Charging & range

How electric cars impact the grid

Your car and the electricity grid

As the popularity of electric cars and vans grows, there’s no doubt that we’ll require more electricity to power them. However, by encouraging drivers to charge during off-peak periods where possible, we can make the most of the significant extra capacity that’s already available.

Introducing ‘smart charging’ technology, which intelligently adapts to the needs of the grid, is one way of doing this. The Government is putting measures in place to ensure that in the future, all charge points sold or installed in the UK will be ‘smart enabled’. The National Grid’s ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ (13 July 2017) predicts that this could reduce the additional peak demand from electric vehicle by 6GW in 2050. Please click here for more details.

The ‘Smart Flexible Energy System’ report July 2017 (jointly published BEIS and Ofgem) sets out Government’s plan to deliver a smarter, more flexible energy system by removing the barriers to smart and battery technologies – which could reduce the costs for consumers by up to £40bn in the decades to come. Electric vehicles are very much part of this solution, with the potential of smart charging and vehicle to grid technology. You can find out more here.

There are also several trials taking place to explore these issues and the different ways of controlling electric vehicle charging, such as ‘Low Carbon London’, which is running both electric vehicle and smart meter trials. Others, such as ‘Electric Nation’, are developing an electric vehicle charge control system to balance out the charging cycles of these vehicles at times of network stress, which is being tested by ‘creating’ clusters of electric car users within neighbourhoods. There are more details here.

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