EV Energy Taskforce: The Road to Electric Vehicles

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce, chaired by Energy Systems Catapult chief executive Philip New, was part of the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy announced by Government, in anticipation of growth in the use of electric and plug-in vehicles over the coming years, and the challenges and exciting new opportunities for the rapidly transforming UK electricity system.

For the first time, the Taskforce brought together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the changes that will take place as a result of rising electric vehicle use.

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VIDEO: Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce launch event

The EV Energy Challenge

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

The intermittent nature of renewable energy 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’.

The Approach

LowCVP provided secretariat functions for the Taskforce, while Energy Systems Catapult chief executive Philip New chaired the organisation.

Plug-in electric vehicle use has been increasing sharply in the last few years, albeit from a low base; representing over 5% of new car sales. The Road to Zero strategy confirmed the Government’s commitment for all new cars and vans to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040. The vast majority of these vehicles are expected to be fully or partly electrified.

The objective of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce was to put the electric vehicle user at the heart of preparing the electricity system for the mass take up of electric vehicles. It aimed 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.

Driven by the requirement to tackle climate change, the transformation in mobility and energy production creates great opportunities for innovators, holding out the prospect of significant UK exports and growth as well as greater security of energy supply.

The launch members of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce were:

  • Automotive Council
  • Energy Networks Association
  • 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 Outputs

Energising our Electric Vehicle Transition

January 2020

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce (EVET) made 21 key proposals to government and industry – following an unprecedented collaboration including more than 350 organisations – to effectively manage the integration of EV within the energy system as we transition to electric vehicles.

The Taskforce proposals included the importance of smart charging networks, and providing EV charging points to suit consumers’ needs.

It also explored how to reward consumers for reducing their carbon footprint and altering their energy consumption, allowing them to save money and reduce energy tariffs.

Read the Report

Energising our Electric Vehicle Transition

Moving from Proposal to Action

October 2020

At the invitation of Government, EVET moved into the 2nd phase of activity during 2020 to ensure these proposals were put into action, and provided a collaborative strategic review body to develop, action and monitor each proposal and communicate progress on their implementation.

Energy Systems Catapult has been central to analysing those proposals and recommending EVET focus on 10 high priority actions.

Read the Report

Moving from Proposals to Action

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Moving from Proposal to Action - Additional reports

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce have published the outputs of the second phase of work


EV Energy Taskforce: Cyber Security and Smart Charging

Just as data now dominates our daily digital lives, it too is at the heart of our smart charging aspirations and an intrinsic part of achieving the UK’s electric revolution and zero emission targets. It is therefore imperative that data and security standards and protocols are established now, as the market undergoes rapid growth, before it is too late.

This report from the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce explores the issues and uncertainties around charging device interoperability, cyber security, data privacy and grid flexibility and stability; and the interventions and actions urgently required to overcome these challenges.

Clearly no small task, this necessitates a collaborative, iterative approach by all stakeholders to now define and advise Government on the standards and specifications needed to ensure an efficient, equitable and affordable roll-out of smart EV charging infrastructure in the UK.


EV Energy Taskforce: Data Accessibility and Privacy

Our future EV ownership experience will be driven and enhanced by data – both from ourselves and between chargepoint operators and the energy system. And whilst this promises a personalised and seamless user journey that’s better for us, the environment and our wallets, it is dependent upon consumers being willing to share their data – something many are not comfortable with.

This report from the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce recognises the vital importance of data privacy and security and the need to build consumer trust and confidence in our EV charging systems.

By mapping out the EV data flows and digital activity across the EV charging environment, this report provides a gap analysis of outstanding data infrastructure outputs, identifies the key issues we face and provides data solutions for optimising the UK’s energy system to deliver better consumer outcomes and policy decisions.


EV Energy Taskforce: Encouraging Investment in Public EV Charging in the UK

As awareness and excitement for electric vehicles grows, ‘charging anxiety’ has replaced range anxiety as a key barrier to EV adoption. Whilst this is partly down to a lack of consumer understanding and ‘misinformation’, there’s no doubt that further investment into the UK’s public charging infrastructure is required, if we’re to give motorists both the means and confidence to switch to electric and achieve our phase out targets.​

This new in-depth industry-wide study from the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce explores the different business models currently used and expected within the charging market. It provides policy-makers with the information and analysis to make clear, bold decisions to help remove the barriers and offer the solutions and incentives necessary to encourage the sizeable investment required within this rapidly developing sector.


EV Energy Taskforce: Commercial EV Fleet Charging Requirements

Commercial fleets play a pivotal role within the UK economy and could lead our electric vehicle revolution. However, whilst many UK operators have ambitious targets to electrify by 2030, the perceived lack of an adequate charging infrastructure is often cited as a key barrier to the large scale rollout of electrified fleets.​

This Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce report provides valuable insight into industries’ opinion of the current EV charging options and, crucially, their views on future requirements to enable the mass uptake of EVs by fleets. Assessments come from key stakeholders from public and private sector fleet operators, in addition to local government, infrastructure and energy sectors.​

These findings have informed the EV Energy Taskforce modelling to assess our future charging infrastructure.

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