Electric Vehicle (EV) technology is advancing rapidly and will soon drive significant change in the UK’s transport and energy systems. Over the next few years we will see advancements in batteries, the roll out of charging infrastructure, and the launch of a swath of new electric car and van models – setting the UK on a long-term path towards decarbonising transport.

 

In addition to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) deployment, which offers zero tailpipe emissions, a range of other “Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles” (ULEV) (defined as those with CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less) or ‘electrified’ vehicles are expected to enter the market, such as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).

To grow the market sustainably, EVs need to be charged intelligently from renewable sources to achieve a real-world ‘well-to-wheels’ reduction in carbon intensity. Most private charging infrastructure will need to be ‘smart’ enabled, able to manage the load on the electricity grids, respond to price signals, and/or optimise CO2 intensity. Public charging infrastructure will play a key role in reducing ‘range anxiety’ and is expected to improve consumer confidence in the electric vehicle sector. In some cases, both public and private charging infrastructure will be complemented by stationary battery storage, onsite renewable power generation (e.g. from solar PV), and may be managed by a third party (e.g. an aggregator) to help balance load on the power system.

A variety of electric vehicles models are set to be offered by most European automotive manufacturers by the early and mid-2020s, with many now committing to phasing out production of non-electrified cars and vans. The UK Government has committed to banning the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, and has since released its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy outlining how it intends to achieve this.

To find out more about plug-in vehicles, watch the Energy Savings Trust electric car guide video that describes the different types of electric vehicles and helps explain the different fuel technologies.

For more detailed information and to find out more about this technology please see the REA’s Electric Vehicles Member Forum.

Electric Vehicle charging ChargePoint