Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce

Professor Jillian Anable from the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds will be part of the steering group for the Government’s new Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce.

The taskforce was announced as a part of the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy in July 2018 and was set up to tackle energy sector opportunities and impacts associated with the rise of electric vehicles.

The steering group consists of participants from government and the energy and automotive sectors. The Institute for Transport Studies is the only academic member of the taskforce in recognition of its important research on transport and energy demand and specifically on how to accelerate the transition to electric mobility.

Professor Anable was invited to the steering group in recognition of her research on engaging consumers on the uptake of electric vehicles and new charging and payment regimes.

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.

Professor Anable will assist in the formation of recommendations to the government on how to ensure the whole UK energy system, including consumers, can be ready for this mass uptake of electric vehicles.

Specifically, she will oversee the work of one of the five Working Groups entitled ‘Engaging EV users in smart charging and energy services.’

This will include working with a wider group of participants from consumer organisations to answer questions such as: how to improve the end-user experience for EV users and how to engage consumers in ‘smart charging’ whilst consumer rights and data are protected and secure?

Professor Anable will draw upon the Institute for Transport Studies’ key roles in new research centres such as the Centre for Research on Energy Demand and the UK Energy Research Centre as well as drawing on the Institute’s extensive network of industry, public and third sector bodies with important experience and knowledge to bring together for this task.

The taskforce is 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.

Plug-in electric vehicle use has been increasing sharply in the last few years, albeit from a low base; representing over 4% of new car sales for the latest month for which figures are available (Aug 2018)1 . 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 taskforce was set up by Jesse Norman MP and chaired by Phil New, Chief Executive of the Energy Systems Catapult. The LowCVP will facilitate the taskforce and provide secretariat functions.

Jesse Norman MP, Electric Vehicles Minister, said: “The UK is a world leader in the low emission and electric vehicle industries, and initiatives like the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce keep us at the forefront of this technology revolution.

“Bringing together government, automotive and energy sectors will help to ensure that Electric Vehicles become an integrated part of the UK energy system, and infrastructure upgrades can be planned in an efficient and sustainable way.”

LowCVP’s Managing Director, Andy Eastlake said: “The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce is a major initiative as we stand on the brink of dual transformations in the ways we generate and supply electricity and in the energy we use for transport.

“The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership will bring its considerable experience and expertise in facilitating multistakeholder agreements to help tackle this issue – one of the biggest challenges and greatest industrial opportunities of our time.”

Phil New, Chief Executive of the Energy Systems Catapult and Chair of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce said: “Ensuring the electricity system captures the benefits from the rapid expansion of electric vehicles is a critical challenge for both the transport and energy sectors.

“Working with industry, Energy Systems Catapult technical expertise will help ensure the whole energy system – from charging points to how we balance the grid – works to make life straightforward for energy consumers and EV drivers.”

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce has already held a number of meetings and has established an agreed work programme and five initial work packages. It was discussed in further detail at the first ever the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit, September 2018.

The launch members of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce in addition to the Institute for Transport Studies at Leeds are: Automotive Council, BEAMA, Energy Systems Catapult, Energy UK, 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)

Further information

For more information about the Electric Vehicle Task Force including its terms of reference visit: www.lowcvp.org.uk/evet

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