As the prevalence of electric vehicles (EVs) increases in the UK, it is important to consider how best to manage their impact on the electricity network. On behalf of Citizens Advice, TRL conducted research to gain an understanding of how acceptable drivers find the concept of being ‘flexible’ with their energy use, and in particular how acceptable they find various smart EV charging options: static and dynamic time-of-use energy tariffs, third-party charge management schemes, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, smart charging technologies, and mandatory managed charging.

In total, 75 drivers from England, Wales, and Scotland participated in a series of immersive, deliberative workshops. Participants either drove EVs or conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. During the workshops, participants were presented with information about the smart charging options and were encouraged to interact with the options, envisaging how they might impact their households. Participants’ opinions were collected via workbooks and audio recordings. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 representatives of small businesses that used either EVs or ICE vehicles, to discuss how the options might impact their businesses.

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