The Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration Project (CVEI) project began in 2015 and is scheduled to complete in 2019. It consists of two real-world trials with mainstream consumers, a qualitative fleet study and development and analysis of a modelling framework:

The Consumer Uptake Trial is the first of its kind in the UK with mainstream consumers, rather than current EV owners.  It aimed to fill gaps in knowledge around mass-market adoption of plug-in vehicles, and to provide evidence to address the question: what will be the rates of adoption of BEVs and PHEVs by mainstream consumers between now and 2050?

The Consumer Charging Trials investigated mass-market consumer charging behaviour of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles and how consumers respond to managed charging schemes designed to control energy demand.

The Fleet Study sought to address two knowledge gaps: the factors influencing fleet uptake are not fully understood; and published research into fleet charging profiles is scarce. 

The Modelling Framework, developed in Stage 1 of the project, enables analysis of market and policy frameworks, business propositions, the integrated vehicle and energy infrastructure system and technologies best suited to enabling a cost-effective UK energy system for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles.

Project aim

The CVEI project aims to investigate challenges and opportunities involved in transitioning to a secure and sustainable low carbon vehicle fleet. The project explores how the integration of vehicles with the energy supply system can benefit vehicle users, vehicle manufacturers and those involved in the supply of energy.

The outputs of this study will feed into policy recommendations for interventions which are needed to optimise the uptake of PiVs in the mass-market. It will also help us to better understand and plan for the UK's future electric vehicle charging needs.


Baringa, Conex, Element Energy, EVConnect, EDF, Shell and The Behavioural Insights Team


Funded by - Energy Technology Institute

CVEI update

Between September 2017 and May 2018, 200 Uptake Trial Participants tested a petrol, plug-in hybrid and battery electric VW Golf for four days each. TRL collected data on 11,000 journeys, 84,000 miles of driving and 1,700 charging events. Participants answered detailed surveys and completed a choice experiment to give us data on purchasing decisions. We are analysing the data to build a comprehensive understanding of the perceptions, concerns and motivators around vehicle purchase decisions, including relating these to different demographic groups.

For the Charging Trials, 240 participants received either a pure electric or plug-in hybrid VW Golf for eight weeks. Participants were recruited into a Randomised Control Trial, testing three different charging scenarios; one in which they are free to charge as they wish, one in which consumers are encouraged to charge at times of low cost,  and one in which they are encouraged to relinquish control of charging to the energy supplier. TRL collected data on 60,000 journeys, 500,000 miles of driving and 14,000 charging events. This data, along with detailed surveys and a choice experiment completed by participants provides a wealth of data on mainstream consumer attitudes to managed charging and charging behaviours. 

In the Fleet Study, five in-depth case studies were carried out, with two fleets in which the vehicles are chosen by the organisation (centralised-chooser), two fleets in which vehicles are chosen by individuals from a range of options made available by their organisation (user-chooser), and one Car Club. Each study comprised multiple interviews with managers at strategic and operational levels within the organisation, and, where appropriate, with vehicle users.

The Study found that centralised-chooser van fleets and User-chooser car fleets have not made significant efforts to carry out systematic comparisons of the costs and benefits of ownership of plug-in vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles.  Benefit in Kind taxation applied to PiVs acts as a financial deterrent to their adoption by User-choosers. PiV uptake could potentially be increased by reduction or removal of this deterrent.

The results of the Trials will be used to update and improve the modelling framework and analytical tools developed in Stage 1, and to refine the system analysis and design. This will highlight prominent policy and industry strategies to enhance energy integration between consumers, vehicles and energy systems in the future.

Project reports including results of the trials will be published in early 2019.


Project report - http://bit.ly/2ABsRGC

News story - http://bit.ly/2n7wSZI

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