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UK Government takes action on EV Smart Charging

The Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan is published today (17 January) by the Government and Ofgem, setting out steps being taken to maximise the potential of smart charging and make it the preferred method of long duration charging by 2025.

The Government says that smart charging delivers significant benefits for consumers, including allowing motorists to charge electric vehicles when electricity is cheaper or cleaner, allowing consumers to power their home using electricity stored in their electric vehicle, or even sell it back to the grid for profit.

Depending on tariff, mileage, and charging patterns, smarter charging could save an average driver up to £200 a year, and a high mileage driver up to £1,000, by delaying the power demand from electric vehicles at peak periods, such as 4pm to 9pm on winter evenings. By helping to efficiently balance when energy is generated and used on the electricity grid, the technology could contribute to reducing electricity prices for consumers across the network.

According to the Government, delivering the steps set out in the Action Plan will help make smart charging the norm at home and work by 2025. It is the ambition that in the late 2020s smart charging will also become more commonplace at long-duration public charging, such as on-street or at transport hubs.

Green Car Guide has collated everything you need to know about smart charging from the My Electric Avenue and Electric Nation projects – which started 10 years ago – see below

In December 2021, the Government introduced legislation to mandate that most private charge points in domestic and workplace settings must include smart functionality and meet minimum device-level requirements, such as on cybersecurity.

As of July 2022, all new charge points sold for private use had to have smart functionality, and the UK is consulting on a new policy and technical framework to unlock the benefits of domestic smart, flexible energy, and enhance its cybersecurity. 

The Government says it will also improve publicly available information and evidence on smart charging, support the implementation of robust consumer service standards and ensure private charge points are secure and compatible with the latest energy innovations.

The roll out of intelligent and automated smart charging will result in reduced electricity system costs, which the Government says will lower prices for everyone, motorists will pay less for charging their electric vehicle, and the electricity powering electric vehicles will be cleaner and greener.

The Government is also looking at how to make data from all public charge points openly available so that consumers can easily find charge points suitable for their needs.

The Government has today also announced £16m funding from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) for technologies that harness the potential of smart charging, including a smart street lamppost which will enable motorists to access smart charging on the move, and projects that will enable domestic appliances, from heat pumps to electric vehicle charge points and batteries, to integrate into a smarter energy system.

Smart charging was trialled by the ‘My Electric Avenue’ project which ran from 2012 to 2015 – read the My Electric Avenue project findings here:

My Electric Avenue’s successor project, Electric Nation, ran from 2016 to 2019 – read about the Electric Nation findings here:

Electric Nation subsequently ran a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) project from 2019 to 2022 – read about the Electric Nation V2G findings here: