The UK Government has provided an investment of £20 million to help develop electric vehicles (EVs) that are capable of returning power to the national grid.
The new investment, announced earlier this month on 8th July, will support vehicle-to-grid projects in order to help establish a smarter energy system while also increasing the numbers of electric cars on UK roads. The projects will investigate technology that enables plug-in electric vehicles to not only draw power from the grid when charging but also return it to people’s homes or back to the grid.
There are currently 100,000 electric cars in the UK supported by 11,000 charge points and the numbers are growing. As the growth continues they will become a resource for a smart electricity grid. This in turn will bring benefits for drivers while also creating a more flexible and efficient energy system.
“The government is a world leader in tackling climate change and we are committed to investing in clean energy innovation to support the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy” said Claire Perry, UK Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry. “Vehicle to grid technology provides another opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world our leading expertise in research and development which is at the heart of our ambitious Industrial Strategy. This competition could unlock significant economic benefits for the UK - helping to create jobs in this burgeoning sector while helping to reduce our emissions”.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman added that electric vehicles are already helping thousands of motorists cut their fuel costs, and now there is an extra financial incentive for motorists to go green. The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on UK roads is at record levels, with the latest figures showing that there are over 100,000 plug-in cars and vans registered. The Government wants to see nearly all cars and vans on the roads becoming zero emission by 2050.
The new funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) underlines the Government’s interest in supporting innovative technology development. The Government has already invested £600 million in financial support for the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles and expects that to double by 2021.
The latest £20 million investment is intended to support feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development and demonstrator trials. The competition process will start in the next few weeks with the aim of winners being notified in December and projects starting in early 2018.