The Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration (CVEI) project will investigate the changes to market structures and energy supply systems required to encourage wider adoption of plug-in vehicles and their integration into the energy system. TRL will be supported by Element Energy, Baringa and Cenex. Other members of the team will include EDF Energy, Route Monkey, EV Connect and the University of Aberdeen.
The project will also seek to understand consumer responses to a wider introduction of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the UK. It will be carried out in two stages, the first of which will focus on detailed analysis and design of market, policy and regulatory frameworks, business models and customer offerings, electricity and liquid fuel infrastructure and technologies throughout the energy system as well as at charging and refueling points and on-vehicle.
The second stage will deliver a trial involving over 300 mass market users to validate the impact of solutions identified in stage one and understand consumer and fleet responses to the vehicles and to managed charging schemes.
Expected project outcomes include relevant technology developments for vehicles and energy infrastructure, information about market structures and business propositions required to support a transition to and operation of a cost-effective UK energy system for low carbon vehicles and understanding of how consumers might respond to different offerings in relation to vehicles, their fuelling/charging and demand management mechanisms. The second stage will also seek to validate the systems and their impacts through a trial with mass market users.
“Light vehicles account for up to 20 percent of UK CO2 emissions and are a major contributor to congestion and urban air quality so it is important that emissions from the light vehicle sector are reduced if the UK’s 2050 emissions targets are to be met cost effectively” said ETI project manager Nick Eraut. “This unique, strategic project will help us to understand the optimum future systems which will maximise the benefits of integrating low carbon vehicles into the UK’s energy system. As well as looking at the system and market structure changes we also want to know how people would respond to a greater adoption of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, and engagement with demand management schemes that would see them move from a niche choice of vehicle to the mainstream.”
TRL project manager Jenny Stannard added that the UK is already starting to see a sizeable shift in acceptance of electric vehicles. However, as more vehicles become electrified, the pressure this extra demand will put on UK energy networks needs to be understood, as well as the potential opportunities this process will bring. More understanding is needed with regard to how customers will respond and engage with these vehicles in order to develop an appropriate energy system that meets the needs of all parties.