Stronger incentives and new markets will be required to unlock potentially gigawatts of electric vehicle flexibility, according to a government-appointed taskforce.
The call was among a number of recommendations in the EV Taskforce’s report, launched Tuesday.
Proposals include making all private chargers ‘smart’ by default by next year, opening new flexibility markets by 2023 and for chargepoint operators to have defined interoperability standards across charging infrastructure – including data and back-ends – by 2025.
While co-ordinated – and largely automated – smart charging could negate creating new ‘super peaks’ in demand, the taskforce also called on Ofgem to allow networks to make “well-justified anticipatory investments” in the next price control period, bearing in mind anticipated extra load from electrification of heat.
Taskforce chair Philip New said it is essential that smart charging “is delivered in a way that people benefit, that the market design places great value on flexibility.” Failure to share value and make smart charging the default could ultimately double household power demand, he suggested.
Sam Hollister, director of economics at EnergyUK, said while flexibility markets already exist, “they are not ready for millions of EVs … ensuring EVs can access local energy markets must be a priority, we need those signals to be delivered.”
Ofgem must consider that requirement in its review of forward looking and network access charges, according to the taskforce.
Unlocking EV flexibility will also require far better data access. ENA head of innovation Randolph Brazier said it was down to industry to create data sharing arrangements that encourage consumers to opt-in. The report recommends an asset register of all public chargepoints as a baseline for that approach.
Asked whether electric vehicles will ultimately require a regulator other than Ofgem, chair Philip New said that the taskforce, established jointly by energy and transport ministers in 2018, had “not explicitly” discussed that need.
See the report and full set of recommendations here.