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TRL to lead £5m energy and transport research project

Date: 18 September 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

TRL, the Transport Research Laboratory, has been appointed by the Energy Technologies Institute to lead a project to examine how the UK's energy demand supply chain can adapt and encourage greater adoption of plug-in and electric vehicles.

Known as the Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration project, the two-year, £5million scheme aims to understand required changes to existing infrastructure and the consumer response to a wider introduction of ultra-low emission vehicles.

Other companies involved in the scheme include Cenex, EDF Energy, Route Monkey, EV Connect and the University of Aberdeen.

The programme will be carried out in two stages, with the first stage focusing on analysis of the market, policy and regulatory frameworks, business models and customer offerings, electricity and liquid fuel infrastructure and technologies.

This will be supported by insights from fleets into their use of plug-in vehicles.
The second stage will deliver a trial involving 300 mass market users to validate the impact of solutions identified in the first stage and understand consumer and fleet responses to the vehicles and to managed charging schemes.
TRL said the project is expected to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Relevant technology developments for both vehicles and energy infrastructure
  • Details of the market structures and business propositions needed to support a transition to and operation of a cost-effective UK energy system for low carbon vehicles
  • Understanding how the selected technology and market structures should be integrated
  • Understanding how consumers might respond to different offerings in relation to vehicles, their fuelling/charging and demand management mechanisms
  • Validation of the systems and their impacts through a trial with mass-market users.

"We're already starting to see a sizeable shift in acceptance of electric vehicles in the UK," said Jenny Stannard, project manager at TRL. "However, as more vehicles become electrified, we need to understand the pressure this extra demand will put on our energy networks, as well as the potential opportunities it will bring."