Introducing common charging point standards, allowing ‘roaming’ between charging networks and a major campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles are among the key proposals from a government-backed taskforce on EVs.
A total of 21 proposals, grouped into five themes and designed to help drive EV take-up in the UK, are contained in a report published today by the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce. Proposals also include making all private EV charge points ’smart’ by default, allowing vehicle-to-grid charging and reducing pressure on UK power networks.
The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce comprises more than 350 members, including car firms, energy companies and motoring bodies. It was established by the government in 2018 and tasked with devising proposals to promote the uptake of EVs in order to meet the UK’s goal of phasing out sales of non-electrified new cars by 2040, and also of reaching net zero carbon emissions. Some government advisors have called for that ban to be brought forward to 2030.
Taaskforce chairman Philip New said: “Ensuring that the mass roll-out of electric vehicles delivers benefits for both drivers and the wider energy system requires actions from industry, government and the regulator.”
A key focus of the report is promoting the potential benefits for drivers of switching to electric vehicles and it calls for a major campaign to promote smart charging - in which energy in vehicles can be used to balance demand on energy networks. The taskforce estimates switching to an EV and using smart charging could save drivers up to £70 per month compared with running a combustion-engined car.
The report has also called for the government to fund the establishment of an independent advice service on EVs and smart chargers by 2022.
To boost smart charging take-up among EV owners, the report calls for all private charging points installed by 2021 to charge smartly by default and for steps to be taken to ensure energy companies sufficiently reward EV owners for doing so.
Another key focus of the report is increasing ‘interoperability’ of public charging points, in order to make it easier for EV owners to charge away from home.
By 2025, the taskforce wants the government and industry to agree on a common set of charging standards – for example, standardised charging ports – and propose that they be adopted on an international level.
It has also proposed that EV charging firms enable ‘roaming services’ by 2021, allowing EV drivers to use any public charge point through a single payment method.
In addition, the report calls for the government, as a matter of urgency, to introduce better forward planning to co-ordinate the growth of EV chargers and network infrastructure at national and local level.
There are also proposals to safeguard consumer data and for charging firms to make all charge point data openly available to drivers.
The taskforce report was presented at an event in London attended by George Freeman, the minister for the future of transport.