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Electric Vehicles and the Electricity Sector - Interactions and Limitations

Electric Vehicles and the Electricity Sector - Interactions and Limitations

14 October 2010

Electric vehicles can potentially make significant contributions towards achieving the EU’s climate protection goals in the transport sector. In the context of a stakeholder workshop convened by the DG Environment of the European Commission  in Brussels, Max Grünig, Fellow at Ecologic Institute Berlin, presented a summary of the interactions between the energy sector and electric vehicles.

In order to meet the long term climate objectives of the EU, a drastic reduction of transport related GHG emissions is needed. Transport is one of the few sectors that has shown a steady growth of CO2 emissions, resulting in an increase in its share of total CO2 emissions. Electric Vehicles (EV and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles PHEV) are promising technologies for drastically reducing the environmental burden of road transport. A DG Environment project identified electric mobility as the GHG reduction approach as possibly having the highest reduction potential for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the medium to long term (2020-2050). At the same time, both EV and PHEV are still far from being proven technologies. Moreover, there is currently only limited knowledge about the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity generation and distribution.

Questions that were debated include:

  • Can electric vehicles contribute to the integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity grid?
  • What limits exist with regards to the additional grid load caused by electric vehicles?
  • What options exist for recharging electric vehicles?
  • How can one statistically measure the electricity consumption of electric vehicles?
  • How can governments compensate losses in revenue from fuel taxation?

The slides of the presentation [pdf, 407 kB, English] can be downloaded.

European Commission, Directorate-General Environment (DG Environment)
14 October 2010
Brussels, Belgium
Transport, Climate, EU Environment, Policy Assessment, Greenhouse Gases, CO2-Emissions, Electric Vehicles, Plug-In Hybrid Electr