Continued population growth has led to increased transport demands, to, from, and within urban areas. This has significantly impacted upon urban air quality, resulting in increased pressure to improve air quality and address sources of pollution from transport. Many local authorities in the UK (and beyond) are tackling air pollution through the introduction of Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones as part of the government’s broader Air Quality Plan. These encourage the exploration and adoption of cleaner emission and cleaner fuelled vehicles, particularly for commercial fleets that are the main focus of many clean air zone policies.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a potentially effective technological response to reduce road transport emissions. However, EVs are not entirely emission free, with many using grid generated electricity to charge on-board batteries. Further, growing promotion of EV use, from private cars to commercial vehicle fleets, particularly in urban environments, has practical implications around the challenge of electricity grid capacity for mass EV charging, requiring significant infrastructure investment to upgrade the existing grid supply in the UK.
This interdisciplinary PhD project seeks to:
- Examine the feasibility of using EV batteries for grid support and localised energy storage for all-electric and hybrid-electric vehicle fleets.
- Determine the impact on emissions reduction of using localised energy storage through EVs at mass charging points.
- Explore the economic, and socio-political aspects of energy storage and revenue streams from EV usage.
- Evaluate the business case for using commercial EV fleets for pseudo-stationary energy storage using EVs.
- Determine the barriers and drivers for fleet EV users to utilise mass energy storage and charging facilities.
- Assess the suitability of fleet vehicle depot locations for EV grid storage and charging.
- Identify and evaluate the technical barriers to implementation of EV grid storage in commercial fleet locations and maximise the benefits to all players.