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.

Further information 

For more detailed information about the REA’s work in this area please see the REA’s Electric Vehicles Member Forum.

For links to key external resources and information on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the UK, see our ‘Key Links‘ page.

For guidance for both local authorities and private residents who are looking to install electric vehicle charging facilities, produced by Cenex and Western Power Distribution, see a 2018 report here.

For procurement guidance for public and private sector organisation residents who are looking to purchase electric vehicle charging infrastructure, see the Cenex ChargePoint Procurement Guidance report here (2018).