The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) commissioned Vivid Economics and Imperial College to consider the energy system implications of accelerated uptake of electric vehicles and hybrid heat pumps, compared to the CCC’s Fifth Carbon Budget Central scenario, with a focus on network implications.
They concluded that electric vehicles and hybrid heat pumps are inherently flexible and are unlikely to increase the cost of electricity. If this demand is met by renewables, the cost of electricity could decrease. This suggests that rapid electrification is possible.
They also concluded that network upgrades in the 2020s should be able to accommodate future uptake of electric vehicles, and potentially electrified heat. Oversizing these upgrades to accommodate future upgrades represents a small proportion of overall costs. Additionally, deploying system flexibility (such as demand-side management, and battery storage) is key to minimising the network cost upgrades required for new electricity demands.
This research supported the Committee’s Net-Zero Technical report.