Industry Forum gives boost to a ‘smarter’ electric vehicle future

Industry Forum gives boost to a ‘smarter’ electric vehicle future

With some estimates suggesting 60 per cent of all miles driven in the UK will need to be electric to meet 2050 environment targets, it is critical that the advances we make today facilitate the growing electric vehicle (EV) market in the future.

Energy, electro-technical and motoring associations, vital to the success of EVs, have joined forces alongside the government to help deliver charging infrastructure that will support the different sectors and companies, and ensure customers can drive electric vehicles with confidence.

Energy Networks Association (ENA) has come together with the British Electro technical Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA), the Energy Retail Association (ERA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to form the UK Plug-in Vehicle Industry Forum to work with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Transport Minister Norman Baker MP said, ‘We know there is a strong public appetite for plug-in vehicles. This government we’re doing everything possible to make them a real option for both motorists and industry.

‘There is no doubt that low carbon vehicles are the future. We will continue to work with industry on innovations like this to create a world leading charging network that really reflects the needs of its users.’

Speaking of the need to deliver EV charging sustainably, ENA chief executive David Smith said, ‘With the future demands on our electricity infrastructure it is critical we take steps now to ensure when electric vehicles are plugged in, the lights stay on. We need customers who are wise to the demands they place on the energy network – through smarter customers and a smarter network we can achieve an affordable lower carbon future.’

This collaborative forum will look at the support system required to manage a UK network of public charging infrastructure and the measures needed to provide EV drivers with convenience at an affordable rate.

Speaking of the need for collaborative working, BEAMA CEO Howard Porter said, ‘Charging needs to be made convenient, simple and energy efficient and this is exactly what this forum is set up to achieve. BEAMA is pleased to be part of this strong collaborative work programme. Solutions for an interoperable and smart infrastructure need to be established now, and the key in providing this is a joined up working approach.’

This initiative was one of the actions identified in the Government Plug-in Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, Making the Connection. The strategy recognised that there are a wide range of parties that need to be brought together to maximise the success of the EV market in the UK.

The UK Plug-in Vehicle Industry Forum, with the support of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, aims to produce results in the New Year. With fast progress already being made following a workshop in November, the forum’s work will continue into 2012 to ensure the infrastructure is in place to support a mass market of electric vehicles in the UK.

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