Kainos has been working with London First, the Greater London Authority and Microsoft to explore how open and private data can help to identify prime spots for electrical vehicle charging hubs.

One of the Mayor of London’s key ambitions is to make the city carbon neutral by 2050. A core driver of this is to improve air quality, which experiences significant negative impacts from the sheer volume of vehicles moving around the city. Encouraging the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs) will help address the issue of air quality, however the perception of a lack of infrastructure to support the charging of vehicles is slowing adoption. This is compounded by the lack of high-powered chargers essential to enable EV usage for commercial vehicles.  

The London Data Commission is a collaboration of public and private enterprises that ask how London can best use its data to shape the future of the city. Already working with the Commission, Microsoft invited Kainos with its smart cities experience to be a delivery partner on this project. Working in partnership and using public and private data, the teams set out to identify available land across London suitable for charging stations. The result was a rich, interactive map with a myriad of possible locations identified: developing just 10% of these could create an additional 3,600 charge points.

The data, including traffic counts, existing EV charging infrastructure, power capacity at substations and brownfield sites, was then compared with the criteria needed for charging hubs. This reduced the number of potential sites from 3,017 to 2,270. To prioritise sites further, the teams created a scoring system that correlated measures such as site distance from the demand points and available power capacity.

Other key outcomes from the project included highlighting how the limitations of public data could be enhanced by private data, the value in bringing different business sectors together to address city-wide, citizen-first challenges and, of course, the viability of using this data to find optimal sites for developing future charging infrastructure.

We were pleased to be working alongside BP, Oliver Wyman and UK Power Networks as collaborators and data providers to make this project possible. As a result, the project continues to evolve with the list of locations being shared with the Greater London Authority to continue the analysis.

David Lutton, Director of Connectivity of London First, said: “Projects like this demonstrate our commitment to driving change. Microsoft and Kainos have helped us to realise the considerable value of a mixed data approach to shaping the future of our global city.”

Microsoft’s Assistant General Counsel, Sonia Cooper, also noted: “We were delighted to work with London First and to engage Kainos as a delivery partner in this pilot project that demonstrates valuable insights from public-private data sharing. Kainos provided critical analysis and visualisation, and we’re excited to see how the project further evolves.”

Has Dosanjh, Partner at Oliver Wyman, said: “The collaboration using insights to improve the lives of Londoners is at the heart of the London Data Commission’s aim. Oliver Wyman’s role was to facilitate some of these collaborations where Kainos proved themselves to be excellent analysts by not only building models but also ensuring that security and privacy standards were kept high.”

Russell Sloan, Kainos’ Head of Digital Services, added: “Leveraging the power of data and insight to deliver tangible change in the real world is what we thrive on. Working collaboratively with organisations like London First alongside Microsoft builds our track record and delivers exciting outcomes.”   

For more information on the project, you can read more here.