Latest figures show that UK demand for pure electric and hybrid cars is up by over a third compared to a year ago and they now account for a record 5.8% share of the new car market.
Over time, the continued growth of electric vehicles (EVs) will lead to a big shift in energy demand, from liquid fossil fuels to mainly grid electricity.
And with most drivers wanting to charge their vehicle at home, a new report says that smart meters will play a critical role in making this process reliable, cheaper and greener.
That’s because smart meters can unlock tariffs that reward consumers who use energy at off-peak times. Combined with smart charging, they will enable EV owners to charge their cars during cheaper periods, explains The smart route to electric vehicles.
As well as enabling lower cost charging, this will reduce the potential impact of EVs on the electricity grid and could even provide additional spare capacity for the network through vehicle to grid technology.
According to the research, one third (33%) of drivers would be more likely to buy an electric vehicle if they could programme it to charge automatically at home when energy is cheapest.
The author of the report, Dr Stephen Hall from the 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.”