The largest renewable energy trade association in the UK has set up a new working group on battery-powered vehicles (BPVs) to drive forward a nationwide re-fuelling network.
More than 70 people – from auto manufacturers, grid management, and charging infrastructure companies – attended the meeting of the Renewable Energy Association’s BPV Group.
Rather than focus on attempting to develop the UK’s automotive manufacturing capacity – a role already taken by other trade groups – the work of the REA’s BPV group will focus on developing intelligent charge point infrastructure, building links with the energy storage industry, and driving forward innovations produced by the on-going electrification of transport such as Vehicle to Grid technology.
The first meeting featured a presentation by Natasha Robinson, Head of the Office of Low Emission Vehicles, in addition to senior representatives of Nissan and National Grid.
The BPV and Energy Storage sector groups of the REA are anticipated to work closely together. There is an emerging supply chain in ‘second life’ batteries and an opportunity for their use in stationary energy storage, as demonstrated by recent partnerships between Nissan and Eaton, and between Renault and Powervault.
Matthew Trevaskis, REA Head of Electric Vehicles, said: “BPV technology is rapidly improving and their uptake will significantly reduce urban air pollution. As their running costs are low and upfront costs are falling they can already have a lower cost of ownership over their lifetime.
“Critically now the race is on to develop a well thought out, efficient network of rapid charge points and an intelligently controlled system of home and workplace charging. The REA’s role is to coordinate industry voices and help government plan for the future”.
British Transport Minister Jesse Norman, MP, said: “We are already making headway towards requiring that almost all cars and vans emit zero emissions by 2050, and we have invested more than £2 billion since 2011 to encourage greener transport initiatives.
“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is now at record levels, and we continue to invest in infrastructure for electric car charging and other clean vehicles.
“It is great to see the renewable energy sector engaging on this issue, and setting up a group to look at the issues and opportunities ahead for electric cars.”