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Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce looks at powering the future of motoring

Mark Moran
11 September 2018

The work of the government’s Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce was discussed in detail at the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit, convened at the request of the Prime Minister in Birmingham on 11 September.

The taskforce been set up by to tackle energy sector opportunities and impacts associated with the rise of electric vehicles. The taskforce brings together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the changes that will take place as a result of rising electric vehicle use. 

Jesse Norman MP, Electric Vehicles Minister, said: “The UK is a world leader in the low emission and electric vehicle industries, and initiatives like the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce keep us at the forefront of this technology revolution.

“Bringing together government, automotive and energy sectors will help to ensure that Electric Vehicles become an integrated part of the UK energy system, and infrastructure upgrades can be planned in an efficient and sustainable way.”

The taskforce was announced as a part of the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy in July. Road to Zero was a response to the anticipated growth in the use of electric and plug-in vehicles over the coming years will create challenges for the UK electricity supply system. 

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce aims to ensure that costs and emissions are as low as possible, and opportunities for vehicles to provide grid services are capitalised upon for the benefit of the system, energy bill payers and electric vehicle owners.

Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce members

  • Automotive Council
  • Energy Systems Catapult
  • Energy UK
  • ITS University of Leeds
  • Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP)
  • National Grid
  • Ofgem
  • Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
  • TechUK
  • UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (UK EVSE)

The taskforce is chaired by Phil New, chief executive of the Energy Systems Catapult. New said: “Ensuring the electricity system captures the benefits from the rapid expansion of electric vehicles is a critical challenge for both the transport and energy sectors. Working with industry, Energy Systems Catapult technical expertise will help ensure the whole energy system – from charging points to how we balance the grid – works to make life straightforward for energy consumers and EV drivers.”

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP )is providing secretariat functions. LowCVP managing director Andy Eastlake said: “The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce is a major initiative as we stand on the brink of dual transformations in the ways we generate and supply electricity and in the energy we use for transport.”

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce has already held a number of meetings and established an agreed work programme and five initial work packages.

The Road to Zero strategy confirmed the Government’s commitment for all new cars and vans to be zero emission vehicles by 2040. The majority of these vehicles are expected to be fully or partly electrified.

The UK’s energy generation system is also changing. In the short term, the rollout of smart meters and electric vehicle charging infrastructure will offer opportunities for the energy sector to work with consumers to level off electricity demand. By 2050, it is anticipated that the UK will be powered by low, or zero, carbon electricity generation and, increasingly, by distributed renewable sources. 

The intermittent nature of renewable generation – providing surpluses at some times of day and deficits at others – creates a need (and a significant business opportunity) for new energy storage solutions. The batteries in electric vehicles (as well as those in ‘second life’) could provide a key missing link in the UK’s future energy supply ‘mix’.

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