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Energy sector backs electric vehicle drive

A new report from Energy UK has today highlighted how the whole country can benefit from the move to electric vehicles (EVs) with a call to accelerate the infrastructure and support which will allow the roll out to go further and faster. 
With the government planning to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, the Electric Vehicle Revolution report says that the UK must now speed up its progress to a future where cleaner and more efficient transport can transform air quality, boost manufacturing and even contribute to meeting energy demand. EVs can point the way to a future where greater flexibility and new technology transforms the way consumers use energy.
With over 105,000 EVs now on the UK roads in August 2017, approximately 600 million UK vehicle miles per year are now powered by electricity. EVs are cleaner than ever before – now emitting around half of the C02 of the cleanest non-electric cars.    
The report - launched at an Energy UK event this morning featuring speakers from E.ON, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and EV charging point provider Pod Point - is the first of a series from Energy UK on electric vehicles. It sets out findings from Energy UK’s Electric Vehicle Working Group on how greater collaboration across the energy, automotive and technology industries are essential to the rapid expansion of EVs and makes recommendations on areas where support and direction from government are particularly required:
  • A regulatory framework which provides certainty for future investment and supports and incentivises the development of charging infrastructure through the forthcoming Electric and Autonomous Vehicle Bill and Clean Growth Plan. 
  • More support for innovation and the ability to share usage data to assist with future infrastructure planning. 
  • Developing smart charging arrangements to manage demand through, for example, time of use tariffs.
  • Backing solutions which ensure benefits, ease of use and freedom for EV owners.     
Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade said: 
“Electric vehicles are the perfect catalyst for a smarter grid that cuts carbon emissions and empowers consumers. Car owners could benefit financially from EVs’ ability to store and supply power back to the grid which shows how the way we all use energy in the future could be transformed.   
“However, the full integration of electric vehicles into UK’s energy infrastructure is a challenge that demands a ‘whole system’ approach. It requires ambition, close cooperation across several sectors and a vision that is based around empowering and benefitting the consumer. 
“Issues like managing demand will need to be tackled but the prize is substantial – everything from the air that we breathe through to the manufacturing and tech sector’s stand to benefit.      
“We are ready to lead the sector but we need government to support this with a clear and sustained vision, which will drive the investment, changes and services required to bring about a revolution.”  
The Energy UK Electric Vehicle Group, which includes representatives from British Gas, Ecotricity, E.ON, EDF Energy, ESB, Haven Power, National Grid, Npower, OVO Energy, Scottish Power and SSE, will be producing a series of reports over the next year to highlight how electric vehicles can be successfully integrated into the energy system. Its next report to be published in late 2017 will look in more detail at the design characteristics of smarter, more integrated power grids and how to mitigate the demand risk caused by electric vehicles. 
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