Energy UK launches consultation to agree industry infrastructure standards for re-charging BPVs (battery powered vehicles)

Scottish First Minister plugs in a BPV electricity charger
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon plugs an electricity charger into a BPV.

Energy UK is working on developing agreed industry infrastructure standards on smart charging for BPVs (battery powered vehicles) – an important part of enabling the transition to low carbon transport.  

Smart charging will allow drivers to charge their vehicles at the lowest price, through time of use tariffs for example, and reduce potential impact of electric vehicles on the grid – further controlling network reinforcement costs.

Standards will help make the most of the flexibility offered by BPVs as energy storage and contribute to a smooth roll out that benefits consumers, the economy and the environment.

To enable the transition to be achieved at lowest cost to consumers, there is a pressing need to develop agreed standards for smart charging. These will, if approached in a holistic manner, allow for innovation and competition in an area of great potential for the UK and will link into wider efforts to develop a smart flexible energy system.

Energy UK has opened a consultation on smart charging standards, inviting comments from the wide range of stakeholders across the energy, automotive and technology industries who are vital to the successful integration of BPVs.

Energy UK’s BPV working group – whose members include the Big McTwo and the National Grid- says that customers should be given the choice on how and when they charge their BPV but with options that encourage doing so at times of less demand.  

Responses will be used to set out recommendations to government, which has committed to decarbonising transport in both the Clean Growth Strategy and the ongoing Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, and will enable it to begin consulting on smart charging standards quickly.

The decarbonisation of transport is expected to result in 323 billion vehicle miles per year to be electrified in the UK. Significant reductions in the CO2 emissions from the power sector have resulted in BPVs being cleaner than ever before – now emitting around half of even the cleanest hybrid vehicles.

Lawrence Slade
Lawrence Slade

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said: “With a 2040 deadline for phasing out the sale of diesel and petrol cars, the BPV rollout is gathering pace all the time – presenting opportunities for the energy system, UK economy and consumers.

“To maximise these opportunities, we must tackle important technical issues like smart charging standards without further delay – and that’s why we are pressing ahead with this work.     

“The BPV revolution is crucial to meeting the UK’s carbon targets by reducing transport emissions and cleaning up the air that we breathe – but if we can seize the opportunity, there is also the chance to boost our economy by becoming a global leader in the new technologies involved.”      

Joachim Brandt, chairman of the Energy UK BPV Working Group and COO Solution Delivery Group for Commercial Energy Management at E.ON, added: “Electric vehicles will play a key role in the Clean Growth Strategy for meeting the fifth carbon budget, and smarter, affordable and clean energy charging solutions are essential to making this happen.

“This consultation will allow the government to move swiftly on smart charging standards once the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill has passed.”

The consultation and position paper is available here. Send replies by 23 April 2018 to

Meanwhile, SNP MSP Ivan McKee said in a  non-legislative Holyrood debate yesterday that self-driving, or autonomous, cars can “revolutionise Scotland and fundamentally change the economy, jobs and public policy”.

The Scot-Govt has vowed to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2032, eight years ahead of the Brit-Govt target, and McKee said that the development of BPVs and driverless cars will go hand in hand.

He added: “Within our lifetimes manually-driven, petrol-burning cars will be replaced by driverless BPVs. That might sound like science-fiction today, but they’ll be on our roads in a few years and will likely be commonplace within a decade. 

“With any disruptive technology, there are risks as well as opportunities. It’s vital that we’re preparing now – and that we ensure that Scotland can benefit from being at the forefront of the coming transformative change.”

16 Mar 2018


Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed