#US #UK #EV #Innogy #California
In March 2012, California established a goal of getting more than 1,5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025. The “Golden State” first adopted the idea into law in 1990 as part of the ‘Low Emission Vehicle Program’, which has gone through many iterations over the years, but generally seeks to reduce the pervasive air pollution affecting the main urban areas of the State. Pollution issues are particularly noticeable in Los Angeles, which is known for having prolonged pollution episodes.
Across the Atlantic, Germany’s largest energy firm by market value, Innogy, initially partnered with the University of California San Diego in 2015, to capitalise on the foregoing clean vehicle initiative with the creation of Innogy E-Mobility US LLC, an electric vehicle (EV) charge point operator and manufacturer. The company currently operates about 5.700 EV charge points in Germany, and will be in direct competition with ChargePoint, the world’s largest network of EV charging systems with over 34.500 points in the US and Mexico, to take advantage of growing worldwide EV sales and popularity.
The UK is not being left behind: its government has pledged £20 million (€22,8 million) to help develop electric cars that can return power to the grid in the form of vehicle-to-grid projects, seeking to create a better energy ecosystem. The money will be awarded to three types of innovative vehicle-to-grid projects, including: (i) feasibility studies – investigating how vehicle-to-grid technology can be used in the future; (ii) industrial research or experimental development – for example, to develop vehicle-to-grid charging equipment; and (iii) demonstrative trials in the real-world environment – projects that trial vehicle-to-grid technology in different locations across the country.
According to Simon Edwards, Manufacturing and Materials Director at Innovate UK, “these competitions present ground-breaking opportunities for UK businesses to develop the next stage of vehicle-to-grid products and services”.
Decisions such as the foregoing by companies and governments to invest in the market demonstrate the growing presence of EV technology worldwide and that interest is not confined to a single continent. It will be important to monitor other markets, governments, and EV companies to keep ahead of the next transportation revolution.