With the number of electric cars on the roads in the UK rapidly increasing, energy regulator Ofgem has suggested ways that the electricity network could be managed to deal with this extra demand.
If plug-in car drivers routinely charge their cars after work, during peak hours (4-6pm), the extra demand would require energy networks to be upgraded. These upgrades would ultimately be paid for through consumers’ energy bills.
Ofgem said: “If electric vehicle users choose to charge during peak times, under current arrangements they will impose considerable costs, which will be borne by all consumers”. The energy regulator added that consumers who haven’t yet made the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) are unlikely to be happy about the additional cost.
Ofgem has put forward the use of smart charging as a solution to this issue. This would mean that EV owners would be able to plug in whenever was convenient for them, but charging would only start at off-peak times, such as midnight. Cheaper energy tariffs could be introduced for those who charge at certain times. Failure to charge during low demand times could also be financially penalised.
Ofgem said: “Consumers should be rewarded for being flexible with their demand but may pay a premium if their behaviour adds to peak demand”.
For this strategy to work, owners of EVs would need smart meters fitted in their homes.
Ofgem said that the introduction of smart charging would mean that 60% more EVs could use the existing energy network before it would need to be upgraded. A new law is already in place that requires new electric charge points to be capable of smart charging.
Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s executive director, systems and networks, said: “Ofgem is working with the government to support the electric vehicle revolution in Britain, which can bring big benefits to consumers. Our reforms will help more users charge their electric vehicles and save them money.”
See Ofgem’s report here.
More automotive news
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released a report today revealing that the UK used car market had a strong second quarter, with more than 2 million cars sold. The market was down just 0.4% on last year's figures, leaving sales for the...
The current Honda Civic is about to receive its first refresh since debuting in 2015. The sedan and coupe will receive a new Sport trim and standard Honda sensing, along with an updated design. At a glance, the refreshed Civic doesn’t appear too dissimilar...
Choosing a car is a decision nobody takes lightly. In some ways, the car we choose is much a reflection of our personality. And as we spend more time in our car, we tend to become more attached. iSeeCars.com, an automotive search engine, recently ran a...