The government has announced that electric vehicle consumers are set to benefit from lower energy bills and cheaper motoring due to a “landmark” plan to unlock the potential of smart electric vehicle charging. 

The Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan published today (Tuesday 17 January) by the government and Ofgem, sets out steps being taken to seize on the significant potential of smart charging and make it the preferred method of long duration charging by 2025. 

Smart charging harnesses the potential of energy use data and the latest energy innovations to deliver significant benefits for consumers, including allowing motorists to charge electric vehicles when electricity is cheaper or cleaner. 

This will allow consumers to power their home using electricity stored in their electric vehicle, or even sell it back to the grid for profit. It is expected high mileage motorists could save up to £1,000 a year through smarter charging. 

Additionally, the government has also pledged £16 million funding from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) towards technologies that harness the potential for smart charging. This includes smart streetlamp post and projects that will enable appliances to integrate into a smarter energy system. 

Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart said: “We want to make smart charging an easier choice for drivers of electric vehicles, whether that is charging on the driveway, at the workplace, or parked on the street. To do that we need to build new network infrastructure at pace, using the latest available technologies. Today’s plan sets out how we will work with Ofgem and industry to kickstart the market for smart charging, which we are backing up with £16 million in innovation funding. This will let people take control of their energy usage, in the most convenient and low-cost way.” 

The release has said that today’s announcements build on the major steps already taken by the government to enable smart and flexible electric vehicle charging.  

As of July 2022, all new charge points sold for private now must have smart functionality and the UK is consulting on a new policy and technical framework to unlock the benefits of domestic smart, flexible energy, and enhance its cybersecurity. 

Ofgem Director for Strategy and Decarbonisation Neil Kenward said: “As energy regulator, we’re helping create the infrastructure to deliver Britain’s net zero future at the lowest cost to customers. This latest innovative plan will help to maximise the benefits of smart charging, offer vital savings to consumers and reduce the overall cost of energy by seizing the opportunities to use batteries to both power homes and fuel the wider grid.” 

The plan aims for the government to improve publicly available information and evidence on smart charging and to support the implementation of robust consumer service standards and ensure private charge points are secure and compatible with the latest energy innovations, said the release. 

The roll out of intelligent and automated smart charging will reduce electricity system costs will lower prices for everyone and additionally motorists will pay less for charging their electric vehicle, and the electricity powering electric vehicles will be cleaner and greener. 

The government and Ofgem will seek to remove the barriers that currently prevent the full development of a diverse and competitive smart charging market, while making sure the energy system is ready to respond to the upturn in energy demand that electric vehicles will bring. 

Those receiving funding today through the V2X Innovation Programme for prototype hardware, software and business models include: 

  • £229,000 to a project led by Otaski Energy Solutions (Gateshead, Tyne and Wear) to develop a smart street lamppost capable of charging electric vehicles and sharing power back to the grid 
  • £220,000 to V2X-Flex (Reigate, Surrey), a project led by EV Dot Energy Ltd to develop prototype software and a new business model which will reduce entry barriers for the domestic use of V2X bi-directional chargers to provide energy flexibility services 
  • £165,000 to BEVScanV2X (London), a project led by Agile Charging Ltd to develop technology that could overcome battery degradation by creating a cost-effective tool to monitor and advise best approaches to maximise battery life and financial returns from smart charging 

Those receiving funding today through the Interoperable Demand-Side Response (IDSR) Programme, which supports technologies that allow consumers to remotely increase or decrease their energy use to take advantage of when energy is cheaper or more renewables are on the grid, are: 

  • £510,000 to Energy Smart Heat Pump (Chertsey, Surrey), a project by Samsung Electronics UK and their project partners Passiv UK to design and develop a technology solution that is able to provide demand side response (DSR) services via Samsung Heat Pumps, giving greater control of their usage on the basis of cost or carbon savings 
  • £1.2 million to Smart-DSRFlex (Manchester), a project by Landis & Gyr UK to demonstrate how DSR technology can help to manage a renewables-based electricity grid using the smart meter system 
  • £29,000 to Open DSR for All (Manchester), a project by Carbon Co-op to explore the benefits and technical barriers to an accessible approach to domestic DSR, potentially enabling more products being able to offer DSR in future 

The delivery of the Action Plan aims to make smart charging the norm at home and work by 2025. 

Press release: Gov.uk