Research & Development Tax Relief Case Study – Electric Car Charging

Date: November 21, 2022

Our client offers a greener, smarter and cheaper way for consumers to charge their electric vehicle. The company aims to be at the centre of the shift to green electric vehicles and smart energy systems.

There is a current and growing trend for electrically powered vehicles, which will increase over the coming years. Owners can “fill-up” their vehicle at any of the growing numbers of charge points around the country, but most charge their car at home when unused for several hours. Our client realised that this charging method is both inefficient and not as eco-friendly as it could be.

A full charging cycle, vehicle-dependent, could take up to eight hours. Owners plug their cars into a power socket; it starts charging immediately and continually until the vehicle is charged. This method misses out on the opportunity to charge a vehicle at specific times, for example, when energy is more price-efficient, or when the greenest energy is available.

The team wanted to correct this gap in functionality, aiming to design a platform that could offer several eco-friendly and cost-efficient practices via a single application in conjunction with a smart power socket. Based on 100,000 anticipated initial users in the first three years, their calculations show an average 20% reduction in carbon emissions per KW/H for vehicles charged using their method. This is equivalent to 14,000 tonnes of carbon emissions reduced per year, and this carbon saving increases the more users that charge smartly.

For the end-user, they are anticipating a £150/year saving in energy costs. With several areas to explore; their research focused on the amalgamation and application of many different sources of information, from car manufacturers, energy companies, weather services, DVLA databases, and more. Each source required the careful creation of an API to allow useful communication and the development of an algorithm to apply all of the data sources—each  required research and extended testing periods to ensure robust operation.

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