Centrica has announced that it has agreed an electric vehicle (EV) technology partnership with Volkswagen dealer group, Citygate.
The aim of the partnership, unveiled on 2 December, is to accelerate what the car retailer is able to offer to customers both at home and in store. It will see Centrica install the latest charging technology at 10 Citygate dealerships across London and the south-east, while it will help to fulfil aftersales support on EV accessories and charging products. This includes home charging installations.
Alongside this, the pair are planning to collaborate on developing an EV Centre of Excellence. Centrica will install an on-site virtual power plant (VPP) through linking EV chargers and other large energy-consuming assets into a cloud platform. This means that they can be turned down or off when electricity is particularly high, reducing the need for baseload power stations and contributing to the decarbonisation of the grid.
Educational showroom displays will aim to show the impact of the measures to Citygate customers and staff, with information available on subjects including charging, energy tariffs, climate change and air quality. Centrica is also set to develop training programmes for Citygate staff, as well as educational materials for customers to provide knowledge and insight into the decarbonisation of transport and the home.
Carl Bayliss, Vice President of Mobility Solutions at Centrica, said: “We are moving to a future in which our cars will become an extension of the fabric of our homes and businesses. Most cars are stationary 95% of the time, so it makes sense to use the collective storage capacity as a mini power plant, to power our lives and support the grid.”