Off-peak re-charging of battery-powered vehicles will keep consumer costs down and means fewer renewable electricity generators, says OFGEM

More flexible use of the energy system will allow more battery-powered vehicles (BPVs) to be charged from the existing grid and reduce the need for expensive new power stations and extra grid capacity to be built.

 The energy system is undergoing a radical transformation thanks to such new technologies while more electricity is coming from intermittent renewable sources.

Accordingly, UK regulator OFGEM is consulting on plans which will reduce the cost to consumers of meeting the extra demand from BPVs as well as connecting them and more renewable generation, battery storage and other new technologies to the grid.

According to OFGEM analysis published today, if owners use ‘flexible’ charging – where they only fill up outside peak demand times on the grid – at least 60% more BPVs could be charged up compared with ‘inflexible’ charging where BPVs are only charged at peak times – just like the old-fashioned (and ineffective) brick-based storage heaters.

Flexible charging does this by allowing electric vehicles to be charged when energy prices are cheapest, for example when wind and solar power is 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 electric vehicle batteries to be sent back onto the grid when it is needed.  

Jonathan Brearley, OFGEM’s executive director of systems and networks, said: “We are working with the government to support the UK BPV revolution 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.”

 See also: OFGEM analysis here:

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