Find out how we are working with Government, the energy sector, and industry to integrate millions of electric vehicles successfully and help make a rapid impact on harmful emissions with gas freight vehicles.
Reducing harmful emissions and improving health
Climate change is one of mankind’s greatest challenges. The UK needs to reduce carbon emissions in all sectors; particularly in transport which is now reported as the highest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Air quality and its impact on the health of the population, particularly in urban environments and from diesel emissions, is a major concern. The Royal College of Physicians estimates 40,000 deaths per year are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution. We need to work together and take action now to reduce harmful emissions in transport.
Huge changes are needed in the energy system and in transport infrastructure to deal with these challenges. With our capabilities across electricity and gas, our infrastructure and our insights, we are uniquely positioned to use our networks to facilitate and drive the successful transition to cleaner transport. This is what we are doing…
Successfully integrating millions of electric vehicles
By 2040 there could be as many as 36 million electric vehicles on the roads in the UK, so we’re working on the following priority areas:
- We’re exploring how to support a network of transmission-connected ultra-rapid chargers at key strategic locations e.g. motorway services.
- They are crucial for ‘range-anxiety’ and journey planning, enabling the electric vehicle (EV) market to expand quickly and successfully.
- We’re driving the need to manage when electric vehicles are charged. ‘Smart charging’ will smooth demand on the electricity system.
- It will ensure that increases at peak times remain manageable and it will also make best-use of existing generation capacity.
- When plugged-in, EVs could provide flexibility to help balance the supply and demand of electricity, potentially reducing costs for consumers.
- This could also include using EVs to supply electricity from their batteries back to the grid, known as ‘vehicle-to-grid’ (V2G).
Making a rapid impact on harmful emissions with gas vehicles
There are significant gains to be made across a range of harmful emissions, by converting freight from diesel to gas; even if this is an interim step towards zero emission freight vehicles. So the priorities we are working on are:
- Making compressed natural gas (CNG) more available via our network will make it easier for companies to convert freight vehicles from diesel.
- So we’re working with a range of organisations to identify strategic gas filling locations and agree how to make this happen; as well as exploring the volume potential for Biomethane and BioSNG.
- We operate the only UK LNG tanker loading facility, located at our Isle of Grain site.
- It allows operators to load LNG and transport it to filling stations, or to industrial/commercial customers for use with their fleet.
Hydrogen gas also has potential as a zero-emission fuel for vehicles. There is a significant link between hydrogen vehicles and the easy availability of hydrogen supply. Therefore, if we start to see the development of a nationwide hydrogen economy, we will consider what investments will be needed to assist likely supply and demand changes on the national transmission system, and the impact of a large number of new hydrogen fuelling stations.
- Future Energy Scenarios website– view our growth forecasts for electric and gas vehicles
- CLoCC website – reducing the time and cost to connect to our gas transmission network.
- Electric dreams: The future for EVs – article on the National Grid Connecting website.