‘Overwhelming’ knowledge gap on renewable energy storage technology
Almost nine in 10 Brits are unaware of vehicle-to-grid chargers that enable stored renewable energy from electric cars to be sold back to providers at peak times for money.
That is according to research from OVO Energy, which also reveals that four out of five have never heard of home batteries that can store abundant cheap energy to be reused when it is most expensive.
This is despite finding that people are most concerned about getting better control of their energy consumption and saving money when considering sustainable products and services.
It was also found that 51% would choose an electric car over a petrol or diesel one if they though there would be cost savings in the long-term, while 57% would install a home battery if it could save money.
“People are clearly keen to start their green journey, but a lack of knowledge means many are unaware of the full benefits of harnessing renewable energy,” OVO Energy, director of electric vehicles, Tom Pakenham, said.
Based on the number of Nissan LEAF electric cars on UK roads at present, new vehicle-to-grid chargers could enable owners to contribute more than 114 MW to the grid at any time – enough to power more than 300,000 homes.
However, of the 2,315 adults researched that own or intend to purchase a car in the next year, 38% were unaware such chargers exist, and would be more likely to purchase an electric vehicle if they knew it could be used as a power station.
More than half also said they would be inclined to purchase an electric car if they received support from the state, but 79% hadn’t heard of the Government Plug-In Car Grant that can help people save up to £4,500 on green vehicles.
More than a quarter of Brits are also unaware of the government’s attempt to phase out diesel and petrol cars by 2040, with many saying they would be more likely to buy an electric vehicle if they knew of this ambition.
In addition, 54% believe the country will not be able to move to a reliable 100% renewable energy future without improved storage technologies like home batteries.
“To inspire people to be part of this solution, they’ll need convincing that this new technology would be a practical addition to their lives, as well as safeguarding our environmental future,” Pakenham added.
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM