The CVEI project has provided the first Whole-System Analysis of the transition towards a low-carbon future for light duty transport in the UK. This approach has generated unique insights into the elements needed for a successful transition to low-carbon light duty road transport in the UK.

The validity of the analysis has been underpinned by original, scientific research using rigorous experimental design to minimise findings being confounded by learning effects or uncontrolled external variables.

  • The project undertook the first research on potential uptake of PiVs with Mainstream Consumer participants who have had direct experience of using both BEVs and PHEVs. The Mainstream Consumer sample means that findings are generalisable to the whole driving population rather than restricted to PiV Innovators who have special motivations.
  • The project also undertook the first research on the charging behaviour of Mainstream Consumers when using PHEVs and BEVs; and the first research with Mainstream Consumer participants investigating the effectiveness of both UserManaged Charging (“Time-of-Use” tariffs) and Supplier-Managed Charging as means of mitigating the impacts of PiV charging on the electricity supply system.
  • Case studies with fleet operators have also provided new understanding of the factors that influence the potential uptake of PiVs by fleets.

The key findings and conclusions relate to 

  • Likelihood of mass-market adoption of the different vehicle options
  • Impact on appeal to consumers of mileage range 
  • Charging habits and preferences
  • Narrative around cumulative reduction in CO2 emissions

The CVEI project was an ambitious study that blended multiple market and knowledge disciplines within the delivery Consortium, building on prior work including, among others, the ETI’s previous Plug-In Vehicles project, and using high-quality scientific research to fill identified gaps in knowledge. The CVEI Whole-System Analysis has shown that there are no easy answers that lead to straightforward success across all metrics.

It has, however, identified what a good solution that is robust in a range of transport futures could look like, and has provided a set of evidence-based, prioritised recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders. If followed, these will substantially improve the chances of a transition to widespread adoption of ULEVs, integrated with the wider energy system through Managed Charging, and contributing to its efficient operation at lower cost than would be possible without that integration.

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