements and would continue beyond the project. A few would like greater awareness of smart charging, ideally through an app.