More than 1.3 million households could be powered by recharging electric vehicle batteries in long stay car parks during periods of low energy costs and minimal demand, such as sunny days or windy nights.
That’s one of the findings of a new study by UK Power Networks, which suggests this potential, amounting to 4.3GW of flexible electricity demand, could play a pivotal role in expeditiously propelling London, the East and the South East of England towards a low carbon economy.
The study harnessed advanced modelling techniques and leveraged forecasts from both UK Power Networks and energy specialists at Baringa to predict the forthcoming surge in electric vehicle (EV) adoption on British roads.
According to the study, long stay car parks like those found at airports offer distinct advantages compared to shorter term solutions like a hotel or supermarket parking lots.
The duration of a vehicle’s stay is tied to a customer’s flight schedule, affording network operators a precise understanding of available power or capacity whenever needed.
Experts have said that if implemented across the 140,000 long-stay parking spaces within the areas served by UK Power Networks in the southern and eastern parts of England, an estimated £1.3 billion in flexible energy savings could be realised by 2050.
Ian Cameron, Director of Customer Service and Innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “As more and more people begin to adopt green technologies, we’re able to innovate and explore tangible scenarios that could make a real difference on the path to net zero.
“Through Park and Flex, we foresee a world where dormant vehicles can be used as the building blocks for one of the UK’s biggest flex batteries.
“This dynamic battery, fuelled by thousands upon thousands of EVs could play a massive role in creating a new green energy supply and could do so without customers having to lift a finger.”