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Smart charging innovation key to managing power impacts of EV uptake - report

Wed 24 January 2018 | Back to news list

New research says that the UK's energy system will be able to cope with extra electricity demand from millions of electric vehicles providing effective smart charging innovations, some of which are now being trialled, are introduced. Aurora Energy Research says the number of EVs on Britain's road will rise from around 120,000 today to 10 million by 2035.

“You need to have the technology in place and suppliers offering tariffs and behavioural change. There is also a role for government,” said Richard Howarth, lead author on the Aurora Energy report. Smart charging will be the key to integrating electric vehicles (EVs) on to the power system, and will improve the economics of renewable power projects.

In the report, ‘The E-mobility revolution: impacts on the GB power system and new utility business models’, the energy market modelling and analytics firm describes advances in EV technology as a “revolution” for the automotive industry, “as it moves towards a connected, autonomous, electric and shared vehicle future”.

The study analyses the impacts of so many EVs on the power system, and the benefits to consumers and the wider industry of a shift to smart charging. Ten million EVs on the road would increase overall power demand in the UK by 19TWh per year, which equates to 6 per cent of current power demand.

It says smart charging reduces the impact of EVs on the power system, minimising the impact on peak demand, and reducing the requirement to build additional generation capacity. Aurora’s research also highlights that as smart charging boosts off peak power demand, it can also improve the economics of wind power generation, increasing profitability by around 2 per cent.

The benefits for EV owners are potentially significant, reducing charging costs by around £170 per electric car per year.

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