How the large-scale EV rollout would impact the UK energy system? Analysis of network investments and changes in fuel use

Calvillo, Christian F. and Turner, Karen (2019) How the large-scale EV rollout would impact the UK energy system? Analysis of network investments and changes in fuel use. Working paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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    Abstract

    The electrification of transport has been identified as a key policy area, which has multiple implications on the energy system, the economy, and the environment. Focusing on electric vehicles (EV), several examples of studies analysing the impact of a large scale penetration of EVs can be found in the literature. However, these studies usually focus only on the implications for the electricity network. Therefore, the challenge is to understand how the expected rollout of EVs affects the energy system on different dimensions beyond the power sector. With the aim of identifying wider impacts of a large rollout of EVs in the UK and to inform effective analysis of energy policy, we use the UK TIMES model to implement four different EV charging scenarios, varying on the timing (i.e. ‘smartness’) of the charge and the location on where it happens. We conclude that ‘dumb’ and decentralised charging will require considerably larger investment on the network than the ‘smart’ and centralised counterparts. The location and ‘smartness’ of EV charging it is, therefore, important to mitigate potential negative impacts on the power system and to reduce fuel costs for the final consumer. Moreover, we have found a shift of emissions from the transport to the power sector. These results show the importance following a whole system approach, to maximise the effectiveness of policies and to avoid carbon leakage.