IBM has enterd into an agreement with the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to evaluate the potential impact of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid. The project will also assess the infrastructure required to achieve a mass market for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the UK.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a UK-based company formed from global industries and the UK government to bring together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power and transport.
IBM will lead the co-ordination of a consortium of companies, EDF Energy, E.ON and Imperial Consultants, in conducting the study which is being undertaken at an important time. The UK government has already committed £300 million to create the infrastructure for plug-in vehicles and has provided consumer incentives.
Supporting infrastructure has already begun rolling out in London, the North East and Milton Keynes. In addition, the Office for Low Emission Vehicle's (OLEV) has said it will provide grants of up to £5,000 for consumers who buy ultra-low carbon cars.
The project will focus on a number of areas:
- Analysis of how growth in electric vehicle recharging could impact electricity distribution networks, and what steps energy companies could take to overcome any barriers to supplying demand.
- Identification of the smart infrastructure needed for mass market uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.
- Design concepts for the 'intelligent architecture' of interconnected data and systems needed to enable local networks of electric vehicle charging points linked to the distribution networks.
- Planning for design changes which maintain distribution networks' effective operation and management.
Assessment of current issues and likely future developments involving regulatory, legislative and commercial matters related to the recharging infrastructure.