UK distribution network operator Northern Powergrid is to install new EV charging points at 11 of its sites in a bid to encourage its employees to ‘go electric’.

The project is one of several initiatives the company is rolling out this year to give its 2500 staff the chance to engage with new EV technology. The DNO will use the opportunity to observe how its employees interact with the EVs and the resulting impact on the network. This in turn is expected to highlight how EV owners and supporting infrastructure might operate in reality.

Northern Powergrid will this month begin installing on-site vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging points as well as begin the process of fleet electrification, starting with its pool cars.

It is is undertaking a survey of EV ownership in the business to ensure the growing EV driver base has the right infrastructure, which is intended to break down barriers to adoption across its own workforce.

“We have to get hands on and lead by example,” said Jim Cardwell, head of policy development at Northern Powergrid. “We are starting small to begin with, bringing on five Nissan Leaf EVs that will be available for our people to use.”

“Although colleagues frequently have to take our vehicles to places where there is no electricity, there is huge internal appetite to decarbonize as much of our fleet as possible, as soon as is practical.”

“These small internal steps forward for us are part of a bigger drive to learn by observing ourselves and build on the strong work done under our Customer-Led Network Revolution programme – recycling the learning into every day operations. Charging infrastructure is moving and improving rapidly. By using ourselves as a testbed, we are better positioned to understand how our customers will engage with these emerging technologies.”