OFGEM urges Electric Vehicle users to charge their batteries during off-peak hours

UK industry regulator Ofgem has recently announced plans aimed at encouraging electric-vehicle (EV) owners to charge their vehicles during off-peak periods or during sunny/windy periods when plenty of renewable energy -- from solar farms or wind turbines -- is being generated.

With cheaper ‘time of day’ tariffs already available in the UK to around 11 million homes in which smart meters have been installed, the plans announced by Ofgem are essentially aimed at promoting the practice of ‘flexible’ or smart charging among EV owners in the country.

Towards that end, Ofgem has said in its recent announcement that it plans to give incentives to EV owners who charge their vehicles with cheaper electricity rates, and to impose a penalty on those who charge their vehicles when vehicles when electricity rates are high.

According to Ofgem, a ‘flexible’ or smart charging system can enable an efficient use of resources and could pave the way for an increase of up to 60 percent in the number of EVs wanting to use the grid. Hence, such a charging system would enable bill payers to save money, and also evidently avert the need to build new power stations.

Highlighting the fact that the newly-announced reforms “will help more users charge their electric vehicles and save them money,” Jonathan Brearly -- Director of systems and networks at Ofgem -- said that the reforms “will also harness the benefits of electric vehicles and other new technologies.”