ETI launches project to upgrade UK’s EV charging infrastructure

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners to assist in a new project aimed at developing a refuelling infrastructure for low-carbon vehicles across the UK.

The project – with £5m funding from the ETI – will investigate the issue for up to two years, culminating in a mass-market trial of possible solutions. Among the key issues to be addressed is how to supply a constant source of power for low-emission vehicles around the country.

It will also consider how consumers use their vehicles and how they would respond to different ways of charging or fuelling their vehicles in the future. Low-carbon vehicles include cars powered by hyrdogen and biofuels as well as electricity.

ETI project manager Nick Eraut said: “Cars and vans currently account for around 15-20% of CO2 emissions in the UK and they are expected to remain a significant part of meeting future travel needs.

“At the ETI we have carried out substantial work to define a clear strategy for supporting a transition to accommodate an increased volume of low-carbon vehicles. This work has shown that integrating those vehicles within the energy system and understanding consumer behaviour is crucial.

Low-carbon acceleration

The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government. The role of the ETI is to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies.

In February, the ETI suggested that the UK would need to take advantage of bioenergy and CCS if it was to comply with the Climate Change Act, which calls for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

The need for a more advanced low-carbon refuelling infrastructure was given another jolt in January when new figures revealed a ‘remarkable boost’ in plug-in car sales in the UK last year.

And last week, the Government announced a £43m campaign to install electric car charge-points on A-roads and outside hospitals and train stations. 

More information on ETI’s project and search for partners can be found here.

Brad Allen

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