The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce, chaired by Energy Systems Catapult chief executive Phil New, is 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.
The Taskforce will, for the first time, bring together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the changes that will take place as a result of rising electric vehicle use.
LowCVP will provide secretariat functions for the Taskforce, while Phil New will chair 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.
Meanwhile, the UK’s energy generation system is also rapidly 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, 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’.
The objective of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce is to put engaging the electric vehicle user at the heart of preparing the electricity system for the mass take up of electric vehicles. It 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.
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 are:
- Automotive Council
- Energy Systems Catapult
- Energy UK
- ITS University of Leeds
- Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP)
- National Grid
- Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)
- Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
- UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (UK EVSE)
The Taskforce is hosting a seminar on Monday 22 October in London to inform interested parties from the wider stakeholder community about the work being carried out.
For more information about the PM’s ZEV Summit: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/zero-emissions-vehicle-summit