Centrica has joined the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL), a three-year electric vehicle research project, as it prepares for an imminent “tipping point” for EV adoption.

The energy giant joins existing research programme members Transport Research Laboratory, DG Cities, Cisco, Cubic, Loughborough University, Transport for London and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in establishing a testbed for connected autonomous vehicles.

Its remit is to explore emerging technologies and business models relevant to the e-mobility sector, undertaking new research, trialling technologies and testing the commercial viability of new vehicles.

Jonathan Tudor, director of technology and innovation strategy at Centrica Innovations, said: “We believe that the tipping point for EV adoption vs petrol and diesel cars is only a handful of years away, so we’re excited to be supporting the SMLL as we continue to progress new solutions and partnerships in support of the emerging electric vehicle market.”

Earlier this year Centrica underpinned its ambitions in the EV sphere by establishing a new e-mobility division, Centrica Mobility Ventures, to develop new solutions and partnerships.

It emerged just months after a multi-million-pound investment in Israeli start-up Driivz, which has developed various solutions for EV charging network operators and utilities in the space.

Paul Zanelli, director of strategic ventures at Transport Research Laboratory, said Centrica’s membership was a “very welcome development”.

“It increases our span across the four pillars of infrastructure, housing, consumers, and mobility, to help cement our position as a city-based urban test bed for validating complex mobility challenges,” he said.

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