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Electric Vehicles: Driven to Disruption?

The electrification of road transport is rising swiftly up the policy agenda. It will have profound impacts across the electricity value chain. This paper explains and evaluates the electricity supplier offerings emerging for electric vehicles (EVs), driven largely by consumer demand, and how policy and regulatory frameworks need to adapt to accommodate them.

The ongoing crystallisation of government policy to decarbonise transport, and specific existing incentives for EVs provides increasing confidence for electricity suppliers to develop EV-related offers, even if there is currently a lack of a prescriptive policy roadmap that bridges between today and 2040.

A key challenge is the adaption of electricity market rules, regulations, licences, and codes to be able to accommodate the possibility for many millions of EVs that consume power and potentially provide service back to the sector at disparate locations, but with no certainty of such an eventually occurring.

The need for regulatory and policy clarity to accommodate electricity supply offerings tied to EVs grows with the sophistication and complexity of offerings.

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"Although EVs represent a small fraction of today’s road fleet, all projections point to a market that will grow rapidly in the coming years. Some electricity suppliers are already offering products linked to EVs, and we would expect more to follow."

Ed Reed, Cornwall Insight Head of Research commented