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IBM leads ETI into the impact of electric vehicles 2010.03.20

LONDON - 18 Mar 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement with the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to evaluate the potential impact of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid. The project will also assess the infrastructure required to achieve a mass market for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the UK.

Photo: Energy Technologies Institute
LONDON - 18 Mar 2010

IBM Leads Energy Technologies Institute Study Into the Impact of Electric Vehicles on UK Power Grid

Project to assess infrastructure upgrades required and regulatory issues

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement with the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to evaluate the potential impact of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid.
The project will also assess the infrastructure required to achieve a mass market for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the UK.

Photo: Energy Technologies Institute
will lead the co-ordination of a consortium of companies, EDF Energy, E.ON and Imperial Consultants, in conducting the study which is being undertaken at an important time.
The UK government has already committed 300 million pounds to create the infrastructure for plug-in vehicles and has provided consumer incentives.

Allan Jones, Managing Director & ETI Board Member, E.ON Engineering
Photo: Energy Technologies Institute
/ YouTube
Supporting infrastructure has already begun rolling out in London, the North East and Milton Keynes.
In addition, the Office for Low Emission Vehicle's (OLEV) has said it will provide grants of up to 5,000 pounds for consumers who buy ultra-low carbon cars.
Photo: IBM / YouTube

The project will focus on a number of areas:

• Analysis of how growth in electric vehicle recharging could impact electricity distribution networks, and what steps energy companies could take to overcome any barriers to supplying demand.

• Identification of the smart infrastructure needed for mass market uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.

• Design concepts for the 'intelligent architecture' of interconnected data and systems needed to enable local networks of electric vehicle charging points linked to the distribution networks.

• Planning for design changes which maintain distribution networks' effective operation and management.

• Assessment of current issues and likely future developments involving regulatory, legislative and commercial matters related to the recharging infrastructure.

Dr David Clarke, the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Technologies Institute
Photo: Energy Technologies Institute
/ YouTube
Dr David Clarke, the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Technologies Institute, said "Achieving these major milestones sets the ETI firmly on track to start extensive real-world testing of consumer attitudes to plug-in vehicles and the supporting infrastructure through 2010 and into 2011.

"With the Committee on Climate Change indicating in October 2009 a potential need for 1 billion pounds of investment in vehicle price support, realising a self-sustaining mass market for plug-in vehicles is a huge challenge. By developing and robustly testing these pathways, we aim to act as a guiding light to support over 300 million pounds of UK investment already committed to infrastructure deployment and consumer incentives for plug-in vehicles."

Photo: Energy Technologies Institute / YouTube
The IBM led research
is one of three projects totalling 4.5 million pounds that have been launched as part of the ETI's 11 million pound Electrification of Light Vehicles programme.

The other projects will assess the economic and carbon benefits as well as the consumer behaviour patterns linked to the mass roll-out of plug-in vehicles.

Photo: Energy Technologies Institute / YouTube
Together the projects are intended to propose an overall system architecture for integrating plug-in vehicles considering: electricity networks, charging points, and payment systems and helping to ensure compatibility across the UK.

The three projects will culminate in the largest electric vehicle analysis to date in the world with more than 3,000 vehicles owned and driven by consumers.
Over 11,000 charge points will be installed across areas in London and the South East, the Midlands and the North East.

Photo: Energy Technologies Institute / YouTube
"Electric vehicles have enormous potential for creating a cleaner transport system to help the UK meet its 2050 carbon reduction targets. However, there is uncertainty over the pace of vehicle development, consumer take up and patterns of usage and charging. It is important we anticipate the likely requirements these developments will have for grid enhancement and the need for an intelligent architecture," said Jon Bentley, Energy & Environment Partner, IBM Global Business Services.

He continued, "We need to take action now to ensure lead times are put in place for open and interoperable architectures, while allowing time to monitor the positive impact on the electric vehicle market. Furthermore, we need to achieve these goals alongside related programmes in smart grids and smart metering, the shift to a renewable generation and the development of smart homes which are already under-way and gaining momentum."

Pilot project with DONG Energy in Denmark
Photo: IBM
/ YouTube
has a long history of expertise in smart grids and intelligent infrastructure, having been involved in more than 60 smart grid projects around the world - from innovative research projects to full scale deployments.

IBM is currently partnering with the country of Malta to create the first nation-wide smart grid and has completed a pilot project with DONG Energy in Denmark to install remote monitoring and control devices to gain information about the state of the grid.
This project alone reduced outage times in Denmark by 25% - 50%.

IBM is involved in e-mobility and electric vehicle projects around the globe.

IBM's expertise extends from technology and business architectures to understanding how electric vehicles interact with the electricity network and renewable power generation.

EDISON research consortium in Denmark
Photo: IBM
/ YouTube
For example, IBM has undertaken a project with the EDISON research consortium in Denmark to explore how to turn millions of electric vehicles into a distributed storage system for the nation's ambitious wind energy plans.

IBM is also researching commercially viable lithium air batteries that will enable electric vehicles to travel up to 500 miles on one charge.

About the ETI

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government.
The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power and transport.

The Energy Technologies Institute
is a private sector organisation, established as a unique private-public partnership, funded equally by member companies and the UK Government.
It is governed by an Executive Board.
Each private sector member has one seat on the ETI Board.

Photo: Energy Technologies Institute
By bringing together the efforts and investments of both private and public sectors, and by focusing on key energy challenges with a new level of scale and ambition, the Energy Technologies Institute has the potential to achieve step change advances in the demonstration of low carbon technologies.
Our Member companies’ expertise, resources and the potential route to commercialisation that they offer is one of the strengths of the ETI.

Our target is to secure up to 10 private sector investors, each contributing up to £5 million per year for 10 years, with the UK Government matching these investments to create a potential £1 billion investment fund for new energy technologies.

For further information, please call
Richard Robinson on 01509 202026
or Nigel Richardson on 01509 202084.

About IBM

For more on e-mobility at IBM, see


Contact(s) information

Emily Horn
IBM Corporate External Relations

O: 415.545.2634
M: 415.336.3144

Lucy Chapman
External Relations - IBM UK Communications

+44 20 7021 8911
+44 7920 823 429




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