Electric vehicles and electricity

There is a broad consensus that penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) will rise throughout the world, but great uncertainty as to the timing and extent. There is also a growing recognition that automated, shared and electric vehicles (SAEVs) will be an important part of the coming revolution in sustainable mobility. Particularly in combination, shared mobility, automation and electric powertrains can result in major reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation, as well as significantly less air pollution and greater social equality. This article adopts these views as a starting point.

The central questions addressed here are: what will determine the speed and nature of EV deployment; what barriers could slow the process; and, more specifically, could the electricity system and its regulatory regime be barriers to EV penetration, or rather assist that penetration. The focus is mainly on Europe and on passenger light-duty vehicles, including battery EVs (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid EV’s (PHEVs) in cities.

The central message is that, while electricity is obviously necessary for EV penetration, it is very unlikely to constitute a barrier to penetration, unless policy and regulation are badly designed or implemented.

By: David Robinson

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