As electric vehicles continue to surge to record levels, a major collaboration between key players in energy and transport has reported that the shift will transform the energy system for the better.
According to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), registrations for battery electric cars boomed by a record 144 per cent in 2019, despite overall new car registrations falling to their lowest level in six years. In comparison, diesel registrations slumped by more than a fifth.
Of the 90 new vehicle models set to hit the market in 2020, more than a third are zero emission or plug-in hybrids.
The news comes as the Electric Vehicle (EV) Energy Taskforce, a government advisory made up of over 350 organisations in the energy, infrastructure and transport sectors, reported that the introduction of smart charging infrastructure will be a “boon” to both drivers and the UK’s energy system.
The infrastructure spending required to prepare the UK’s electricity network for the transition is likely to run into tens of billions of pounds, the Taskforce said, but coordinating the introduction of a smart charging infrastructure will enable operators to balance demand and supply on the grid.
‘Zero’ motoring costs
EV drivers willing to charge their vehicles during periods of low electricity demand or when surplus renewable energy is being generated will benefit from much lower fuel costs. Under certain circumstances, smart charging could enable a typical motorist to enjoy very low - or even zero - motoring energy costs, potentially saving £70 a month or more.
This transition is already taking place. After particularly windy weather in December, a surge in wind power left the grid with a supply surplus. For the first time, EV drivers with a smart charger who were signed up to Octopus Energy’s agile time-of-use tariff were paid to charge their vehicles to use up the excess electricity on the grid.
‘Clever tech makes it easy’
"With the emergence of brilliant electric cars, the revolution on our roads is happening quicker than most people can imagine,” explained Fiona Howarth, chief executive of Octopus Electric Vehicles.
“This will create a huge distributed battery sitting outside our homes - that can help us balance the grid as we move to a green economy. As we do this, it is critical that we put the customer in control with smart energy tariffs that reward drivers for charging at off-peak times - and clever tech to make it easy.”
Posted under General Interest, Carbon Reduction and Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy on 22 January 2020