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As we have previously mentioned, smart charging has become a common part of everyday vocabulary if you are in any way interested in the future of the energy industry. As EV uptake rates continue to grow and the associated impact on the electricity grid becomes clearer, the conversation around smart charging has evolved from asking if smart charging is required to the more nuanced questions of how should smart charging be delivered to the customer and who should deliver it.
How should smart charging be delivered to the customer?
On Thursday 28 November 2019, Energy Saving Trust hosted its annual Fleet Heroes awards and conference – celebrating those leading the transition to cleaner, greener transport. As a judge for this year’s awards, it widened my eyes on the imperative for closer collaboration between energy and transport sectors to deliver net zero ambitions. This collaboration is unlocking some of the more exciting opportunities across the energy transition. In this blog, I summarise my thoughts on why fleet should be central to your New Energy strategy for the next few years.
Fleet managers are the New Energy customer
The Czech Republic is similar to many European EV markets: neighbour to some markets that are truly taking off, yet domestic adoption is more limited. After attending Elektromobilita 2019 in Prague last month, here are my thoughts on whether we are reaching a tipping point.
A small but ambitious market?
The news of the mergers of two automotive conglomerates - PSA & FCA - makes a lot of sense. They both have volume vehicles in the same hotly contested segments, where margins are tight, the customer has choice and investment requirements are high.
Individually, both partners had previously announced significant investment in electrification of their fleet (PSA more so than FCA), but overall lagged behind their peers in the industry race to electrify transport.
E-mobility and EVs. Smart charging and Vehicle-to-Grid. ACES*... I think it's fair to say that over the last 2-3 years, these terms have - to a greater or lesser extent - become a common part of everyday vocabulary if you are in any way interested in the future of the energy industry.
And for good reason. At the end of 2013, there were around 123,000 plug-in electric vehicles on Europe's roads. Today, that number is more than 1.5 million, rising all the time, and they all need charging up occasionally**.
A recent study from Imperial College London, in partnership with UK energy company Drax Group, investigated the green credentials of different types of vehicles, to put to bed the question “are EVs genuinely better for the environment?”
It concluded that, yes, going electric is definitely a win for reducing emissions. However, the premium electric models coming to market today have a considerably greater carbon footprint than the electric models of the past. I want to explore this market development further; could it be that customer desire for range will actually drive up carbon emissions?
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