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Seamless recharging and incentivised V2G essential to EV future, finds Taskforce

New standards on roaming charging services and incentives on Vehicle-to-Grid adoption will be critical to ensuring electric vehicles are adopted en masse.

The EV Energy Taskforce report calls for roaming services to be in place by 2021 and for financial incentives for vehicle-to-grid uptake

That’s the finding of a new report from the government-backed EV Energy Taskforce, which sets out 21 proposals to help ensure an effective transition to electric vehicles.

Established in September 2018 at the UK’s Zero Emission Vehicle Summit, the Taskforce brings together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the changes that will take place as a result of rising electric vehicle use – a current government ambition will see all conventional new petrol and diesel car sales phased out by 2040 although there have been increasing calls for this target to be bought forwards and the Conservatives’ manifesto said they’d consult on this.

Featuring input from its 350-plus members – including National Grid, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Ofgem and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) – the Taskforce’s inaugural report highlights that government, industry and regulators must work closer together to drive mass electric vehicle adoption, including limiting the requirement to build costly new infrastructure to meet growing electricity demand.

Although the cost of this has been previously estimated at tens of billions of pounds, the Taskforce says the cost could be significantly reduced by providing financial incentives for vehicle-to-grid technology adoption and a campaign to highlight the benefits of smart charging – as well as drivers’ adoption of EVs overall.

Interoperability is another area of focus and according to the government advisory body, the industry should develop roaming services to enable seamless EV charging between different charge points by 2021; last year saw the Department for Transport say it expects industry to develop a roaming solution across the charging network, allowing electric vehicle drivers to use any public charge point through a single contactless payment method without needing multiple smartphone apps or membership cards.

The EV Energy Taskforce also calls for common charging standards and sets out the need to ensure correct use of consumers’ personal data and that smart EV charging is secure.

Philip New, chief executive, Energy Systems Catapult and the EV Energy Taskforce chair, said: “Ensuring that the mass roll-out of electric vehicles delivers benefits for both drivers and the wider energy system requires actions from industry, Government and the regulator, including creating the new markets and policies that can unlock EVs’ huge potential.”

The Renewable Energy Association, which provided input for the report, welcomed the findings but said there were missed opportunities.

Daniel Brown, policy manager and EV lead at the REA, said: “This Taskforce has importantly highlighted the key roles of interoperability and common industry standards, of consumer protection, and of smart charging in the future energy and transport systems which the REA has been centrally campaigning on. Additionally, it has also rightly given direction on anticipatory electricity network investment, weighed in on data sharing between parties, and stated an inclination for managing smart charging events in a market-led manner.”

However, he added: “The Taskforce could have been more ambitious, for example, in language around mandating ‘roaming’ for public charging infrastructure. More clear direction on how networks and energy suppliers relate to each other to manage smart charging, and the extent to which Government should be intervening and helping to deploy infrastructure in times of market failure, would also have been valuable.

“We now ask the Government urgently reviews this report and takes action, particularly around the recommendations relating to smart charging, standards development, and more coordinated planning. The EV charging and renewable energy sectors, for our part, are ready to collaborate to deliver on our shared Net Zero ambition.”

To access the EV Energy Taskforce report, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.