The Future of Electric Vehicles in the UK

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) was joined by global car manufacturer Nissan, as well as UK politicians and academics at the House of Commons on Monday 20 March to discuss the future of electric vehicles in the UK.

The Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP, Minister of State for Transport, delivered a keynote speech in front of over 100 guests exploring the measures Government and industry are taking to ensure the emerging technology can thrive in the years ahead. He was joined by Stewart Reid, Head of Asset Management and Innovation at SSEN on the panel, which was chaired by the Rt Hon Baroness Kramer, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson and former Minister of State for Transport who allowed Stewart, Eduardo Mascarell Head of Vehicle to Grid and Stationary Storage at Nissan Europe; and Dr Gregory Offer, Senior Lecturer in Electrochemical Engineering, Imperial College London; to contribute to a full and lively discussion.

The event was made all the more important as the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper is currently out for consultation and noted it intends to “work with energy industries and regulators to manage the changes to energy networks required in the transition to a low carbon economy. For example, the roll-out of electric vehicles may require important changes to the way our electricity grid works, including physical upgrades to the infrastructure.”

Stewart Reid, Head of Asset Management and Innovation, SSEN said: “We’re delivering a number of measures to ensure the GB electricity network can manage an increase in the number of electric vehicles being charged on the grid in the future – including the use of Demand Side Management.

“SSEN is taking steps to mitigate potential issues with Electric Vehicles, via its Smart EV project. We’re working on creating and collaborating with other DNOs, National Grid, DECC and Ofgem on an industry-accepted solution for managing future EV charging, in the form of an Engineering Recommendation.

“Events like this are crucial to that work and I’d like to thank all those who attended and contributed to a frank and fruitful discussion.”

SSEN's Future Networks’ project, My Electric Avenue, monitored the impact EVs charging had on the electricity network. Its findings will help safeguard, maintain and develop smarter networks, to provide a secure electricity network to cope with the increase in electric vehicle usage in the future. This included overcoming the potential risk posed by ‘clustering’, which could cause issues on electrical networks long before large-scale adoption of EVs across the UK takes place.