Industry forum gives boost to a 'smarter' electric vehicle future

5 December 2011

 With some estimates suggesting 60% 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 Government to help deliver charging infrastructure that will support the different sectors and companies, and ensure customers can drive electric vehicles with confidence.

The British Electro Technical Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA) has come together with the Energy Networks Association (ENA),  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 Chief Executive Officer 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.

ENDS

Notes to editor

1. Energy Networks Association (ENA) represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland. ENA’s Network Futures Group (ENFG) has formed an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Task Force to ensure the network and future smart grid requirements are fully considered in decisions affecting specification and implementation of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles including those used in commercial and passenger transport.

2. The British Electro technical Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA) is the independent expert knowledge base and forum for the UK electrotechnical industry and has a strong presence in Europe. Representing over 300 manufacturing companies in the electrotechnical sector, BEAMA has significant influence over UK and international political standardisation and commercial policy. Within BEAMA, the Energy and Installation Sectors provide support to members who manufacture products and technologies used in buildings and electrical infrastructure at low and medium voltage.

BEAMA is providing a focus for the development of electrical infrastructure for electric vehicles in the UK and across Europe, covering the development of appropriate standards, building regulations, wiring regulations and the interaction between the different product sectors required for an operational infrastructure.

3. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) exists to support and promote the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad. Working closely with member companies, SMMT acts as a voice of the motor industry, promoting its position to government stakeholders and the media. The SMMT has an EV Group involving SMMT members from the whole supply chain (OEM and niche vehicle manufacturers, charger suppliers, battery manufacturers, electricity providers), key stakeholders (government, transport authorities) and like-minded organisations (IMechE, IET, EST). The group meets quarterly and has an email circulation list.

4. The Energy Retail Association (ERA), formed in 2003 represents the six main electricity and gas suppliers in the domestic market in Great Britain (British Gas, EDF Energy, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power, and SSE). The ERA works closely with government, NGOs, charities and other organisations in England, Scotland and Wales to ensure a coordinated approach to dealing with the key issues affecting the industry and the British consumer. Since its inception the ERA has focused on finding ways to continually improve customers’ experiences with their electricity and gas suppliers.

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