Electric Vehicles

Find out the latest statistics, developments and arguments around a key plank of the drive towards net-zero emissions.

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Western Power Distribution (WPD) has launched a new research project to explore the feasibility of providing “on-the-go” wireless electric vehicle charging in the UK. The study, conducted in partnership with Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Toyota and Cenex, will assess the viability of installing inductive charging technology under road surfaces to supply power to vehicles whilst they are in motion.
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Gridserve has opened the first of 100 “electric forecourts” the company plans to build over next five years at Braintree in Essex. The station has the capacity to charge 36 electric vehicles at the same time at rates of up to 350kW.
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UK Power Networks has asked small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to express their future transport needs as it seeks to develop a strategy to assist them in making the switch to electric vehicles. The distribution network operator said it is keen to ensure that SMEs, which unlike larger firms may lack the time, resources or information to make the transition, are not left behind in getting the charging infrastructure they require.
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Conor Maher-McWilliams, head of flexibility at Ovo’s smart technology arm Kaluza, discusses the company’s direct-to-car smart charging trial with Bosch, why some networks are easier to deal with than others, and how it is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand flexibility in heating.  
Analysis

Latest in Electric Vehicles

Octopus Energy has revealed it has started offering customers working from home the use of a battery to power their wifi during smart meter installations. The large retailer, which recently surpassed 2 million customers, said it has seen a number of customers cancel their installation appointments as they did not want their wifi to be switched off during the process.
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The energy sector must learn lessons from the smart meter rollout when implementing technical standards for future smart home energy technologies, industry observers have warned. A recent roundtable hosted by DevicePilot, a service monitoring platform for connected devices, discussed the future of the home energy market, which innovations are set to have the biggest impact and what effect this will have on the UK’s net zero goals. Several attendees reflected on how the smart meter rollout has panned out and offered their thoughts on what can be learned as homes adopt smart technologies.
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The chair of the customer engagement group for Western Power Distribution’s RIIO ED2 business plan has written to its chief executive, Phil Swift, to urge the company to be “more radical or ambitious” after the distribution network operator published an early draft last month. Duncan McCombie welcomed its “open and transparent approach” and “radical candour” but said most of its commitments only represent “incremental change from those currently being delivered in ED1.”
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Net zero is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the energy system. This high-level report, in association with Microsoft and Accenture, explores how digital technology and partnership working can help the sector accelerate and scale up to deliver the transition affordably.
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British Gas has placed what it claims is the UK’s largest commercial order of electric vehicles (EVs) and has brought forward the date for electrifying its fleet. Ahead of its preliminary financial results revealed it has ordered 2,000 new all-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans and will now aim to have a fully electric fleet by 2025, five years earlier than previously planned.
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Joachim Brandt, head of electric and autonomous vehicles at Gemserv, calls for Ofgem to lead the way in developing a coherent strategy and strengthened governance regime for electric vehicles.
Opinion
The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
It may be “unwise” to rely on consumers buying electric vehicles (EVs) to decarbonise transport, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has warned. The committee has also called on the government to front-load public investment in green measures that will help to counter rising unemployment.
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Octopus Energy and NatWest Group have launched an electric vehicle (EV) charging bundle which will allow the bank’s customers to purchase chargers at discounted rates. The joint offering, which the companies claim is the first of its kind, includes the entire stack of infrastructure, technology and software needed to switch to EVs as well as a comprehensive assessment of each customer’s needs.
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The director of the Electricity System Operator talks to Utility Week as part of our Countdown to COP campaign. He stresses that the energy system alone cannot deliver decarbonisation and that the industry must bring consumers along. He also talks about the "clear, urgent, no regrets actions" that can remove barriers to deploying decarbonised heat solutions at scale.
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