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The smart route to electric vehicles

29th May 2018

Smart meters will put Britain’s electric vehicle revolution in the fast lane

More than 8 million people in Britain are considering buying or leasing an electric vehicle in the next 5 years, according to a new survey published today. The findings by Populus on behalf of Smart Energy GB highlight the importance of smart meters to the uptake of electric vehicles.

It found that:

  • More than one third of drivers (34%) would be more interested in buying an electric vehicle if they have a smart meter
  • One third (33%) of drivers would be more likely to purchase an electric vehicle if they could programme it to charge automatically at home when energy is cheapest

The survey supports a report published today by Leeds University and Smart Energy GB investigating how smart meters and smart charging mean a better experience for electric vehicle users.

The smart route to electric vehicles sets out how electric vehicles and smart meters will accelerate the UK’s transition to a more sustainable and greener economy.

With most consumers expected to want to be able to charge their electric vehicle at home, smart meters will play a critical role in making this process reliable, cheaper and greener.

The report shows that with a smart meter installed, energy suppliers can reward drivers for charging during low price periods.

The report states: “Electric vehicles mean a big shift in energy demand, from liquid fossil fuels to mainly grid electricity. This affects everything, from how much new infrastructure is needed, to the price of power and the environmental impact of car charging. Smart metering can go a long way to solving these problems by affecting when energy is used, as well as how much is needed.”

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said:

"Smart meters give customers control over their energy, lowering bills and unlocking new smarter models for energy supply. For example, smart meters will enable our future energy system to better balance supply and demand and create the opportunity of smart charging for electric vehicle owners, enabling better value tariffs to reward drivers for charging their electric vehicles at off-peak times.

Our smarter future is becoming a reality, and the smart meter rollout is a key part of handing control of their energy back to households."

Dr Stephen Hall, Researcher, University of Leeds said:

"Smart meters can put us in the fast lane for consumer control over energy choices which encourages the uptake of electric vehicles in Britain.

"They pave the way for new energy tariffs which will reward drivers for charging off peak with cheaper power. They can also enable EV owners to be even more environmentally friendly, by matching charging with the greenest electricity on the system. Putting electric vehicles and smart meters together offers us an incredible prize, sustainable driving, which as a car fan and environmentalist is really exciting."

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive, Smart Energy GB, said:

"Electric vehicles will create huge benefits for consumers - but Britain’s energy infrastructure needs to be smarter to meet the challenges of millions of people using electric vehicles. As our research shows smart meters can go a long way to enabling cheaper network management, to allowing new tariffs to reward drivers for charging off peak, meaning billions of pounds of savings for Britain." Everyone in Great Britain can get a smart meter, at no extra cost, from their energy supplier. Smart meters bring an end to estimated bills and show you exactly how much energy you are using in pounds and pence.