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How EV charging can Get Smart – ADE backed Energy UK report

15 April 2021

A new report, published today by Energy UK, assesses the future options for enabling Electric Vehicle (EV) owners to benefit from smart charging.

Smart charging will play a vital part in the roll out of EVs with the Government looking to end the sale of diesel and petrol-powered vehicles by 2030. Smart charging will mean vehicles topping up their batteries automatically at times of lower demand - both reducing the costs for drivers and saving otherwise huge system costs by spreading the overall demand for electricity.           

The Future of Electric Vehicle Smart Charging report, which is backed by the ADE, BEAMA, the REA and techUK, assesses a variety of smart charging at home options and the important benefits and protections they will need to provide consumers and the energy system.

While currently smart charging is mostly carried out by Chargepoint Operators (CPO), the Government has indicated its preference for using the smart meter network in future. However today’s report, having researched the views of organisations across the energy, automotive and COP industries, relays a clear opposition to mandating the use of the smart meter network – while recognising that smart metering infrastructure will act as a ‘building block’ for many smart energy offerings. 

The report also provides recommendations to help Government speed up progress of this important work by developing policy and providing clarity so industry can deliver.

One particular area where this is sought is in finding alternatives for using the smart meter network. While the Government has asked industry to provide credible alternatives, the industry needs to know the requirements in greater detail, especially around cyber security, in order to design innovative new products.  Resolving such complex technical considerations will underpin the shared aim of Government and industry of providing a seamless and user-friendly experience for drivers, which will in turn support the nationwide adoption of EVs.

Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

“Smart charging for EVs is an essential solution and we must get this right to meet our net zero ambitions and decarbonise the transport sector. Without it we will have to invest far more in new generation assets and networks. It’s clear from our research that there are a range of smart charging at home options that are secure, that unlock innovation and that deliver for customers. Industries in the EV market need Government to listen to their concerns and recommendations, and to clearly lay out their smart charging system requirements so we can build and deliver it.”

ENDS

NOTES

  • Link to The Future of Electric Vehicle Smart Charging report
  • Energy UK commissioned Engage Consulting to consider whether domestic EV charging solutions that do not or will not use control and command signals through the existing Smart meter infrastructure, are likely to deliver equivalent outcomes with regard to cyber security and device interoperability. And in doing so, meeting the four government objectives: grid protection, consumer protection, consumer uptake and innovation.
  • As part of the Government’s ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. However, hybrids that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe will be allowed until 2035.
  • The electrification of transport will place increased demand on the energy system. Smart charging will be essential to managing this and maximizing the benefits of electric vehicles for customers, industry and the UK. Smart charging can shift EV charging to off peak periods as part of demand control to help balance the energy system.
  • Smart charging EVs at home is mainly conducted via the charge point operator (CPO). While we do not see this changing in the short term, viable future options could include a hybrid system or the use of the EV itself as the hub for smart charging.
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