Author: Rishin Patel
The 2018 road to zero strategy confirmed that all vehicles sold in the UK by 2040 must produce zero carbon emissions; a decision which aims to enable the UK to meet a broader commitment to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The electric vehicle smart charging consultation released in July 2019 aims to introduce the regulatory changes needed for an electric network that services this future demand created by electric vehicles.
As early as May, the National Grid reported that it went for more than 2 weeks without using coal-fuelled electricity. However, the challenge facing the UK is how to best utilise the electricity produced by renewable energy sources. Without smart charging, electric vehicle charging will likely to happen between 5pm to 8pm; a result which would require significant investment to not only improve the current infrastructure to transport the increased demand of electricity but also means that such cost will inevitably be borne by consumers.
With smart charging, the current charging infrastructure will be optimised by creating and distributing the available power in a more efficient and flexible manner outside the peak period. The generation of electricity off-peak is usually cheaper and cleaner; a benefit for all parties concerned. The proposed regulatory changes are as follows:
- require all new homes with a car parking space to have an electric vehicle charging point:
- set minimum requirements for EV charging infrastructure in new non-residential buildings with more than 10 car parking spaces and existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 car parking spaces; and
- require that private charge points comply with the British Standards Institution’s standards.
These proposals highlight obvious issues such as homeowners’ inability to charge vehicles at their home. Currently, there are around 150,000 chargepoints installed in the UK. Therefore, engagement on a corporate level to accommodate the increasing sales in electric vehicles is fundamental for the success of smart charging. In the longer-term, more opportunities will present themselves to businesses and consumers alike. The growth of Vehicle to Grid, Vehicle to Business and Vehicle to Consumer electricity could provide additional revenue streams.
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