Flexible charging can allow at least 60% more EVs to be charged
Ofgem has proposed system reforms on EV plans which will reduce the cost to consumers of meeting the extra demand from electric vehicles as well as connecting them and more renewable generation, battery storage and other new technologies to the grid.
Ofgem intends to work with the industry to overhaul energy system rules and put the reforms in place between 2022 and 2023.
According to Ofgem analysis, if owners use ‘flexible’ charging – where they only top up outside peak demand times on the grid – at least 60% more EVs could be charged up without needing to upgrade network infrastructure. This was compared to ‘inflexible’ charging where EVs are only charged at peak times.
Flexible charging allows EVs to be charged when energy prices are cheapest, for example when wind and solar power are generating lots of electricity or when there is less demand across the system.
Flexible charging also helps to keep energy costs down for all consumers as technology allows stored electricity from EV batteries to be sent back onto the grid when it is needed.
Ofgem’s proposed reforms will give incentives for customers to charge their EVs at the right time. The reforms will free up existing grid capacity to allow new generators, including businesses or other organisations that want to generate their own power on-site, to get connected to the grid more quickly. The reforms would make the electricity system more efficient by giving generators and other users more choice and flexibility on how they connect to the grid.
Jonathan Brearley, executive director, systems and networks, Ofgem, 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.
“The proposals we have announced today will also harness the benefits of electric vehicles and other new technologies to help manage the energy system and keep costs down for all consumers. The way we generate, transport and use electricity – and power our cars – is undergoing a radical transformation in Great Britain. Ofgem will ensure that the energy system is fit for this exciting, cleaner future and at the lowest cost for consumers.”