The LowCVP and EA Technology have announced the launch of a new EV Network (EVN) Group which will bring together key stakeholders from the low carbon automotive and electricity supply sectors with the aim of ensuring that rapid electric vehicle uptake is not constrained by its impacts on the UK’s power grid.
Launched at today’s Low Carbon Networks & Innovation (LCNI) Conference, the EVN Group has been set up to enable a rapid but smooth transition to a low carbon vehicle future.
The initiative aims to drive forward solutions that will allow the rapid uptake of electric vehicles while minimising impacts and costs for the UK electricity distribution network. It will act as a focal point to address both technological and infrastructural needs, sharing research and recommending the optimal measures to increase the number of UK electric miles by 2030. The Group will also introduce consumer voices, facilitating dialogue between key stakeholders and acting as a conduit for information to and from the UK Government.
The EV Network Group has been formed following discussions with representatives of the wide range of communities engaged in the electric vehicle transition including: the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV); the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders; Ofgem; the Energy Networks Association; the AA; Citizens Advice; Energy UK; Innovate UK; BEAMA; Transport for London; the Institution of Engineering and Technology; the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and wider automotive and utilities sector organisations.
The EV Network Group was founded jointly by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and EA Technology. It is intended to build on the results and learning from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ My Electric Avenue project, which EA Technology managed and delivered. That project identified the need for enhanced cross-sector collaboration to facilitate the optimal growth of electric vehicles while minimising impacts our electricity networks.
A key role for the Group will be to ensure the effective sharing and dissemination of activity currently under way, investigating and communicating how transport and energy systems can develop together in the most harmonious way possible.
The Group will be co-chaired by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and EA Technology with the Partnership providing core secretariat functions. Stakeholders will be invited to engage through a structured communications platform.
The LowCVP’s Managing Director, Andy Eastlake, said: “Electrification of a wide range of transport applications is one of the clearest opportunities in terms of delivering carbon and other emissions reductions. Making sure low carbon electricity is generated, distributed and delivered into these highly efficient vehicles where and when they need it represents both a challenge and an opportunity, and one in which we believe that the UK can lead the way.”
Dan Hollingworth, Head of Delivery at EA Technology commented: “The EV Network Group is happening at the right time for UK plc. There is great appetite from the distribution network operators and related utilities, as well as customer representatives, Government and of course EV charging point and automotive sector and related supply chains, to collaborate on this new initiative. We all have customers’ best interests at heart and will work to pave the way for a smart low carbon transport future.”
Other supporting partner comments about the EV Network Group:
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT): “SMMT welcomes the formation of the EV Network Group. Take up of ultra low emission cars is growing rapidly but we need infrastructure to keep pace nationally. The forum must contribute to the elimination of any electricity supply-side constraints which could limit the potential for widespread adoption of plug-in vehicles.”
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK: “Electric vehicles will play a major role in the decarbonisation of the transport sector and we expect EVs to be used to offer up flexibility services as part of a smart energy system. They will create opportunities for new business models to be created and for customers to be able to play a more active role in our energy sector. Energy UK welcomes the opportunity to be involved at the beginning of this exciting cross-industry collaboration.”
Mark Thompson, Innovation Lead at Innovate UK: “The electrification of transport has to be one of the most exciting and fast moving parts of the whole energy sector with manufacturers and the public alike really embracing the value that plug-in vehicles bring. The convergence of transport with the energy system, along with the human and lifestyle characteristics of this area present a rich cocktail of innovation and business opportunities, where creative business models and joined up thinking – while the sector is still in its early stages – will reap huge benefits downstream for all parties including plug-in users.”
Stewart Reid, Head of Asset Management & Innovation at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks: “We welcome the creation of the EV Network Group and we look forward to collaborating with its members on making the most of the opportunities and addressing any challenges electric vehicles present to the country.”
Liam Lidstone, Strategy Manager, Energy Technologies Institute: “There looks to be a big opportunity for electric vehicles in the UK. But their success will be determined by meeting the needs of mainstream consumers and the supply of vehicles and energy that enhances driving experiences. The creation of the EV Network helps to bring together a collective will and voice to advance the electric vehicle sector and begin to turn this opportunity into a reality.”
Alex Goodwin, Manager – Emerging Markets, BEAMA: “Britain is a world leader in the adoption of EVs and has seen sustained and confident growth in recent times. Ensuring that the market is not inhibited by constraints on the electricity network is vital to gaining the energy security and environmental benefits EVs can deliver. BEAMA welcomes the launch of the EV Network group and believe it will play a key role in ensuring the market can develop into the mainstream.”