Council launches electric vehicle project on Scilly as part of the Smart Islands programme

The Council of the Isles of Scilly is pleased to announce the launch of the GO-EV project that will see the introduction of 10 ‘vehicle to grid’ (V2G) electric vehicles that will be used as a part of a car share scheme, up to 10 solar canopies and 25 charging points on Scilly.

V2G means that vehicle batteries will be able to discharge electricity back to the grid at times of high electricity demand as well as be charged through locally generated renewable energy or from the grid when necessary. The project is designed to test how this V2G technology can be used together with a car share scheme to give people a new choice in their travel options.

It is being funded by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership with £606,000 from Government’s Local Growth Fund and £2.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the Smart Islands project.

Minister for Local Growth Jake Berry said: “This Government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future, including rural economies. Clean growth is an important part of our Industrial Strategy, which is why I am delighted that this £606,000 investment from the Local Growth Fund will enable the people of Isles of Scilly to pioneer the use of this electric vehicle technology. The Smart Islands initiative shows that green innovation is not confined to big cities and demonstrates the UK’s world-leading position in maximising low carbon technologies.”

Councillor Lady Marian Berkeley, Lead Member for Smart Islands on the Council of the Isles of Scilly said: “The GO-EV project will further enhance the purity and quality of Scilly’s air and environment. At the same time, it will provide islanders with an increasing choice of on-island transport”.

To benefit people living and working on Scilly, the network of electric vehicles will be made available on a pay-per-use car share basis to local residents and businesses on all five islands with an initial trial taking place on St Mary’s. The project will increase available transport options with a mixture of cars and vans to suit different journey types and in time it is hoped the project will reduce the number of vehicles needed on the islands.

As well as the vehicle charging points that will be dedicated to the car share scheme, further public chargers will be made available to those wishing to make the transition to electric vehicles but who do not have the possibility of charging their vehicle at home.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Hitachi Europe Ltd. and the Isles of Scilly Community Venture C.I.C. and is part of the Smart Islands programme.

Jim Wrigley of the Isles of Scilly Community Venture said: “We are looking forward to working closely with the community on the design of the project to ensure that the locations and types of vehicles can be as useful as possible to residents and businesses.”

Ram Ramachander, Hitachi Europe's Chief Digital Officer said “Over the coming years, the current innovations in the mobility sector will radically re-shape how we get from place to place. The GO-EV project will support the UK’s commitment to be at the forefront of this transition. For the community on the Isles of Scilly the project will provide a low carbon alternative to car ownership and using innovative V2G technology, support their commitment to becoming a low carbon community.”

LEP Chief Executive Glenn Caplin said: “This project will blaze a trail in the development of smart energy systems in the UK. It will cut costs and carbon emissions, deliver clean growth and make the Isles of Scilly more competitive as part of a low carbon economy.”

The Government is championing clean growth through its Industrial Strategy and Smart Islands is one of just a few national case studies highlighted within it. This ground-breaking model aims to be replicable and scalable for other parts of the UK in both rural communities and cities alike. It will share societal benefits and help reduce air pollution whilst providing impetus to a low carbon transport system for future generations.

Publishing date: 
Wednesday, 13 February, 2019