Element Energy

Electric vehicles and infrastructure

The next decade is likely to see huge changes in personal transport. Tightening EU limits for new car emissions are driving rapid advances in internal combustion engines, while major car makers prepare to release the first mass-market plug-in hybrids and electric cars. These vehicles promise substantial air-quality and emissions benefits, with lower fuel costs for users. However, high purchase prices and a perceived lack of charging infrastructure could restrict the growth of these new products.

Element Energy is one of the UK’s leading consultancies in the low-carbon transport sector. Our work for government, NGOs and private organisations has investigated:

  • The cost and performance targets EVs must meet over the next decade to offer a viable alternative to conventional cars for mass-market consumers.
  • The role early adopters will play in near term deployment. What demographic factors characterise these important consumers?
  • The potential ‘hotspots’ for EV deployment, where the right types of consumers, driving patterns and infrastructure meet.
  • The effects of widespread electrification of the transport sector, especially given the changing generation mix.

We use the following tools to answer these questions:

Consumer uptake modelling – the price people will pay for new technology can be predicted. Consumer surveys based on state of the art choice modelling techniques, in collaboration with international experts in choice modelling, can be used to predict market shares for new technologies. We analyse choice survey data, and integrate the results with technology-focused modelling.

Analysis of travel data consumer demographics – our analysis of car usage and hourly trip statistics from the National Travel Survey was used in the evidence presented in the Climate Change Committee’s 2009 Report to Parliament. Our ongoing work for the Energy Technologies Institute can predict EV uptake, at the postcode level.

Infrastructure – our strategic studies on the grid impacts of electric vehicles have helped our clients understand the benefits of off-peak charging.

Case Studies

  • Electric vehicles in Scotland

    Client: WWF Scotland Client brief: Determine the role of electric vehicles in reducing CO2 emissions in Scotland and address infrastructure …

  • Electric vehicles in the UK and Ireland

    Client: WWF-UK Client brief: Assess the role of EVs in meeting CO2 reduction targets, analyse the impacts of EVs on …

  • Electric vehicles in the UK

    Client: The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Client brief: Identify strategies to support electric vehicles (EVs) uptake to help the …