ECA welcomes the government’s EV Smart Charging Action Plan, and its commitment to develop Britain’s smart electricity network. With only seven years until the sale of new petrol and diesel cars end, swift action is vital. ECA has advocated for a UK-wide integrated EV network for the last two years.
The aim of OFGEM’s plan is to make public EV charging easy, affordable and sustainable for consumers. It offers a vision – EVs as ‘batteries on wheels’ – transferring electricity back to the grid at peak demand.
As more of our buildings are adapted to the energy prosumer model – where energy is given back to, as well as taken from, the grid – renewable generation, storage, load shifting, and time-of-use tariffs will all come into play. Electrical contractors will be instrumental in installing and maintaining these new systems.
ECA Energy and Emerging Technologies Solutions Advisor, Luke Osborne says, “Developing a smart and flexible electrical grid is essential to reach our net zero commitments. Smart EV charging is a major component of this.
“Right now, there are an average of 30 electric vehicles to every charge point in the UK. We must act fast to reduce this disparity and make it as easy to charge an EV as it is to refill other types of vehicles.
“The government’s goal of installing 300,000 EV charge points by 2030 is ambitious. But, with a joined-up strategy for the country, which includes investment in infrastructure and talent, it can be attained.”
Vehicle-to-grid trials around the world have been widely successful. As the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard extends this capability to the UK, the bi-directional flow of energy to and from EVs is expected to become commonplace.
As technologies and systems continue to develop, it is important for contractors to obtain proper training with these new systems, and the skills to work with a new kind of electrical grid. ECA offers specialist guidance to its members in this area and is at the vanguard of the transition to net zero infrastructure.