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How much cheaper is it to run an EV? And, should I get an EV tariff?

One of the most cited benefits of switching to an EV is that ‘the running costs of an EV are significantly cheaper than an ICE vehicle’, but how much cheaper is it really? Evidently this is something which is very hard to quantify. To add to this difficulty, electricity suppliers across Europe are building lucrative promotions to win more and more EV owner customers. Will the typical EV owner save money by switching to an EV tariff?

At Delta-EE we believe these are two questions which need some attention. So, in this blog – and in recognition of the inaugural World EV Day – I want to share the results from the EV team’s latest analysis – a deep dive into the costs of home EV charging across Europe.

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Localising the heating transition: A colourful example from Amsterdam

In this blog I want to share the example of the city of Amsterdam to highlight how successfully decarbonising heat will mean using a range of technologies & energy vectors, targeted based on a local approach to planning. Thus far in the heating transition this approach has been far from the norm, but it looks like things could be starting to change.

An orange blueprint to make heating green

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What 13 years at the heart of the heating transition has taught me about the future

It’s almost 13 years since I first immersed myself in understanding the heating market, and began supporting Europe’s biggest energy suppliers and HVAC companies in navigating the heating transition. 2020 seems like a good time to reflect on what’s changed since then and consider what the next decade could bring. 

Thirteen years ago I had just completed a PhD quantifying the impact of climate change on Icelandic glaciers – and predicting how these impacts would play out in future decades.  The impact of continued warming – and the need for urgent action to stop it – was painfully clear.  This desire to solve the climate crisis was of course what drove me to the energy industry.  The science of climate change was clear – now to tackle action and adaptation.  I focused in very quickly on heat, as one of the most critical (if most challenging) parts of energy consumption to decarbonise.

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The New Energy Letter: August 2020

Since our last new energy letter, the shift in focus has moved from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, to how we recover – and how “green” this recovery is. I have growing confidence that the recovery will drive acceleration in some aspects of the energy transition. There will of course be major economic challenges ahead, and the energy sector is not immune to these - but the fundamental drivers of the energy transition remain unchanged. It is encouraging to see signs of a commitment to “building back better – and greener” from Brussels and in some European capitals. The decisions being made now will determine the speed and nature of the energy transition over the years and decades ahead – and as such, influence business models, strategies and opportunities for companies in new energy.

The most detailed glimpse so far of just what this recovery will look like, was revealed in the European Commission’s Recovery Plan to “repair and prepare for the next generation” – which sets aside €750bn for a Green Recovery (plus longer-term budget reinforcements). It clearly signals that this recovery should be clean, circular, competitive and climate neutral. So what does this mean for new energy? Five points catch my interest, which create fantastic opportunities for the energy industry, if it is ready to capture them.

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Can heat pumps ever be “sexy like a Tesla”?

In discussions about decarbonising heat, we often hear people lament that heating just isn't "sexy" enough. A few months ago I was at an event where one of the UK environmental NGOs complained to a room of heating industry professionals that heat pumps are "bl**dy ugly", and don't really offer anything over gas boilers in terms of delivering comfort. Why can't we learn from the likes of Tesla or Apple, they asked, and make a product that offers a superior user experience and looks alright outside our homes?

This got me thinking about how comparable heat pumps are to electric vehicles, and to Teslas in particular. So I looked into the stats, asked the HVAC manufacturers what they thought, and debated the topic with my colleagues. There are certainly some lessons I think we can take from EVs, but there are also fundamental differences between heating and vehicles that we shouldn’t forget. In my view, all this talk of “making heat sexy” is a generally unhelpful distraction from the challenges we really need to address. Here’s why.

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Why the One Stop Shop has become the way to capture early adopter fleets

Every week, our news feeds are loaded with new publications, partnerships and propositions targeting Europe’s electric fleet market. My most recent find was Elexent, a new venture from Groupe Renault creating “turnkey charging solutions for electric fleets” harnessing partners across the ecosystem (Schneider Electric, Alfen, SNEF, Izivia and Solstyce). It is a strong and complementary partnership with ambitions to grow beyond the French market.

Since 2018, Delta-EE’s EVs & Electricity Research Service has monitored these propositions and it is clear that the One Stop Shop, such as the example from Elexent, is becoming the preferred approach for early adopter fleets. In this blog, I would like to explore why this is the case. We will look at the needs of an early adopter in 2020, why the One Stop Shop makes sense but how that could soon evolve again.

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Home energy management: a complex space where actors will need to act in synergy to make sure they are not left behind

With the increasing number of residential energy assets in Europe, home energy management (HEM) is becoming particularly interesting. HEM brings value to residential owners and companies offering the solution but also to the wider electricity systems, by enabling a variety of use cases, from time-of-use or self-consumption optimisation, to flexibility.

In the home energy management space, different companies - and types of companies - must act in synergy

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1 million publicly funded EV chargepoints in Europe by 2025 - Why and how the ‘green bounceback’ will stimulate public EV charging

There is little doubt that COVID-19 has been a difficult time for chargepoint operators (CPOs) - the majority of which are already making a loss. This is primarily due to the significant reduction in the utilisation rates of public chargepoints. In fact, according to Zap-Map, in the UK, there has been a 60% reduction of EV drivers using public chargepoints. The story will be similar across Europe with some expecting the industry to be in recovery mode until 2025. This paints a picture of doom and gloom for players involved in public charging.

But have us analysts been too quick to jump to negative conclusions? Is there actually light at the end of the tunnel for CPOs? Europe’s response to the COVID-19 crisis provides some reason for optimism and may result in the answer to these questions being ‘Yes’. By focusing first on a national level and then on an international level, I’ll explain why.

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Why The Netherlands has all the right ingredients for innovative heat offers to succeed

There’s been a lot of talk about the potential for ‘Heat as a service’ & ‘Comfort as service’ (HaaS & CaaS) to revolutionise Europe’s heating markets, reaching more end-users with new, potentially low-carbon, heating appliances. While our research has turned up a number of HaaS-like offerings, so far, we’ve only found one example of what we consider to be ‘true’ heat as a service: Eneco, in the Netherlands.

On reflection, this isn’t surprising. The Netherlands has all the right ingredients that make it the key market where innovative, ‘new heat’ offerings are likely to emerge, and ultimately to succeed. The 7 key has are:

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How energy suppliers must change to meet the challenges of the future

One of the foremost challenges for energy suppliers over the next five years is how to meet the changing needs and expectations of their customers. In the broadest sense, these customers can be seen to sit on a continuum, ranging from disengaged with energy and climate change, to highly engaged (see diagram).

For the disengaged customers on the left of the continuum, energy supply is little more than a form of taxation that they would rather not have to think about. Conversely, with the highly engaged customers on the right, you find early adopters and innovators keen to participate in the energy transition and prepared to spend significant amounts of money, without necessarily expecting much of a return on investment.

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